Chicken Egg Production Cycle

Egg production flow in poultry farm.

For as young as one day old to as long as rough 18 weeks, hens are prepped to start the cycle of egg production. But commonly, from as early as the first 18 weeks of a hen’s life cycle, the laying period can begin. That translates to having a more productive egg start. This period is critical to ensure proper laying and health among hens. To provide the best conditions, fixtures such as lighting and broods, and necessities that contributed to the laying rate, such as food, are provided in a controlled dose. 

Once the hens have reached their maximal age for laying, they are brought to the laying houses. During this period, hens are observed for attributes that determine their viability for egg production. In most cases, what is referred to as broody hens produce a more significant number of hatches as these types of layers maximize brooding time to enable chicks to hatch? They spend at least until three weeks until the broods finally hatch. 

Once hens begin the laying excitement, there comes a string of questions in terms such as the length of productivity and frequency of laying. 

3 Phases of the Egg Production Cycle

The laying process among hens can be categorized into three distinct phases: their respective weeks. 

Phase 1: Growth stage

Hens from as early as the first week of laying (which usually starts from the 19th week) up to the 42nd week are still in their further development in terms of body measure and growth. They are still in their body-building stage, where the optimal body ratio is not satisfied yet. Similarly, this phase is where the eggs laid are of varying sizes depending on the week number (from 36 to 58 grams in 19 to 42 weeks, respectively). 

It is the period from 19 weeks (age of first laying) of age to 42 weeks of age, and during this period, the layer is expected to:

Phase 2: Lay Down

Once the hens reach the 43rd-week up to the 62nd-week cycle, the rate of egg production can go down up to 65%.

Phase 3: Reduction

The rate of egg production can go down even further from the 63rd weeks to the 72nd. A significant reduction of lower than 65% can be observed. 


How Is Egg Cycle Production Counted?

Egg production also relies on a host of factors. Given that hens are well-taken care of, with proper growth supply and stress- free surroundings, the egg-laying stage can start as early as the first week and can continue on a daily basis until the hens reach maturity. It is unsurprising for egg production to ne higher than 250 on the first year alone but soon decreases frequency the year after for the sole reason of maturity ages reached. 

Laying Hens: How Many Eggs To Expect?

It takes over a day for one egg to undergo processes prior to production on a natural cycle. Also, there are times in the year when hens are in their unproductive period (molting stage), where the number of eggs produced is on stale. This happens even if the hens are in proper conditions and prime health which means, the average annual eggs produced can be as high as 250. 

There are different varieties of hens capable of producing the best lays. Some of the well-known breeds include the White Leghorn, Ameraucanas/Easter Eggers, Plymouth Barred Rocks, Blue Andalusians, and Rhode Island Reds. The colors of the eggs produced serves as a distinction on the respective breeds ranging from the most popularly produced white eggs up to the lesser known but of same quality blue ones. Other varieties, such as the Buff Orpingtons, can produced almost the same quality of eggs. 

To be considered a top-quality producer, hens must be able to produce on a daily basis at least one good egg. Specifically, during unfavorable climatic conditions and normal stale periods among these hens, this rate is hard to maintain. But still, about 90 percent of layers are considered excellent egg producers. 

How Long Do Chickens Lay Eggs? 

Generally, the first 30 weeks of the life of hens are considered their optimal years. This is the period when their production rates are at their best, albeit the size of eggs produced is at an irregular stage. The egg size and the age of the birds directly affects each other, which means that as the chickens ages, the egg sizes transform into a more flawless perfection.This also suggests that the years in life of the hens are directly affecting the egg production. From its 100% rate, the second year can list an 80% success, 70% in the third year, and so on. 

To better understand how this concept of egg-laying scheme works, it is crucial to consider the life span of these birds. On average, hens retire from egg-laying approximately six to seven years onwards. But this does not mean the same length of life expectancy among these birds! They can live a few more years after the last eggs they laid, which means they can be as mature as 10 years old. Such was the case of Matilda, an English game breed who, unbelievably, lived up to a ripe, old age of 16!


Factors Affecting Egg Production in Poultries

There are a variety of factors that determines the viability of hens as egg producers. These factors can range from internal aspects such as breed type, and production lineage history. External factors such as environment, nutrition and care, and uncontrolled diseases can also alter the rate at which eggs are produced. 

Natural Aging Process

It is known that hens can tend to have longer life expectancies given their breeds and conditions. Even so, the rate they can lay eggs can greatly fluctuate during the whole extent of the productivity period. From its initial high- performance production, the age of the hens can serve a halt to the process, thus making the effect felt among farmers. Even the best of quality among the breed types can are not exempt from this natural occurrence. After a satisfactory rate of 50- 60 weeks continuous egg-laying, molting (the break in between the years of laying eggs), every or all hens undergo the same phase. The older the hens are, the more frequent the number of molt years they can have. 

Unbalanced Diet & Nutrition

As it is with humans, lack of nutrition can significantly affect the rate of egg production. A well- balanced nutrition and care given to hens can help increase and promote egg production. A diet rich in calcium and protein makes egg-laying rates higher. Likewise, suppose these nutrients are not incorporated enough to the feeds. In that case, there will be an imbalance in nutrition absorption, causing irregularities such as energy impairment, or even worse, drop to the hens’ total capacity. When the amount of protein and calcium absorbed by the hens are at imbalance levels, the birds can become overweight or have more than necessary fats in the body. This is what is known as oviductal prolapse, which can permanently disable the hens’ capacity to produce eggs. 

Lack of Necessary Food Supplements

similarly, if some valuable nutrients and substances are not properly administered to the hens, the process can also be affected. 

Salt

Salt is one of the most necessary components of a healthy diets among animals. This is an important nutrient that hens must absorb to fully synthesize body fluids. Sodium chloride contributes to the maintenance of bodily fluids’ levels and promotes retention rate and balance in the ph- level of the blood. A healthy hen must intake enough sodium chloride to increase egg production. When utilized together with chlorine, sodium can facilitate the digestive process and promote better osmosis. 

Calcium

What makes the shells of the eggs hard is the calcium carbonate that can be found on it. As such, there must be gradual yet steady incorporation of this nutrient in a hen’s diet. The level of calcium significantly needed varies as the birds age; however, it is a rule of thumb that as these birds age, the rate of their calcium needs grows higher thus, proper support must be included in the diet. Especially when the hens have entered the laying phase, this crucial substance is an essential addition without which cause the deficit. Some materials, such as limestones, are rich in calcium. Also, some can be found in regular food diets of animal feeds.

Vitamin D

Coupled with the strengthening power of calcium, Vitamin D is commonly associated with faster absorption of nutrients found in other food. The use of Vitamin D as components of animal feeds must be understood entirely as improper usage can contribute to a drop in egg production.

Protein

Protein is also a necessary supplement for the growth and production rates of hens. Unsurprisingly, there are over 20 amino acids in the body, but only a portion can be produced naturally by the hens. If they are able to produce so, the output cannot be fully enough to be utilized by the whole functions of the body. Hence, it is important to incorporate these essential amino acids to a healthy diet in accordance with the animal’s bodily conditions and needs.  

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