3 (Easy) Steps To Feeding Healthy Day Old Baby Chicks

3 (Easy) Steps To Feeding Healthy Day Old Baby Chicks

If we’re going to raise baby chicks from day-olds to layers, we may as well start at the beginning – with what to feed baby chicks.

 

In this video, we’ve got a new batch of little cuties that were just born! The problem is what to feed them from now until they’re ready for more advanced cuisine. 

 

In this video, I’ll show you what I feed my newborn chicks.

 

  1. Feed
  2. The Mess
  3. The Bowl
  4. Dried Tiny Shrimp 

 

Feed

As soon as chicks are born, we feed them an 18% chick starter with herbs in it. It’s our own special blend. And the reason we feed that is because it has 18% protein in it. It has all the nutrients that they need to grow from being chicks to healthy layers. And we like to have the herbs in there because the herbs help them grow healthy

 

We started packaging this and selling it is because people ask me constantly on my website: Where do I get my feed? What do I feed? Why do I feed that? What herbs can I use?

 

Providing our mix to people just makes it easier for their chicks to access to the same things that I use without having to go through the rigmarole of mixing it themselves. (You can view our herbal chick starter here)

 

Why Mess Is Good

One thing you might notice is that it’s pretty messy in my brooder. The chicks get feed everywhere. That’s actually a good thing because it shows that they’re eating.

 

One of the biggest concerns I personally had when I first started raising chicks was whether or not they would actually eat enough to grow. If they don’t eat, they don’t grow, which is bad. The mess tells me that they’re eating and I’m happy with that. 

 

Feeder Options For Day Olds

When chicks are day olds, I use a small, low bowl for their feed. That’s very intentional.

 

I’ve tried other feeders for the first couple of days of their lives, but with the hundreds and hundreds of chicks that I’ve raised, I’ve noticed the chicks have a hard time finding the food in juvenile feeders. Right after they’re born, they’re disoriented and tired because it’s hard hatching.

 

A bowl where they can just walk on top of the food, makes it easier for them to find the food, and – most importantly – to eat

 

As they get older, I’ll switch to their bigger feeder (like I show in this video). As day olds though, they don’t really understand how to use the bigger feeders yet: you have to teach them. So for the sake of making sure that they are eating and are healthy, I just use a little dish. 

 

So obviously they really like their feed; the bowl is easy to use and they’re healthy.

 

Encouraging Chicks To Eat

Something else I like to give chicks during the first weeks of their life and really until the time that they’re adults are dried tiny shrimp. (You can see my favorite type here).

 

I like these because they’re tiny. They’re easy to crush and they’re full of protein and they’re irresistible to chickens of all ages. 

 

Especially in the first couple of days of their life, I’m very worried that my chicks are not eating as much as they should. Treats that are full of protein, like these dried tiny shrimps, make it almost impossible for chicks not to eat. They love them so much that they just swarm. 

 

All I do to feed them is just put them right in the dish. These treats are not in place of chick starter, it’s just a supplement and it’s just really to ensure that my chicks are getting as much protein and as many nutrients into their body as possible so that they grow healthy.

 

There you have it! My little day-olds and I hope you’ve gotten a good feel for a convenient and balanced starting diet to help your chicks grow as strong and healthy as possible.

 

Got questions? Got comments? Got suggestions? Leave a comment below

Best No Waste Chick Feeders

Best No Waste Chick Feeders

When you get baby chicks, you’ll notice quickly, they’re very messy with their feed. In this article, we talk about the best chicken feeders for no waste – and they’re all easy for baby chicks to use!

 

 

We all want our chickens to group up healthy and strong, and the best time to start them off right is when they emerge straight from the incubator. The trick is knowing how to feed your baby chicks so they stay healthy. 

 

This probably prompts you to ask “What feeders should I use for my baby chicks?”

 

The answer to this question is going to depend largely on what age your chicks are. The feeders used for day-olds might not be the same feeder that you’ll use when they’re 12 or 16 weeks old.

 

As they grow, chicks have different needs. We’re going to talk about the different feeder options for each of age group: 

  • Day olds
  • 4 weeks to 8 weeks
  • 8 weeks to 16 weeks 

 

(For adults, you can read about the best feeders here).

 

Main Takeaways:

  • You always want to use a feeder your chicks can reach
  • I use something small and easy for them to find when they’re a day old.
  • I’m not a fan of long feeders because they’re harder to open and I have to teach chicks how to use them.
  • Mason jar feeders are okay, and a good way to keep your feed supply clean.

 

Day-Olds

When they’re day-olds through the first week of their life, you’ll be concerned about whether they are getting enough food and whether they have 24-hour access to food. 

 

They are really confused and fragile when they first come out of the incubator. They need certain temperatures, so it’s really important to make sure that they have consistent access to chick starter and that it’s easy to find. 

 

There’s no evidence to support this, and this is just my own observation, but the first 24 hours of chick life is like newborn humans: they can’t see very well for the first couple of days. 

 

I think baby chicks have the same issue because while finding the feeder is instinctual, I’ve noticed that they’re very confused, especially in the first few hours after hatching through the first 48 hours. I’ve noticed that sometimes they can struggle a little bit finding the feeder, so I like to make sure that the feeders are really easy to find. 

 

I use low bowls or low pie plates. They don’t have much of a lip and they’re easy to find. We have even flipped lids to yogurts upside down (this works great for day old quail too). 

 

What I use also depends on the number of chicks I have. If we have a lot of chicks, we might use something that’s bigger or if we have three to five chicks, we’ll use yogurt containers for the first 48 hours.

 

You could also use mason jar feeders. Those are really good because they act as automatic feeders.

 

You can also use those long red feeders. I found for the first couple of days of life that they sometimes can’t find food in these very easily. They have to be shown how to use it. 

 

My chicks hatch, then for through day two, I’ll use yogurt containers. Day three and on, I’ll use the red automatic feeder. Or if we have a lot of chicks, I’ll use the pie plate, which is really easy to fill. 

 

If you read any book, they’re going to tell you to use the long red plastic feeders. I use them, but I don’t like these so much because they are a little bit tougher to open. Pie plates and yogurt tops are easier to clean and you don’t have to try to open them. 

 

These will work for the first four weeks. 

 

Four Weeks to 8 Weeks

For this age range, I tend to go for pie plates because again, they’re easy to clean; they’re cheap. After probably about week five or six, store-bought automatic feeders are harder for them to get food out of. The holes in these feeders accommodate baby chicks, but don’t as they become chickens.

 

As they get older, your chicks will wander around and forage food themselves. They tend to ignore automatic feeders anyways. Pie plates let them browse easily and they are easier for me to fill up. 

 

Eight Weeks and On

By the time that your chickens are eight weeks old, they are largely looking for their own food sources anyways. So, baby chick feeders are not really necessary. 

 

I really like this automatic feeder from Duncan’s Feeders – just be sure to install it low enough that your chicks can reach it. It’s durable, looks good, is easy to clean, and so easy to fill up.

 

This is just practical advice that I’ve learned over the years, and this is just my opinion about the best chicken feeders for no waste for baby chicks. 

Duncan’s Poultry 30 LB Space Saver Wall Feeder Review

Duncan’s Poultry 30 LB Space Saver Wall Feeder Review

For this review, Duncan’s Poultry sent us their 30 LB Space Saver Wall Feeder to test. It arrived quickly via UPS, and fully assembled inside the box.

 

Below are our first impressions and overall recommendation regarding this feeder!

 

(Want to see all the feeders we recommend?) 

 

Product Description

Duncan’s Poultry 30 LB Space Saver Wall Feeder is a galvanized steel automatic feeder meant to be hung up on a wall of your coop. 

 

duncan's poultry 30 lb feeder for chickens

Official image from seller

 

The website claims the feeder will hold 30 pounds of a layer mash, crumbles, and (possibly) pellets. The main body is stainless steel colored, and the lid is galvanized steel painted red.

 

The feeder is 15 inches by 8 inches, with an 18 inch depth (so, you can fill 18 inches up with feed).

 

The feeder is $59 on Amazon, which makes it an affordable option for all budgets.

 

Where to buy the Duncan’s Poultry 30 LB Space Saver Wall Feeder

You can purchase this feeder on Amazon right here. The feeder has gotten great reviews!

 

What the company claims

  • Holds 30 lbs of feed
  • 15 Inches wide
  • Will fit between the wall studs
  • Hinged lid that stays open while you refill it.
  • Integrated lip helps cut down on wasted feed.
  • Works great with crumbles, mash or pellets 
  • Made of heavy gauge galvanized steel.
  • 14″ Wide X 8″ Deep x 18″ Tall.
  • Comes Fully Assembled

 

Our experience

We were pleased with the look of the Duncan’s Poultry 30 LB Space Saver Wall Feeder right out of the box – it certainly is made of galvanized steel (which makes the coop look nice!). The top is painted red, and there’s a “Duncan’s Poultry” logo on the front.

 

On the back were two cut outs for the screws. It made it REALLY easy to figure out how to hang the feeder. 

 

Sometimes, the construction of an object can make it harder to hang – they can prevent the object from sitting flush against the wall, and cause the object to wiggle or be unstable. In this case, the Duncan’s Poultry 30 LB Space Saver Wall Feeder hangs very sturdily, and doesn’t wiggle.

 

We tested the feeder with 30 pounds of our layer feed. Duncan’s feeders DO hold that amount, which saves us a lot of time (since we don’t need to fill it every day), and I can sleep at night knowing that if I can’t get to the coop ASAP in the mornings, the chickens still have access to feed.

 

Hanging it took just a couple minutes, and we were up and running within 5 minutes. Filling it with layer feed was very simple, and easy for one person to handle.

 

The chickens took another 5 minutes to figure out how to find the feed, and it’s been smooth sailing since. We’ve refilled the Duncan’s Poultry 30 LB Space Saver Wall Feeder every other day, or every 2 days, depending on how hungry the flock is.

 

The top stays open during the entire refilling process, and it’s easy to close once we’re done. It’s not easy for a non-human to get it open, and we’ve noticed that the goat hasn’t been able to knock it off the wall, which is a HUGE accomplishment.

 

Does the Duncan’s Poultry 30 LB Space Saver Wall Feeder live up to its claims?

YES! This sleek and modern automatic chicken feeder saves space, came fully assembled, holds 30 pounds of feed, and the chickens love it! They immediately knew how to use it (even the 10 week old chicks!), and it stood up to the ultimate test of whether the goat could knock it over or disassemble it 

 

(Other products we’ve reviewed were trashed in 24 hours by the goat, so this is saying something about the quality of the Duncan’s Poultry 30 LB Space Saver Wall Feeder!) 

 

What don’t we like

Clean up might be a bit tricky. Unless your coop floor is dirt, it’s not really the best idea to spray the Duncan’s Poultry 30 LB Space Saver Wall Feeder inside the coop, so you will have to remove the feeder to spray it with a hose, or use cleaning wipes if you don’t want to remove it. 

 

There’s lots of little crevices, so be sure to pay attention to corners and lips where feed can get embedded and mold if not removed during cleaning.

 

Is it useful for chicken owners? 

We recommend this feeder for flock owners with less than 10 chickens in their flock. We’re impressed with how easy this feeder was to refill so our hens have consistent access to their mash. It’s a safe and time saving chicken feeder your flock will enjoy. 

 

If you have more than 10 chickens, purchase a second unit.

 

What to watch out for

If you have more than 10 chickens, it’s best to buy a second feeder. Because the width is only 15 inches, it’ll be difficult for every flock member to eat at the same time.

 

Note that if you want to use this with baby chicks (under 8 weeks), you will have to hang the feeder so it’s flush with the ground (which can attract bugs), and make sure the chicks know there’s feed in it. Because of this, we don’t recommend using it with chickens until they’re at least 10 weeks old.

 

There’s no cover for the lower lip where chickens eat from, so if vermin are an issue in your coop, they’ll get a free meal.

 

Summary

Duncan’s Poultry 30 pound hanging feeder lives up to its promises, and is a great addition to every coop. We give it 5 stars for design, usefulness, safety, durability, and ease of use! Our chickens use it daily and love it!

13 Chicken Feeder Ideas: No-Waste, PVC, & More!

13 Chicken Feeder Ideas: No-Waste, PVC, & More!

If you’re raising backyard chickens, then you’ve likely also come across the pesky problem of raising mice and rats. A good quality feeder solves unwanted food freeloaders and keeps your feed fresh and bacteria free. In this article, you’ll find DIY chicken feeder ideas that’ll keep your coop a clean and happy place for your flock.

 

Rats and mice are a problem because not only do they eat your chickens’ food, they leave droppings, attack young chicks, and spread disease.

 

So, keeping them out and away from your flock is critical.

 

Let’s go over what you need to know, and how you can make your own DIY no waste chicken feeder.

 

(If you don’t want to make one, here’s the no waste chicken feeders I recommend. There’s links to different ones on Amazon and they’re all high quality and affordable).

 

What Can I Make A Chicken Feeder Out Of?

Anything can be a chicken feeder as long as it can be removed from the coop for cleaning and it holds food.

 

But if you’re here, you likely want something more sophisticated AND that’ll keep pests away from your chicken feed.

 

A bowl is great, but it won’t keep mice and rats out during winter, when they’re more likely to try to build nests in the nooks and crannies of your coop.

 

It’ll also attract ants, and give your flock a way to throw their feed everywhere – making clean up a nightmare.

 

So, let’s look at different DIY chicken feeder ideas that you can try at home!

 

List Of Possible Materials For A DIY Chicken Feeder:

 

  • Wood
  • PVC
  • Tupperware bins
  • Repurposed food-grade barrels
  • Metal
  • Rubber

 

The possibilities are really endless – this is just a brief list of possible materials. You might even have them on hand if you build your own chicken coop!


We’ve found it easiest to make a no waste feeder from PVC, from parts sourced at any hardware store. Another easy option are the repurposed food-grade barrels. (See our DIY horse feeder tutorial here – it can easily be adapted for poultry).

 

In my experience, these are the two simplest chicken feeder ideas to implement.

 

While wood seems like a good idea, and it’s readily available, it’s not very easy to clean, and it can harbor bacteria in the grain.

 

If you have access to welder (a simple one is around $100 at hardware stores), a metal chicken feeder is great also.

 

5 Gallon Bucket DIY Automatic Chicken Feeders

Making a DIY chicken water feeder out of a 5 gallon bucket takes just minutes. This one is my favorite!

 

 

While this video is about how to make an automatic chicken water feeder out of a 5 gallon bucket, this idea can very easily be adapted for feed.

 

It costs about $12, and will take 5 minutes of your time. 

 

Easy access to feed and water will improve egg production and lower the chances of your chickens developing bad habits like feather picking (which can easily be confused with chicken mites, so make sure they’re truly bored).

 

Click here for the tutorial for 5 gallon bucket automatic chicken feeder waterer

 

Here’s a second idea, using an an extra PVC component

Wood DIY Zero Waste Chicken Feeder

Wondering how to make a chicken feeder out of wood? This idea is good – but just note that it’s made out of wood. So, you’ll need to take extra care to clean it.

 

If you have wood hanging around, though, it’s very easy to make!

 

If I were to improve on it, I would add a second door at the bottom, so it can be shut at night to keep rodents out. (While chicken wire will keep most rodents out, keeping the feed closed at night will reduce the temptation to raid your coop, and reduce your mouse population.)

 

Get the tutorial here

 

Here’s a second idea that looks easy to execute

 

PVC Pipe Feeder

We recently built one of these for our chicken coop, and it’s an easy chicken feeder idea to execute.

 

You’ll need to decide whether you want to drill holes into a PVC pipe for individual feeding holes, or remove the top portion of the pipe for easy group access.

 

You’ll also need to make sure there’s enough holes for each chicken – so if you have a large flock, like I do, then making access as easy as possible will also make your life simpler.

 

PVC Feeder Idea #1 (group automatic feeder)

PVC chicken feeder idea

PVC Feeder Idea #2 here (multiple individual feeder holes)

PVC feeder idea #3 (single feeder hole)

 

DIY Rain Proof Chicken Feeder

If you want to locate your feeder outside the coop, then you’ll need to make sure it keeps the grain dry. Sometimes chickens can be picky about the texture of their feed, and might turn their beaks up at mushy mash.

 

Muddy feed also molds fast (and can shorten your backyard chickens’ lifespan) – so, it should always be a priority to ensure your chicken feeder keeps your flock’s food safe from the elements that could cause it to spoil.

 

The easiest way to execute this chicken feeder idea is to add a rain hood or cap onto a PVC feeder.

 

This idea is made from an old kitty litter bin. Just be sure to clean the bucket before using it (and clean the bucket more often than this author has)

 

Get the tutorial here

 

You can also try to make the PVC feeder below – this one has a rain hood you can find at any hardware store. The only caveat is that because of the rain hood, it can’t be closed – so rats can still get in.


However, it IS a no waste feeder. You will need to make multiple ones, however, if you have a larger flock.

 

Get the tutorial here

 

DIY No Waste Chicken Feeder Bin From A Tote

If you have a plastic tote (aka Tupperware bin) hanging around, you can make an easy no waste feeder from it. You’ll need to drill holes into it (2-3 inch holes) and add PVC pipes. You can use glue to hold the PVC in place.

 

It’s easy to clean, reduces food spoilage, and keeps your feed dry!

 

Get the tutorial here

 

DIY Hanging Automatic Feeder

DIY YouTube chicken feeders are easy to execute because you usually get step by step instructions. If you have a lot of time, and are handy, then this chicken feeder idea might be for you. Looking at the video, it feeds chickens a few grains at a time when they poke at a hanging element.

 

It’s clever, but I think it also can be improved upon. I personally would opt for one of the feeders above (but it might work well for your situation!), especially if you feed a mash (it looks like this will only work with pellets or a textured feed)

 

It’ll also certainly keep rats out of your food. For more intelligent and mischief-loving breeds, like Speckled Sussex, a feeder like this will entertain them for hours. 

 

 

DIY Baby Chick Feeder

For chicken feeder ideas for your chicks, here are some incredibly creative and simple chicken feeder ideas for you to try.

 

It’s always a good idea to keep plastic out of landfills! These look like they can me made in just a few minutes

 

I love how this one re-uses a yogurt container

 

Upcycled 2 liter soda bottle

 

DIY Chicken Feed Recipe

If you’re interested in feeding your chickens with organic and non-GMO feed that will keep them healthy and happy without costing you a lot of money then you’ll find this recipe helpful:

 

Get my best organic non-GMO chicken feed recipe here

 

Don’t want to make it yourself? You can buy my favorite 100% NON-GMO layer feed here

 

What Do You Feed Organic Chickens?

A high-quality layer feed with 16% protein and supplemented with nutrients is the best thing to feed backyard chickens. You can make your own feed using my layer feed recipe here, or find a high-quality non-GMO chicken feed here. You can also supplement their diet with table scraps, alternative chicken feeds like dried insects, and high quality chicken treats. It’s also critical to know what chickens can’t eat, like avocado and dried beans.

 

Here’s a brief table of what chickens can eat (not comprehensive):

 

Fruit Legumes Vegetables Seeds Proteins Dairy Grains
Berries Peanuts Spinach Sunflower Mealworms Milk Wheat
Cantaloupe Alfalfa Hay Tomatoes Flax Black Soldier Fly Larvae Greek Yogurt

(Plain)

Oats
Watermelon Peas Squash & Pumpkin Pumpkin Dried River Shrimp Cheese Rye
Bananas Clover Kale Hemp Eggs Whey Millet

 

You can also find a list of what chickens eat here.

 

Here’s a list of what chickens SHOULD NOT eat:

 

Vegetables Fruit Legumes Grains Other
Potato skins Avocado skins & pits Dried beans Dry rice Salt
Onions Apple seeds Uncooked beans Chocolate
Chards Peach pits Lots of sugar
Rhubarb leaves Coffee

 

Should I Hang My Chicken Feeder?

Yes, hang the chicken feeder to keep vermin out of it and so your chickens don’t poop in their grain. Be sure to at an appropriate height – 8 to 12 inches off the ground is best. You can also hang it about the middle of your bird’s back, if you think 12 inches is too high. In addition, by hanging your chicken feeders, you prevent vermin and predators from getting to the food.

 

How High Should I Hang My Chicken Feeder?

8 to 12 inches off the ground is best. You can also hang it about the middle of your bird’s back, if you think 12 inches is too high. Remember that some chicken breeds like Silkies can’t fly, and Cochin bantams and Sebrights are very short, so make sure your feeder is at the right height for everyone to get a meal.

 

How Do I Keep Rats Out Of My Chicken Feeder?

To keep rats out of your feeder, you’ll need to use a feeder that closes. Also store food away, and make sure to clean up any spills as they are likely to attract unwanted guests. You can check out my automatic chicken feeder ideas here.

How Often Do Chickens Lay Eggs? Ultimate Guide To Laying

How Often Do Chickens Lay Eggs? Ultimate Guide To Laying

Eggs are one of the amazing benefits of having chickens in your care – along with companionship and having a coveted family pet and honorary member. But if you’re brand new to chickens, or if you’re trying to make sense of all the old wives tales out there, you might wonder “how often do chickens lay eggs anyway?”

 

Whenever a non-chicken person stops by the farm, I’m certainly asked this question!

 

Well, if you’re wondering, “How many eggs do chickens lay?”, the truth is, it depends on a few factors:

  • Breed
  • Diet
  • The season
  • Their environment

Let’s take a look at each factor above, and by the end of this article, you’ll have a clearer idea of how many eggs you can expect your hens to lay, as well as things that can cause egg laying to stop.

 

 

How Often Do Chickens Lay Eggs And How Many?

Factor #1: Breed

Some chicken breeds are more inclined to lay eggs consistently, while other breeds aren’t. Obviously, this will effect how often these chickens lay eggs.

 

Two extreme examples to illustrate this point are Cornish Crosses and Production Reds. These are industrial breeds; Cornish Crosses are raised for meat, while Production Reds are bred for egg laying in factory farms.

 

Cornish Crosses don’t lay eggs very often – when we raised them as pets, they laid one egg a week or so. They’re too heavy with too many health problems to expect any real amount of eggs.

 

On the other hand, Production Reds are bred to lay eggs no matter what – we’ve had some that laid a nice brown egg every day (yes, 7 days a week).

 

Most breeds are somewhere in the middle – they’ll lay between 4-6 eggs a week.

 

Here’s a breakdown of how often different popular chicken breeds lay eggs:

 

Breed Frequency (on average) Lay in Winter?
How often do Silkie chickens lay eggs? 3-4 times a week Not without extra lights
How often do Ameraucana chickens lay eggs? 4-5 times a week Not without extra lights
How often do Bantam chickens lay eggs? 3-4 times a week Not without extra lights
How often do Barred Plymouth Rock chickens lay eggs? 4-5 times a week Yes, it’s possible
How often do Black Sex Link chickens lay eggs? 5-6 times a week Yes, it’s possible
How often do broiler chickens lay eggs? 1-2 times a week Not typically.
How often do Rhode Island Red chickens lay eggs? 5-6 times a week Heritage blood lines need extra lights, industrial blood lines might not.
How often do Dominique chickens lay eggs? 4-5 times a week Yes, it’s possible. Adding a light to the chicken coop is a good idea, though.
How often do free range chickens lay eggs? 4-5 times a week (if you can find them) If they’re not cooped regularly, probably not.
How often do Leghorn chickens lay eggs? 4-6 times a week Yes, it’s possible
How often do Partridge Rock chickens lay eggs? 4-5 times a week Yes, it’s possible

 

Factor #2: Diet

Diet effects egg laying ability, and it’s frequently people who aren’t feeding their flocks a good, high protein diet who email me asking “how often do chickens lay eggs?” because they’re frustrated with their hens.

 

When a hen doesn’t have enough protein, nutrients, or calcium in her diet, it can cause her to stop laying eggs. After all, egg laying is about reproduction – if her body isn’t healthy, the first thing her body will do is stop anything except the bare necessities to live.

 

A diet that includes a 16% layer feed and a calcium supplement is ideal. You can free-feed your chickens, or offer 1-2 cups of grain per hen each day. These are the best chicken feeders we recommend that make it easy to feed hens without wasting a ton of food.

 

It’s also a good idea to supplement her diet with table scraps or treats, such as black soldier fly larvae.

 

Factor #3: Seasons

Chickens will lay less in winter than they do in the spring, summer, and fall. Partly this is caused by the shortage of daylight in the winter, and partly (particularly in very cold areas) it’s caused by her body reserving calories for warmth. It takes a lot of energy to lay an egg! If she’s stopped laying from November – February, she’ll likely pick back up in March (in the Northern Hemisphere – this will be the opposite for our Aussie and Kiwi friends in the Southern Hemisphere).

 

Factor #4: Environment

Environmental stress can effect how often chicken lay eggs, so it’s always best to provide a quiet, predator free chicken coop that’s not over crowded.

 

When a hen is stressed, the calories she eats are diverted towards supporting her body – and not to laying eggs. In some cases, when a hen is very stressed over predators, she might stop laying together for a while.

 

Another reason hens stop laying is if their nesting boxes aren’t up to snuff. Chickens need to feel safe when laying eggs, and if they don’t, they might stop laying.

 

A nesting box in a quiet, dark area that’s away from the rest of the flock (and especially roosters) is idea. You can make your chicken nesting boxes out of anything that’s easy to clean.

 

It’s also a good idea to put sweet smelling herbs in the nesting boxes – they’ll relax the hen and attract her to the nesting box (so she doesn’t lay elsewhere).

 

Similarly, when chickens live in crowded conditions, or she lives with competing roosters who overly mate with her, it can spike her stress levels, and she’ll go off her eggs.

 

It’s best to build a coop with 10 square feet of space per bird, and with lots of roosting bars for them to rest on. It’s also important to keep out predators, rats, dogs, etc, so your flock feels safe.

 

You can check out our top free chicken coop plans here.

 

How Often Do Chickens Stop Laying Eggs?

Chickens stop laying eggs for a variety of reasons: season, diet, and stress are some common factors. You also might think your hens have stopped laying eggs – but they’re actually hiding them! This is common with free range chickens. If your hen is broody, and is sitting on a clutch, she’ll also stop laying eggs until her chicks are hatched and able to fend for themselves (about 2-3 months). Weather also can effect egg production – if a hen is heat stressed, she will stop laying. Similarly, if she’s dehydrated, her body will shut down (you can learn how to make a DIY automatic chicken waterer for $12 here – these are a LIFESAVER in the summer!)

 

 

Do Chickens Lay Eggs Every Day Naturally?

Hens will naturally lay eggs, but not necessarily one each day. Most chickens require about 12-14 hours of daylight each day to produce eggs, since egg laying is a hormonal response to sunlight. In addition, it can take about 24 hours for an egg to make it from the hen’s ovary,  through her oviduct and encased in calcium, to her vent, so it can be finally laid. There’s really no way to speed up this process – so it’s reasonable to expect your chickens to lay eggs every 24-26 hours. Most hens take a day or two off each week – and that’s completely natural.

 

How Many Eggs Does A Hen Lay In A Day? Do Chicken Lay Eggs Every Day?

Typically, one egg. Hens need 12-14 hours of daylight each day to produce eggs. So, a hen will lay 1 egg every day or every other day, as long as she gets 12-14 hours of light each day. In the winter, her production might decrease because the days are shorter.

 

How Many Eggs Per Week Does A Chicken Lay?

The number of eggs per week a chicken lays depends largely on factors such as their breed, nutritional intake, and environmental conditions. Most chickens are known to lay 5 eggs a week or at least one every other day, for about 300 eggs per year.

 

Do Chickens Lay Eggs At The Same Time Every Day?

Even though most hens don’t lay every day, it’s certainly possible that a hen could lay eggs at the same time. However, most of the time, she won’t. Hens lay eggs every 24-26 hours – so she might lay her eggs in the morning one week, and in the evening another week. It’s a crapshoot! Ultimately, hens just follow their own rhythm, and lay when nature tells them to.

 

What Time Of Day Do Chickens Lay Eggs?

It seems like a lot of hens lay their eggs in the morning, but chickens lay eggs all throughout the day. In fact, you might see several hens fighting over the nesting box! They won’t lay their eggs at night though – they like to sleep and stay safe by roosting at night.

 

Is It Painful For Chickens To Lay Eggs?

There has been no clear evidence to support the claim that laying eggs hurt chickens. Of course, very large eggs laid by a very small hen might cause an issue such as egg binding or prolapsed vent, which is painful. But on average, it seems laying an egg isn’t the same as pushing out a baby every 24 hours. In fact, you’ll probably hear your hens singing “the egg song” after laying – it might just relieve them to finally pop out the egg!

 

Does A Chicken Need A Rooster To Lay An Egg?

No, a chicken doesn’t need a rooster to lay eggs – hens will produce their “butt nuggets” whether or not a rooster is present. This is because egg laying is a hormonal response to the amount of light – not whether she has a mate or not. If you want fertilized eggs so you can hatch chicks, then you’ll need a rooster. You can read about the best incubators we recommend here.

 

Is It Possible For A Chicken To Lay 2 Eggs A Day?

Yes, it is possible – if she lays “an egg within an egg.” This occurs when, for whatever reason, an egg that was released from the ovary doesn’t make it down the oviduct, and stays in her body for an additional length of time. Meanwhile, the ovary has released a second yolk, which is then also enveloped in calcium – along with the first egg. It’s important to remember, though, that this isn’t a typical thing – it’s really an abnormal egg.

 

How Long Does It Take For A Chicken To Push Out An Egg?

It usually takes 24 to 26 hours to fully form the egg and lay it.

 

How Many Eggs Do Chicken Lay A Year?

To determine how many eggs a chicken will lay in a year depends primarily on the breed, nutrition provided, and the overall management of the flock. Most egg laying breeds will lay about 300 eggs per year. Here’s a chart of the more popular breeds:

Breed Eggs per year (on average)
Silkie chickens 200-250 per year
Ameraucana chickens 250 – 280 per year
Barred Rock chickens Approx. 300 per year
Bantam chickens 250 – 280 per year
Black Sex Link chickens Approx. 300 per year
Rhode Island Red chickens Approx. 300 per year
Dominique chickens 250 – 280 per year
Leghorn chickens Approx. 300 per year

 

How Many Eggs Are In A Chicken? Are Hens Born With All Their Eggs?

A hen is born with all the egg yolks she’ll ever have (the yolks are what’s actually released from her ovary – hens have two ovaries, but only one is functional). The amount of actual yolks in her ovaries changes from chicken to chicken – they’re individuals after all. However, most hens lay consistently for the first 3 years of their lives. Since many breeds lay about 300 eggs a year, and they don’t start laying until they’re 6-8 months old, you can reasonably expect a hen to lay about 600-1,000 eggs during her lifetime.

 

Do Large Eggs Hurt Chickens?

Although most of the time it doesn’t hurt a chicken to lay an egg, it’s completely possible an overly large egg might hurt. The vent does stretch to accommodate laying, but an egg that’s a much larger size than normal would put extra strain on the hen. However, there’s nothing you can do to stop this – egg laying is natural, and sometimes, the eggs are larger than normal because that’s nature’s way.  

 

Do Male Chickens Lay Eggs?

No – just female chickens. The male chickens, called roosters, fertilize the eggs and protect the hens and provide companionship.

 

How Long Is The Egg Laying Process?

The egg laying process takes about 24 to 26 hours to produce and form the egg. The process – releasing the yolk from the ovary and encasing it with albumen (white egg parts) and the shell starts again 30 minutes after the chicken has laid an egg. You can read about all the parts of an egg here.

 

How Often Do Chickens Lay Double Yolk Eggs?

While double yolk eggs happen frequently and aren’t anything to worry about, there’s no telling when hens will lay eggs with two yolks. Some hens lay them consistently, and some hens will only do it once in their lives. You can read more about double yolk eggs here.

 

How Often Do Chickens Lay Eggs In The Wild?

Just like domestic breeds, wild chickens lay eggs every 24-26 hours – but this depends on the season, her health, and her diet.

 

How Often Do Chickens Have To Mate To Lay Eggs?

Hens will lay eggs regardless of whether they mate with a rooster or not. If you want to hatch chicks, however, you will need a rooster to fertilize the eggs. You can read about how chickens mate right here.

 

What Do Chickens Do With Unfertilized Eggs?

If the hen is “broody,” meaning she wants to hatch eggs, she’ll sit on them even if they’re not fertile. If the hen isn’t broody, she’ll just leave the eggs in her nesting spot and go on with her day. Sometimes, hens will eat their own eggs, especially if their diet isn’t already sufficient, or if they’re bored.

 

How often do chickens lay eggs that are unfertilized? Well, that depends on whether they run with a rooster or not! If they’re cooped with a rooster, you can bet her eggs are consistently fertile. If there’s no rooster, then all her eggs will be unfertilized.