The Business of Egg Production
If you are thinking of starting a livestock farm to raise chicken for egg production, you need to have a clear knowledge about the production capabilities of your flocks. You must be aware of how to gauge the number of eggs that your flocks can produce and obviously the factors that are affecting the egg production rate. You have to identify the hens, which are laying and the hens, which are not laying eggs.
Layers start laying eggs commercially from 18-19 weeks of age. They remain laying eggs continuously till their 72-78 weeks of age. They can produce about one kg of eggs by consuming about 2.25 kg of food.
A hen lays only one egg in a day, and in some days it may not lay any egg at all. It totally depends on the hen’s reproductive system. A hen body start to form a new egg after it has laid the previous egg. It takes about 26 hours to form an egg fully, so mathematically a hen will lay its next egg two hours late each day, the reproductive system of a hen also sensitive to light exposure. So if a hen lays egg too late in a day it will skip the next day.
A flock of hens do not start laying on the same day. They also do not lay eggs for the same period of time. The time period that a hen will produce eggs varies from hen to hen. The egg level of egg production decreases each year and the size of the eggs increases.
The number of eggs that a hen produces each year and the number of years that a hen produces eggs depends on some factors:
Management of pullets prior to lay
Aging is a big problem in egg production. A hen can live many years and it lays eggs continuously for these years. But after a sudden period of time like 2 or 3 years it’s egg production rate significantly reduces. It actually depends on the quality of hens that you are raising. Good layers lay eggs continuously for about 50 to 60 weeks then it takes a break. This time period is called molt.
Poor and older layers more often molt and lay eggs less continuously.
Management mistakes on egg production
Improper management system can also reduce egg production. Some mistakes that the farmers often does are:
Out of food is one of them. If you keep your hens out of food it will reduce its egg production. The reduction of egg production depends on the time without food. Make sure that your birds have enough supply of foods.
Water is also an essential element. Water represents about 70% of body weight. Inadequate water supply can also reduce egg production. Birds are more sensitive to water than food.
Daylight is also a great factor which controls the production of eggs. Hens need at least 14 hours of daylight. The intensity of light must be sufficient to increase egg production.