What Time of Day Do Chickens Lay Eggs

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Collecting eggs from backyard chicken coops daily is easy when you know when your hens lay their eggs, but figuring this out can be tricky. Learn what time of day do chickens lay eggs. 

Raising hens brings joy and satisfaction, and many people raise them for egg production, meat, and as a hobby. As a reward for your care, hens offer you a steady supply of fresh eggs. You will get a better idea of when your hens lay eggs after you’ve been raising chickens for a while.

Chickens naturally lay eggs in the morning or during the day. Egg-laying time varies from breed to breed and according to nutrition and environment. Furthermore, the oviposition timing of the chickens is influenced by the amount of light exposure they get. Read on and find more about the time of the day when chickens lay eggs.

What Time of Day Do Chickens Lay Eggs

You might wonder when you should gather fresh eggs from the nesting box every day to eat or to keep your eggs safe from snakes, raccoons, squirrels and other chicken-egg-eating predators. You also want to be sure they don’t get wasted by being broken. If you keep the best egg laying chickens, you will be collecting a lot of eggs regularly. To determine when to gather eggs, you must know when your chickens lay them.

Egg-Laying Process

The process of egg-laying begins with ovulation. First, a chicken ovulates by discharging an ovum or, in simple words, egg yolk from her ovary. The ovum slowly moves down to the chicken’s long oviduct, where the shell membrane, eggshell, and egg white form around the yolk.

A chicken lays the egg by pushing it out of her cloaca, a single opening for her urinary, reproductive, and intestinal tracts. From ovulation to oviposition, the process takes about 26 hours to finish.

Healthy hens should begin producing eggs when they are 18 – 22 weeks old, regardless of fertilization. Hens do not need a rooster to produce and lay eggs. However, if you want to incubate and breed chicks, you will need a rooster so the chickens will lay fertile eggs.

when do chickens lay eggs
When do chickens lay eggs

Ovulation Timing

Chickens generally ovulate in the morning, but there are cases where they ovulate as late as three in the afternoon. They usually ovulate again an hour after they lay each egg. That said, a chicken might delay ovulating until the following day and need about 26 hours to lay her next egg if she lays an egg in the afternoon. That’s why a chicken may sometimes skip a day and lay an egg the next day.

Timing of Laying

A laying hen can produce one egg approximately every 28 hours. Also, remember that chickens do not lay eggs or ovulate in the dark, and the timing and ovulation of the photoperiod influence the production of eggs.

Thus, light and dark have a great effect on egg production. These factors impact the timing of egg-laying and vary for each egg laid. Nevertheless, chickens usually lay their eggs in the morning or early afternoon.

Do Hens Lay in the Winter ~ Light Exposure

Since a chicken’s reproductive cycle is influenced by photoperiod or light exposure, a hen needs at least 15 hours of light to lay eggs regularly. If you can give your chickens 16 hours of light exposure each day, your chickens will produce the maximum number of eggs. They normally lay eggs within six hours of sunrise.

When raising chickens indoors, they will lay eggs within six hours of artificial light exposure. You only need 25-watts of incandescent light for each 100 square feet to boost chickens to lay eggs. You can use wattage equivalent to LED or fluorescent light for your backyard flock.

Your laying chickens can stop laying eggs in the late fall for two or more months without much exposure to the artificial lighting in your backyard chicken coop, but they will start laying again as the days lengthen in the spring.

what time of day do chickens lay eggs
What time of day do chickens lay eggs

Depends on the Breed ~ Genetic Factors

The chicken breed impacts the time hens lay eggs. Normally, brown egg hen breeds tend to lay earlier in the daylight hours. Conversely, white tinted and white egg breeds lay eggs later in the day. Similarly, the broiler chicken always lays eggs less often than the laying chicken breeds. They even lay their eggs sometimes before dawn. Learn about different chicken breeds.

What Time Do Chickens Lay Eggs

So, these are the factors to consider about eggs laid by a chicken. Gather eggs from the chicken nesting boxes as per the size of your number of birds and backyard flock. 

What time of day do chickens lay eggs? It depends on your flock! Start collecting the eggs by following the above-mentioned process. This is the easiest and simplest way to understand what time of the day chickens lay eggs so you can take care of your hens properly and help them lay fresh eggs for you to enjoy.

Learn more about chicken eggs:

Chickens Laying Eggs With No Shell: Why?

How Long Do Fresh Eggs Last: Food Safety 101

Incubating Chicken Eggs: The Process and Requirements

Duck Eggs vs Chicken Eggs: Which Is Better?

What I Wish I Knew Before Getting Chickens ~ 18 Things