Tracking egg production in hens

I keep track of all the eggs my chickens lay. I started several years back when I was hatching almost every egg they laid and I've done it ever since because I find it fascinating. It's interesting to me how daylight and age affects their laying and sometimes the weather does too. I started keeping tracking on a big whiteboard in my brooder room, but now I use a printable record sheet.

Chart for tracking how many eggs chickens lay each month.

I wish I could say I use some fancy high tech spreadsheet, but I couldn't make a spreadsheet if you paid me! lol No, I prefer to write my egg total in by hand every day. I also find it quicker than turning on a computer just to write in an egg number.

Though I still log my information the old fashioned way, I find there is a lot you can learn from keeping track of how many eggs your hens lay each day....and I like the way I can shuffle between the papers to compare numbers. 

The egg production sheet I use is for a whole year. Once you start keeping track this way you can compare months on a more equal basis. For instance comparing October of this year with October of last year will give you a better view than comparing this October with this June.


Free egg production sheet, printed out


Tracking egg production 


When a hen just starts to lay she lays more frequently than she will in her later years. If you get your whole flock at one time, they would all be aging at the same pace, so they would all slow down around years 2-3. That's pretty easy to figure out without keeping track.

Most chicken keepers however, add a few new chicks here and there over the years, which can make it more difficult to keep track of the age of the flock since it's staggered. Writing down how many eggs you collect each day gives you a definite record of egg production. 

By tracking your egg production in this way you can see when it might be time to add new hens to the flock. This is also important if you sell your eggs, since you want to keep enough hens that are currently laying to fill orders for your customers.

We've talked about the many factors that influence a hens egg laying in the past and one of the main factors is daylight. This is why some people add light to their coops in winter

Hens need at least 12 hours of daylight for egg production. Of course hens will often lay with less light especially if they are under 3 years old, but peak production comes at longer daylight times. 14+ hours of daylight being ideal. 

I think tracking light is important since it has a direct influence on egg production.

Egg production record sheet 


This sheet is very straightforward and easy to use. You simply write in how many eggs you collected each day and total them at the end. Log in an average daylight time by filling in the dusk and dawn sections for the month.

Although dusk and dawn changes by a few minutes a day all year long, I find the middle of the month gives me a pretty good average. Just check your local weather report or go to google and type in 'sunrise sunset times Pittsburgh May 15'. Obviously use your location and date. 

According to that search there was 14 hours and 27 minutes of sunlight on that day.

If you add artificial light to your coop in winter use your light turn on time for dawn and the actual sunset time for dusk. 

Egg production record sheet.

Of course there are all kinds of reasons why some (or all) of your hens might not be laying at any given time. In 11 reasons why your hens aren't laying I discuss everything from daylight and temperature to drama, molt and age. 

I will often make notes in the area below columns on the chart to indicate any issues that affect laying. For instance during fall I might write '4 molt' to indicate 4 hens are currently molting and not laying eggs. The silkie coop often has a note about how many hens are currently broody.

I do not track egg production for individual hens. I currently keep single breed flocks, so all the eggs are very similar in each coop. I can sometimes guess which hens lay which eggs in the Marans coop by color, but the silkies all lay the exact same color and size egg so there is no way to track who laid what egg. 

Just forget trying to decipher duck or guinea eggs!

If you have different breeds that lay different colors or sizes of eggs you may want to track hens individually. In that case you could use a different sheet for each hen. If you do this after a few years, comparing the sheets will show you how each hens egg production has changed as she aged.

Free Printable Egg Production Chart 


To get your chart just download it right here from my google drive. Once downloaded you can print it out as many times as you'd like. This is a yearly sheet, but you may want to print one for each coop or flock that you have. It works just as well for ducks, geese, quail, guinea fowl etc.

If you don't want to download the PDF, you can click the image of the chart above to enlarge it and then save it to your computer and print it out.

Hope that helps you to keep track of how many eggs your hens are laying!

~L

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2 comments:

  1. What factors determine where a hen will lay? I have one hen that used to lay in the coop, but now she will lay in the yard. I have to hunt for them! Should I leave one egg in the nest so she will return? Not sure what to do.

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    1. Comfort is a big factor. If something scared her while in the coop, if the nest box is not private enough or another hen chases her out of the nest boxes she will lay elsewhere. You can often 'reprogram' a hen to lay in the coop by leaving her in the coop for the day until she lays her egg. Do this for a few days and she should continue laying in the nest box.

      Lisa

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