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-   -   Chickens and eggs (http://boards.straightdope.com/sdmb/showthread.php?t=820705)

obbn 03-03-2017 06:31 PM

Chickens and eggs
 
Hello Everyone,

If I remember correctly a chicken will lay an egg everyday. If there was a rooster who insisted on sweet sweet poultry loving with her everyday is it conceivable that one chicken could hatch a new chick everyday, 365 new baby chicks a year?

beowulff 03-03-2017 06:46 PM

No.

Chickens lay eggs in “clutches” - 10-20 or so. Once they have clutch, they stop laying while they sit on the eggs, and then brood the chicks.

You only get an egg a day if you keep stealing them.

I used to keep chickens, and I would let them raise a brood occasionally, to replace ones that met some misfortune.

ETA:
Oh, and the Rooster doesn’t need to “Do the Chicken Nasty” every day. Once is sufficient for a number of eggs (some say 3 weeks worth).

Amateur Barbarian 03-03-2017 07:20 PM

So it's... inconceivable, then?

beowulff 03-03-2017 07:49 PM

Quote:

Originally Posted by Amateur Barbarian (Post 20041931)
So it's... inconceivable, then?

Eggs..actly.

jayjay 03-03-2017 07:58 PM

And we've descended into the horrible yolks again...

LSLGuy 03-03-2017 08:01 PM

Cool to hear from a real live chicken rancher, part-time / amatuer though you may be. The only animals I can raise successfully are cockroaches.

But, ..., we/you haven't exactly answered the OP's underlying question.

Given a healthy female chicken in her prime reproductive years and an adequate supply of roostering, how many eggs can she reasonably create in a year and how many will hatch into viable chicks? 50? 100? 200? 400?

Enquiring clueless suburbanite minds want to know. :)

Weisshund 03-03-2017 08:04 PM

Quote:

Originally Posted by Amateur Barbarian (Post 20041931)
So it's... inconceivable, then?

beowulf forgot to mention one thing
Your Hen would die.
When they decide to go broody, they lose a lot of weight and tend to not want to eat and drink much, if your hen is broody 365 days out of the year she wont live long.

So even if you get a layer and a brooder, it's not happening.

Now if you want to go get an incubator, You can attempt it yourself.
If you get 100% fertilization and hatch rate, you are doing better than I but you will also lose some of what hatches.

I still would not want to hatch them sequentially, 1 per day, lord it would never end, and all the separating you would have to keep doing, ugh.

Thin Ice 03-03-2017 08:40 PM

This guy used to raise chickens and ducks but now is strictly ducks with a few geese. He grows them for food and every year goes through the process of incubating and hatching as many eggs as he can. His success rate is fairly low but he still winds up with hundreds of ducklings for the next season.

50 Ducks in a Hot Tub

gogogophers 03-03-2017 09:13 PM

Quote:

Originally Posted by LSLGuy (Post 20041990)
Cool to hear from a real live chicken rancher, part-time / amatuer though you may be. The only animals I can raise successfully are cockroaches.

But, ..., we/you haven't exactly answered the OP's underlying question.

Given a healthy female chicken in her prime reproductive years and an adequate supply of roostering, how many eggs can she reasonably create in a year and how many will hatch into viable chicks? 50? 100? 200? 400?

Enquiring clueless suburbanite minds want to know. :)

Post #2 by beowulff answers your question, with the exception of brood time.

Chronos 03-03-2017 09:28 PM

What if you continued stealing the eggs, but then put them under another bird, or in an incubator?

beowulff 03-03-2017 09:48 PM

Quote:

Originally Posted by Chronos (Post 20042114)
What if you continued stealing the eggs, but then put them under another bird, or in an incubator?

You can get (almost) one egg per day. Some breeds are optimized for laying eggs - Rhode Island Reds, for example. But a hen can't keep up that rate for very long. If you are interested in Chickens as pets, it's nice to give them a break.

As for fertility, I had very good luck. I made an incubator for a friend's Montessori class, and had an 80%+ hatch rate.

harmonicamoon 03-03-2017 09:58 PM

We had RIR's. Great egg production. But they weren't programmed for sitting on eggs.

We had a Blue hen. She liked to sit on eggs. We we needed to re-stock, we would put all the eggs under her. And they hatched.

Probably had 12 hens and one happy rooster.

Weisshund 03-03-2017 10:14 PM

Quote:

Originally Posted by Chronos (Post 20042114)
What if you continued stealing the eggs, but then put them under another bird, or in an incubator?

They dont lay 1 egg a day year round, in winter when the day is shorter egg laying tapers off.

Dont do like the commercial farms do and light them 24/7 they just burn out and die (the hens not the lights)

Also the eggs, if at reasonable temp, are only viable for like 5 days after laying if you are going to attempt to hatch them.

Also if left alone, the hens will do that for you, they tend to clutch the eggs together and let the broody ones sit on them, at least mine do.

Chicken hens dont care much if they sit on chicken or duck or what ever eggs.
I've had a bantam seabright try to sit on a pile of eggs bigger than her and try to hatch them, she hatched 2, but was not eating so broke her of broodyness and put the rest in an incubator.

My ducks, they dont sit on anything, they drop eggs any old place too, including in the pond.

I'm not hatching anything any time soon, i have 50 chickens and 25 ducks and they are enough to contend with

DagNation 03-03-2017 11:33 PM

Most breeds will give you in the range of 180 to 240 eggs a year if they are in natural lighting. In Spring and Summer they lay almost 1 a day, in Fall and Winter they slow down and many of them take a month or more break. With around 10 hens, we got a couple of eggs each day in the winter, and 8 to 10 eggs a day in the summer. As they get older the number of eggs tends to go down a bit, and the size tends to go up.

Chronos 03-04-2017 08:21 AM

You don't need 24/7 lighting to keep them laying through the winter. Just a few extra hours in the morning and/or evening is enough. Nor will this make an appreciable difference in the longevity of the hens: They're only good for a few years no matter what you do, and even given summer lighting, most hens will still miss a day here and there.

That said, while you can't truly get an egg a day, you can get reasonably close. In fact, the world record is slightly more than 1 a day, 371 eggs laid in 364 days.

Leo Bloom 03-04-2017 10:53 AM

Quote:

Originally Posted by beowulff (Post 20041862)
No.

Chickens lay eggs in “clutches” - 10-20 or so. Once they have clutch, they stop laying while they sit on the eggs, and then brood the chicks...

This is why statistics is a bitch.

Billdo 03-08-2017 05:21 AM

So it sounds like you are all saying that, as a rough estimate, a chicken and a half will lay an egg and a half in a day and a half.


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