2014 Egg Tally

I keep a mixed flock of breeds of mixed ages, so it’s obvious that egg production isn’t my number one priority. If it was, I’d have all leghorns, and then only until they reach their second molt. Then I’d start fresh with another batch of chicks. But, like many backyard chicken keepers, I have a varied lot. Partly this is due to the fact that I become attached to the birds, and let them live into old age. (Curious about how long hens live? Read this FAQ.) Partly, it’s because I value eggs of different shell colors – it doesn’t make a whit of difference in taste, but they’re so pretty! Same goes for fancy feathers. Simply put, they’re fun to look at. Partly, I keep mixed flocks because I like the unique personalities of the different breeds.

Still, I like eggs. A lot. So, I try to select for breeds that don’t go broody. That’s why there’s only one cochin in the lot. (Pearl rarely lays, but she is quite the sight.)



Yesterday I tallied up the year end egg count. (A printable version of this vintage egg chart is here.)

egg chart


The Gems are the hens in the Big Barn (seen on the BarnCam.) They hatched in the spring of 2011, so they are now finishing up their third year. From now on, egg production will go down, and I also expect to see losses as they succumb to illnesses so prevalent in older birds. Also in the Big Barn is Misty, a younger hen that had bullying issues with her own chickmates. but who was put in her place by the older hens. She fits in very well now. I started the year with 11 in that barn, but lost Etheldred to disease. I collected 1209 eggs, which comes out to about 120 eggs per bird. That’s not a lot. There was a bout of thin-shelled eggs due to a virus. There was a stretch of broodiness. There was the normal molt. Several of the hens are breeds not known for high production, like Agatha, the Speckled Sussex.


The previous year saw 251 more eggs from that lot. This is why real farmers have to keep only young chickens.

The Ladies, the hens seen on the main HenCam, are younger. This fall was their first molt. None of these chickens went broody. Some are breeds touted for high production, like the Black Stars, and Twiggy, the Leghorn.



However, Beatrix and Owly are kept for their pretty bluish eggs, and Veronica for her speckled ones. They lay, but not everyday.

colored egg layers


The Ladies laid 1215 eggs in 2014. That’s an average of 202 eggs per hen, quite a marked improvement over the neighboring Gems. Good going, Ladies!

How was the egg count for your flock?


  1. At the start of 2014, we had only one of our original BA hens (she is still with us now, but she is a senior gal now). She seldom lays an egg, but we do still get one now and then. Our GLW ladies are beginning their third season this year. Last year we got 1768 eggs (that I counted, we were away for a week and I wasn’t here to count). Counting all the girls we had a dozen hens this year, so discounting the fact that I only got a count for 358 days and that our sweet black girl only lays possibly one or two every month or so, we averaged 147 eggs per hen. I think when it is time to start again, we will go back to our BA’s. The GLW’s have proved to be rather fractious with each other. Pretty to look at, but just not the same gentle quiet temperaments of our Australorps.

    • I’ve yet to hear of American Wyandottes that are placid. They tend to bullying, especially when mixed in with other breeds. I’ve seen that myself. I do not recommend them. OTOH, in England I’ve met quite calm and pleasant Wyandottes.

    • I have an SLW who is gentle always and so was her sister when she was alive, this year I got columbian wynadottes and a white wynadotte they are relatively mild but not as quite as the SLW. But the new giels are kept in Line by the old SLW and my black jersey giant… if you want a docile good layet I recommend the BJG

      • My slw is very docile and friendly. However my 2 glw are not, they are more feisty. However they are my best layers next to my NHR. (Who only molted For 3 weeks and has gone right back to laying. ) One is a bit of a bully. But my NHR keeps her in line.

  2. 945 eggs from my small mixed flock of four hens. I kept a spreadsheet so I could track each hen and it’s been fun watching them add up. We have one each: Australorp, Speckled Sussex, Cuckoo Maran and Easter Egger. That’s a 236 egg average and we’re very pleased.

  3. Keeping count of our egg production was fun last year, and last night I did some adding. From January to August I still had my original flock of layers, they were in their 3rd laying season, two Buffs, but only one laid eggs, the other sat and brooded, most of the summer, she did hatch a clutch of eggs with great success, We also have two Plymouth Barred Rocks, one lays well the other not, We had two Buckeyes but both died unexpectedly, went to sleep in the nest box, when they lived they laid well too. I added 3 Delawares and 1 Leghorn in April and they started laying in August through September respectively..So my final count for the big girls was 867, and in the Little’s Barn, my Bearded Belgians, totaled 471 eggs with 4 two year old hens and 3 new ones….We did ok but am looking to improve my count for next season, Maybe with 3 more Leghorns, we will see, thanks Terry for sharing the chart!

  4. I can’t average mine because of the vast difference in their laying. I have eight bantams but most of my flock was new this year.

    Honey laid 97 and Amber 35, they are vorwerks in their third year.

    Since they came on 5th April Sparkle a silver laced wyndotte (my best layer) laid 109 compared to Topaz a gold laced wyndotte who only laid 6. She was broody then moulted early.

    11th June I added two game birds and Toffee laid 6 then moulted and Emerald laid 1 then moulted. They had been broody before I got them.

    Peaches and Barley are brown leghorns and started laying at six months in November. Peaches laid 15 and Barley 18.

    So 286 eggs between eight girls is certainly no record. It’s a good job I just love them. I am hoping for a better year next year as it will be a full year for them all and I hope they hit their stride. I can’t take an average of 35 eggs per hen when girl has laid over a 100 and one girl has laid only 1.

    I love the mix of personality and colours in my flock and I just take any eggs as a bonus. I knew game birds were prone to going broody but they are so pretty.

  5. Sometimes those poor layers turn out to be a blessing. My Americana was never a very good layer, but now at 9 years of age she is still laying. She is usually the first to start laying when the days lengthen. I think over her lifetime she will be my best layer. My 7 year old Australorp was a good layer, but she has not played in years. Luckily I have younger hens to add eggs to my basket, but the old girls are the queens of the coop. They add character and keep the younger set in line.

    • Over the years (I’ve been blogging for 9 1/2!) I’ve written many stories about those Grand Dames of the chicken yard. I also enjoy having them.

  6. I just started with a mixed flock oh White Leghorns and Old English Game banties so they’ve only been laying since early December. I had a lot of trouble with egg eating from the hens but they were laying consistently until about 2 weeks ago. Now they’ve stopped laying all together! I’m not sure what’s going on. Any ideas??
    By they way, Terry, I absoulutly LOVE your pictures! They look really professional. And that last one of the brown hen (I’m so sorry I keep forgetting their names) looking at the camera- AWESOME!
    Nice work!

    • There’s always a decrease in laying in the winter, even with pullets, due to reduced daylight. Big windows in the coop help. Of course, every year after they turn 16 months, there will be the molt, when they stop to lose and then regrow feathers.

  7. 1939 eggs out of a flock of 12, about 9 or 10 layers in the bunch. At the end of molting we had a case of dry fowl pox which knocked everyone down a notch or two but they’re all well and happy again and looking forward to spring. Me too!

    • Have been hearing of many cases of fowl pox. There’s a local poultry dealer near me that sells what looks like healthy birds, but they’re fowl pox carriers, and the flocks they move into become afflicted. Miserable for all involved.

  8. My tally is 1268. I have 8 laying hens all different ages and breeds, my oldest coming up on 4 years old. A couple of my hens had a bout of soft shelled eggs as well. Also had to administer antibiotics so a loss of 70 eggs there. I have been getting new chicks every spring for the past 6 years I get between 2-5 babies. This past spring I got 2 and they both turned out to be roosters-so this winter has been really really light for eggs. I’m ok with that-gives my girls a well deserved break! Although, I do have one hen that has continued to lay everyday just like your Twiggy and she’s the same age as Twiggy too but shes a red star.

  9. Since I don’t have a flock (sigh!), I have no numbers to report. But I love that picture of Agatha. She looks like a very wise bird, indeed.

  10. My total for the year was 1428. My origonal flock consists of 10 hens of various breeds( Orpintons, alstralorps,a wyandotte, and a light brahma. They are all 2011 chicks. I added three Rhode Island Red crosses in June. There’s an Agway nearby that takes orders for pullets which is super convienient as far as integrating and also they start laying right away. I love this egg chart and I’m just starting my third one.

  11. What in the world do you all do with all those eggs! We eat a lot of eggs considering it’s just the two of us, but it averages out to about a dozen a week.

    And off the subject, but there’s good news from California with the new law requiring a minimum amount of space per hens grown in California and for hens whose eggs are sold in California. It’s been in the works for several years and it turns out that the farmers who adjusted early have found that more room per hen actually decreased costs. Hooray!

  12. Except for egg color differences, are there any other ways to keep track of who produces more and who is less?

  13. Happy new year to you and the hens, Terry! I’ve so much enjoyed your site over the years, thank you for it. I’ve moved back to the States and hope to soon be following your advice caring for my own hens..

  14. I didn’t keep track in 2014 but I’ve started using the Egg Record Terry provided for 2015. I have a small flock of 5 hens, 1 Barred Rock 18 months, and 4 hens that are 10 months 1 Rhode Island Red, 1 Red Sex Link, and 2 Easter Eggers. I average 4 to 5 eggs a day with a couple 3 egg days in there. I love the various shell colors and chicken breeds. Freshly gathered eggs are the best! :)

  15. I am afraid I lost track somewhere in October when they started molting. my four girls are just a little younger than the Gems because I was learning what to expect by watching them grow up. Although we had a few days with four eggs, most days this year I had two. hardly any since the molt however, and I stopped recording. I will try to do better this year. I was considering adding a couple of young ones next year.my neighbor has several that are seven or eight years old and hers are still laying better than mine! The only difference that I can see in their care is that hers have a larger free range area. She has fenced her whole one acre yard for them, where as mine have a large green grassy area, but not a whole yard.it makes me want to expand my fence.. I cannot turn them loose completely because of dogs.

  16. I have 2 Chanteclers and 2 Ameracaunas who are just 9 months old. Only one of them (a Chantecler) is laying at all though all seem healthy and happy. one of the Ameracaunas began laying in October but then stopped in mid November. That Ameracauna is actually molting at 9 months of age! This seems a bit odd to me…the other three don’t seem to be molting but no eggs! Not my best egg year given that the ed sexlinks laid every day from 18 weeks until they were over a year old! I know that these breed don’t lay nearly as much but they are beginning to be labeled as ‘slackers’. :)

  17. My birds have not layed since they molted. I have tried everything. I finally figured out what the problem was thanks to you, Terry. My new and improved chicken coop is so critter proof they are not getting enough sunlight. Back to the drawing board and t pull off the roofing and install wire mesh across the top! it never ends!

  18. 2014 wasn’t a very good year for my two Barred Rocks. Scarlett laid 4 good eggs in January followed by 10 or so soft-shelled ones while Amelia laid about 40 in the first couple months of the year. Then both of them stopped laying completely and were very ill over the summer and fall. Scarlett finally looks like her old self and laid a Christmas egg to end the year. Amelia is doing better but looks like a pullet because she lost so much weight and her comb had gotten so small. I am hoping that they keep on the mend and have many more healthy years of ruling the roost. Henny Penny, my Easter Egger, chugged along and laid 100 blue eggs before molting in Oct. Compare that to the 665 they laid in 2013! Never thought I would be buying so many eggs at the supermarket with chickens in the backyard.