This may sound like a silly questions to some people but once you know the answer or once you have been homesteading for a while you will find you didn't really know the answer before.....How many chickens does it take to get one egg?

 

Okay, well, we will make this easier by saying we are only going to count the hens and not the roosters because we don't need a rooster just to get eggs. 

So let's say that I have 10 hens.  Do you get 10 eggs a day?  Well maybe if you get lucky on one day. But it would be doubtful most of the time because it takes a chicken over 24 hours to make an egg.  So now you have one fact that says you probably won't be getting an egg for every chicken everyday.  

Now let's add in the days that it is really hot and the chickens don't lay.  Yes they lay more with the longer days but too much heat stresses them and then - no eggs again.

Okay change that now, it's not hot it's cold which means the days are probably shorter because we are in the winter. Well, the chickens don't lay as much when the days are shorter because they need light to make eggs (that's why the commercial eggs companies use 24 hour artificial lighting and temperature control).  So that is another reason you don't get eggs. 

Now let's say the weather is nice, not too hot and not too cold, but now some chickens are molting (when they loose their feathers and get new ones).  Or even worse it could be like mind did for some reason they all decided to molt at the same time and it was just before we had a major cold snap.  So again not an egg in site.

Now one more thing to take into consideration - when a hen goes broody (when she wants to sit on eggs and hatch them even if they aren't hers).  That is one more reason a hen doesn't lay. 

So you have heat, cold, molting, broody and light all that affect your hen's laying.  So how many chickens does it take to get an egg?  Well after weeks without an egg in site we finally got 1 egg.  Yep, that's right.  One egg from 10 hens.  When the temps came up to the mid 60's one of our hens decided to grant us an egg.  In fact, we got two eggs in the last week.

I am not trying to discourage anyone for keeping chickens for egg production.  In fact, just the opposite.  I want people to keep chickens in their backyard for eggs and treat them humanely.  I also want to make sure that people understand that it is not egg haven when you get a few laying hens.  Yes, there are times when you will have an abundance of eggs and you will need to figure out how to use them in the boom times but there are stretches when it is much more reasonable. 

As an average, with my 10 hens I would really expect to recieve more like 5 eggs a day with the right conditions for my hard working ladies.  Watch the video