Egg Record Chart

Farmers know the necessity of keeping accurate records. They need to itemize their inputs and outputs, analyze their methods, adjust to the myriad of fluctuations in their operations, and, hopefully, write a profit on the final line. Those of us with backyard birds sometimes keep track of expenses, but more often than not, we decide not to – if you look at the dollars and cents in black and white, a few hens pay their way. (I’ve done it. I’ve stopped.) But, it always makes me feel good to keep a chart of the eggs laid. How bountiful it seems! It’s also interesting to compare records from year to year. When did the production dip due to molting, age, weather or disease?

Some people, especially those with only a handful of chickens, can identify eggs from individual hens, but I simply keep track of eggs from the old girls (almost none) and from the young Gems (lots!) I keep a chart on a magnetic bulletin board in my kitchen. I use the Taylor’s All-In-One Poultry Food EGG RECORD. It’s a sheet of ephemera that I purchased off of eBay. It was a piece of promotional advertising given away in 1936, at a time when the feed companies were trying to convince farmers that commercial pellets paid for themselves in increased production. In my collection are more complicated record keeping systems, found in other vintage papers, but this one suits my simple needs. As a New Year’s gift to you, I’ve scanned it for you to print out and use. Click on the image below for a PDF.

I wish everyone baskets of beautiful eggs in 2012!

Taylor egg record

Comments:

  1. This is great! I’m getting my first chicks in March and I look forward to the day I can put this to use. :)

  2. Thanks Terry . . . . i was just thinking i would keep an egg count this year . . . should be interesting!

  3. Just tuned into the HenCam and Candy is inside the hen coop with Siouxsie and Tina on the roost above discussing what to do about her. Worthy of SNL.

  4. Candy was in there this morning while Agnes and Philomena were in her hutch! I love your blog, Terry!

  5. Thanks for the egg record, I probably don’t “really” want to know the cost, ha. Love all things vintage though. We got eight eggs today, from nine hens.

    • That’s amazing for January. Today I got 5 eggs from 12 layers, which is fine for the winter. But if you count the retired old girls in, it’s not so good – 5 from 21. Hmm, let’s not do that accounting….

  6. Jean and Marie – Candy has mellowed as she’s gotten older. She’d never have let the hens in her hutch in days past. She’s also teasing the hens less and looking more for their company.

  7. Thanks a bunch! I have never kept track of the egg production of my girls so this will be fun:)

  8. My egg count for 2011 was 949 eggs from 8 girls. Two new girls started laying in July at 4 1/2 months. The other 6 were 2 years old. The peak month was July with 158 eggs and the lowest months were Nov. with 4 and Dec with 2. That was approximately 79 dozen. I do have one more girl, Rose, a Black Copper Marans, that will be a year old in Feb. and has not laid an egg yet. I have big expectations for her this year.

    BTW, Terry, have you read The Chicken Chronicles by Alice Walker?
    It’s an enjoyable read for chicken lovers like us.

    • Interesting numbers. We saw 1,000 eggs good enough to put into cartons. Others broke from thin shells, or had to be thrown out due to medications.
      I haven’t yet read the Chicken Chronicles, but will put it on my list.

    • My 3 Marans have been doing pretty well this fall (they were hatched in March)–at least one or two nice dark brown eggs every day. They’re slacking off a little in these dark days. My star is Muffie, my one Ameracana, who has been laying a nice blue egg almost every day. My older ladies (4 or 5 years old) have slowed almost to zero. I know they’ll pick up a little when the days get longer.

      • I’m envious of the colors in your egg basket. I miss having blue eggs. My Welsummer is supposed to lay dark brown eggs, but I haven’t seen it yet.

  9. Thank you for this PDF. I have not used a chart in all the years of having hens. I really don’t know why I hadn’t thought about. Defenitly didn’t want to think about the cost. I look at it as just a pleasure like eating Chocolate. Can’t put a price on happiness.
    I’ll keep track of how many eggs now just out of couriousity.

  10. Hi,
    You’re far more efficinet than I am. I just gather the eggs every day.

    I am so sad to let you know my most precious and special hen, Tinkerbell, is passing as we ‘speak’. I don’t know what’s wrong with her – I keep praying she passes quickly but she’s holding on even though she won’t eat or drink. It’s something bacterial by what I’ve searched on the web and I’ve been giving her antibiotics but I think I’m just dragging out certain death. She’s my only black hen and hatched here about six years ago and was named by my little granddaughter. I am helpless and sad.

    • I am sorry to hear about Tinkerbell. Six is quite old for a hen and I know you’ve given her a good life. It is impossible to know what is really doing her in – it might not be a bacterial infection. You can’t know without lab tests (which I’m not recommending – just mentioning to remind people that our “diagnoses” are often guesswork.) So the antibiotics might help, but might not. As long as you are keeping her comfortable and safe, you are doing the right thing.

  11. So far I am liking this chicken blog!! Thanks to my friend Allison (met via our boys, and until she has chickens we love having her come by here for eggs).
    The egg chart is great, I might use it just for myself since my 12 yr old has “collect eggs” as a chore on his chart and has a place to keep track of the eggs he collects. This chart will be just for me. I think i will add a column for feed price also.
    we have anywhere from 25-60 chickens at any given time, and right now i think 20 of our 45 hens are over 5 yrs old. And 7 Roosters so i think i feed bill out-weights our egg revenue. But i am okay with that….since they are pets, and they all have names and are loved very much!
    ~Tiffany

      • Yes, they all get names around here…some names chance to fit the personalities but they all have names…I think the kids around here love that the most when we hatch chicks. We let the neighborhood kids suggest names.

  12. I’ve kept daily records for the three years we’ve kept hens. These past three months have shown the lowest egg production ever … but we had new POL birds last year, Welsummers, who’ve stopped laying for the winter (they started very late, at 40+ weeks, too!). So my only layers are an elderly ex-batt, a hybrid and one Light Sussex (the other LS hasn’t laid for ages). I’ve averaging 1-2 eggs a day, and I’ve not had less than 3 a day for three years … I actually had to go out and buy eggs for Christmas!

    • General rule of thumb is a 20% drop in the second year of production – but that’s over an average over an entire flock. Individuals vary. Even among the same breed you’ll see differences. I have two hybrids, they look almost identical and yet only one lays.

  13. Thank you for the chart. I shall print it and keep it for when I get my chicken’s. I love to record thing’s like this. Much like everyone else it’s not the cost it’s the satisfaction. I can’t wait for chicken’s and egg’s.

  14. I started in March of this year keeping records of the eggs. I’ve always kept records of the expenses. This fall I compiled it into a spreadsheet. The amounts for this year are sort of estimate, as I didn’t have firm records for the first 2 months. For 18 hens, I got a total of 2800 eggs, of which 2406 were salable.

    It also has a place for notes and this helps me follow molts, illnesses, events, weather, and also the month’s sales. It helps with tracking broken eggs, and possibly one day figuring out why they stop eating the oystershell.

    This is the first year using all organic grain and I was delighted to see, for the first time, the hens made a profit: $19.34 for the year. This in addition to eggs for us and 2 eggs a day for an elderly sick cat who died in July.

    I created my own chart, which lists sizes from pullet (doesn’t register on egg scale), small, medium, large, X-lg, broken, and dirty (for cats). This way I can see how the young hens are progressing, as eggs start tiny and move to X-lg. One of the older hens lays an egg so big it bottoms out the scale, way past X-lg.

    Six of the hens are older and not laying well. Twelve from this year. Rate of Lay (ROL) is 44%, not good for a flock. Next year I hope to improve it by reducing the number of older birds. There will always be 2, Sarah and Ernie, as they are pets. By next year we’ll be lucky to get 2 – 3 eggs/week from both.

    But they each have their jobs. Ernie is farm supervisor, currently supervising the installation of solar PV panels on the barn. Sarah’s job is to supervise getting the others into the coop each night, with running commentary, as we carry her. (She’s forever caging rides.)

    It’s a nice reinforcement to know the profit came when I went over organic feed, which cost nearly double over commercial feed. I went from $3/doz. for regular eggs to $4.50/doz for organic and am sold out all the time.

    It’s nice to know someone else also tracks these things, and the results.

    • I’m impressed that you are able to recover the cost of your organic feed. All feed has gone up in price! I recover some of the cost of feed by making tote bags out of the used feed bags, and then selling them at the tiny farmer’s market in town.

      • Terry, please show us a picture of the tote bags you make. I am also a sewer and love to repurpose things. I have a large collection of vintage feed bags. Many have just been hemmed and become pillow cases
        and cushion covers. The vintage feed bags are very colorful and sport
        quaint and nostalgic prints. I remember when I was a young girl and we visited my Great Aunt’s farm, my relatives would place orders for certain color sets to be used for pillow cases.

        • How do you wash the bags to keep the lettering sharp? I have a few dirty ones but am worried I’ll lose the graphics.

          • Unfortunately you may lose some of the clarity of the design. I generally do more soaking than agitating. I use Oxi Clean granuals.
            Sometimes I soak then for several days, not always successfully. But there are usually parts that are still useable. Some people like to use them for quilts (the soft cotton ones). The homespun type are better for cushions or accent pillows or just to display.

            You might like to try scrubbing the area around the lettering with an old toothbrush and a paste made with oxi clean and water to get the worst out. Then gently rinse with clear water. Good Luck.

  15. Thanks Terry. I’ve been very busy with a new full-time job, but want to get this year off to a good start and more organized record keeping is on the list. This should be very helpful! I much appreciate all the great info I’ve gleaned here.

  16. I’ve published my hen laying stats at http://sites.google.com/site/egglayingstats/. I’ve kept Bearded Belgium ans Silver Dutch bantams and have recorded how many eggs I’ve got. Almost 200 in one year from one hen. Another hen stopped laying altogether, but is laying a few per year now. The oldest surviving hen is entering her 11th year and laid just 4 eggs last year!

      • Thanks Terry!

        Living in a suburban area, we felt a cockerel would be too noisy (even the hens crow sometimes!). When we first were given the chickens one turned out to be a cockerel and had to go unfortunately. Would have loved to have hatched out some chicks. That hen was one of the only ones to go broody as well!

  17. Hello Terry and thanks for sharing the PDF, I love old-time ephemera! Is it too shameless to mention Eggzy.net here? We’re a website with tools that help flock owners do just what your talking about in this article, tracking inputs and outputs, see: http://www.eggzy.net/flockowners. Thanks!

    • Shameless, but I’ll let it through :) I don’t let people post just for self-promotion, but gosh, you mentioned me in your blog and said what I wrote was “poetic” – thanks!

  18. Thanks so much for the egg chart! I am pretty excited about tracking what my 7 girls produce. Saying “hey, we got 5 eggs today” is one thing….but being able to say “hey, we got 1500 eggs in 2012″ is another thing altogether. Sadly, it would never have dawned on me to keep a log like this. Cheers to all you other henkeepers out there–both urban (like us) and rural. Happy New Year!

  19. Thank you for the egg chart pdf – I am ridiculously pleased with it. It is stuck to the side of the fridge. I am recording eggs collected with the numbers broken, if any, in brackets after. Some days I get broken eggs, some days not: it is definitely due to thin shells but I don’t understand why the fluctuation. Occasionally, I find one splatted underneath a perch, not in the actual nest box, as if a girl “dropped” one whilst roosting. Surely not??

    • There is something about that specific chart. In person it’s even more of a charmer. Re: soft eggs. I’ve written quite a bit about thin shells. You might want to check the archives. I, too, have a hen that will drop a soft egg from the roost. It’s due to a combination of age, health and diet.

  20. Love the old timey egg chart. I have just printed out 3 copies: one for this new year, and 2 to back-record my first two years of eggs. I’ve been using a free calendar from the feed store, with photos of other people’s beautiful birds, but this is much more succinct. Last year (my second and the second for 5 of my girls) showed a big drop in production in early summer. Weird, and I’m still not sure what happened. We’ve had some changes in personnel (chickennel? hennage?) and perhaps there has just been too much disruption. The Nuggets (two new pullets) have been laying well so far this winter and my much-harrassed Ameraucana has started popping out several green eggs each week, but the other girls had better get their little fluffy butts going or else. Or else being an empty threat, since I a) have no idea how to do in a chicken and b) I wuv my girls despite their lack of production.