There’s nothing like waking up to collect fresh eggs from your backyard chickens every day. Sometimes, you may collect the eggs in the morning, but other times, in the afternoon. If you have backyard chickens, you may wonder why the time difference each day and what time your chickens lay eggs.
So, what time of day do chickens lay eggs? The time of the day they will lay eggs will vary. Some hens will lay in the morning, while others will lay in the afternoon. The time when they will lay is affected by a few factors, such as light exposure, health, and time of the year.
When Will Chickens Start Laying Eggs?
If you’re raising chickens for eggs, you’ll probably excite about when they will lay the first egg.
Generally, a chicken will start to lay eggs when they are about 6 months old or 24 weeks.
However, some breeds may take longer to lay, while others may lay much earlier. Golden Comets and Leghorns are one of the breeds that will lay eggs as early as 16 weeks.
When a hen is about to start laying eggs, there will be signs to look out for.
- The hen will squat in the nesting box frequently.
- Hens may start becoming very territorial, especially over her nesting box.
- The comb on the hen will become bigger and redder in color.
- Hens tend to become louder and make sound often
Above are the common signs to look for when the hen is about to lay her first egg. When you notice this, it’s best to leave her alone.
Do Chickens Lay Eggs During the Day or At Night?
Chickens will lay eggs during the daytime. However, they do lay eggs at night, but it’s rare.
The reason why chickens only produce an egg during the day is due to light exposure. This can be both from the sun or artificial lighting.
When there is light as in the morning, it will activate their pineal gland. This will cause the ovary to release a yolk. The yolk will then travel into the uterus will it will be fill up with egg white.
During this time, the eggshell will start to form around the wall of their uterus. This will surround the yolk and white, which will form an egg.
When the egg is full-formed, the egg will get pushed out of its vent, also called the cloaca.
The entire process will be around 25 hours on average. After an hour or so after the hen lays the egg, it will start the whole process again.
The chicken knows when it’s late in the afternoon due to the sunlight. When they sense the sunlight begins to get dimmer, they will stop egg production. Instead, it will wait until morning to start egg production again.
How Many Eggs Do Chickens Lay a Day?
From the time the egg starts to form to dropping out is around 25 hours. This means a chicken will lay one egg a day.
However, some owners have seen their hen lay more than one egg a day. While it’s possible, this is a rare occurrence.
What’s happening here is that one of the eggs is being held up in the exit chute. As the other eggs are almost completely formed, it will start to go down the exit chute. The first egg that’s held up will drop out and followed by the second egg later.
What Time Will You Get Eggs Each Day?
The exact time when they will lay eggs will vary from day to day. Typically, you can expect an egg laid every day in the morning or later in the day.
If a hen lays an egg at 8 am on Sunday, you can expect another egg between 9 am-10 am on Monday. Then around 11 am-12 pm on Tuesday.
Therefore, if you’re keeping track, simply add an hour or two on the next day. This will continue until it reaches the afternoon, where it will stop and the egg-laying will be in the morning again.
The time is controlled by the sunlight and how much the hens have exposed it. They need about 12 hours each day to have a healthy laying schedule.
Can Artificial Light Help Chickens Lay Egg?
If you have artificial lighting in their coop, it will help the hens lay eggs. However, it will also affect their health. Hens will usually slow down egg production when it starts to get cold. In the winter, they will stop egg production altogether.
By having artificial lights during the wintertime, the hens will still lay eggs, but it will put a lot of stress on them. Their body is using the energy to try to keep themselves warm while trying to produce eggs at the same time.
Hens that lay eggs throughout the year will have a very short lifespan due to the amount of stress put on them.
Each hen is different when it comes to the time that they will lay eggs. Typically, you should see an egg laid during the day. It’s rare for hens to lay eggs at night. The time of year will also affect their egg production. In the winter, you should not expect to see any eggs. Until it starts to get warm and there are at 12 hours of daylight, the hens will resume egg production.