Do Chicken Have Periods?

You may have encountered information relating chicken eggs to periods and wondered if chickens even have periods. 

The chicken eggs we eat are technically unfertilized eggs, similar to how human periods are explained to us. 

So wondering if chickens have periods is completely understandable. 

Chickens do not have periods the same way humans do. The eggs we eat are unfertilized eggs passed through the reproductive system, but there are some key differences between what constitutes a human period and egg-laying. Some consider eggs a chicken’s period, but this is not entirely accurate.

Knowing a bit more about how a chicken produces an egg helps clarify the period question. 

Let’s look into the process in more detail to see if chickens have periods.  

do chicken have periods

Does A Chicken Get A Period?

Chickens do not get periods the way humans get periods. 

The process is very different. 

While both involve the reproductive system, eggs are not the same as those produced during a chicken period. 

Eggs are produced in the ovaries of female chickens and take about 24-26 hours for the entire process to complete. 

Humans have period lengths of about 21-28 days. 

The bleeding is the uterine lining of the reproductive tract, not the egg. 

A chicken lays eggs during the fertile years of their lives, but most chicken breeds don’t lay year-round. 

Most people consider humans and some other mammals to be the only animals capable of having a menstrual cycle. 

The reproductive systems of birds and mammals are incredibly different. 

A baby’s gestation, birth, and formation are very different for mammals. 

This is why intact female mammals bleed during their menstrual cycle, but a chicken or bird does not. 

It is difficult to call eggs a chicken’s period when they do not menstruate, and the process is very different. 

Are Eggs Chicken Periods?

Some organizations, especially animal welfare organizations, promote eggs as chicken periods. 

This is an attempt to reduce the consumption of chicken eggs. 

While domestic chickens in backyard chicken operations are usually well-treated and loved, the same isn’t true with many commercial factory farming operations. 

Factory farms cram birds in small cages for their entire lives. 

They often end up defecating and urinating on cage mates. 

The poor food, lack of exercise, cramped quarters, and maltreatment are very troublesome. 

It makes sense why animal welfare organizations and activists strive to reduce egg consumption as most eggs in supermarkets come from inhumane facilities. 

Those of us with backyard flocks tend to love and care deeply for our laying hens. 

We also tend to notice when something is amiss in the flock. 

As loving and caring flock owners, we do our best to supply high-quality food, access to fresh water, comfortable shelter, and the occasional healthy treat. 

We know when our laying hens stop producing, something is going on as far as their needs are being met. 

When a chicken stops laying eggs, it may signify a deeper health issue, like bad diet, overheating, stress, and dehydration. 

This is also often indicated by the color and size of egg yolks. 

The female body for both chickens and humans is complex. 

When the reproductive system starts showing symptoms of imbalance, the results are usually fairly apparent. 

While chicken eggs may not be true periods, they still serve as an indicator of the chicken’s overall health. 

It is easy to see why some people may equate chicken eggs with the ovarian eggs found in humans, but they are very different. 

Humans do not continue to form eggs in the ovaries as chickens do during the egg-laying process. 

The blood experienced in menstruation has little to do with the egg itself. 

Learn why your chicken has blood on its egg shells in our guide (it’s not a good thing).

Each month during a female human’s menstrual cycle, the body forms cushioning inside the uterus to provide a place for a fertilized egg to grow and continue to form. 

If the egg is not fertilized and the female human is not pregnant, the uterus will shed the old lining through menstrual blood and begin forming a new one. 

This is quite a bit different than the way chickens lay eggs.

How Do Chickens Make Eggs?

Chickens make eggs in their ovaries, similar to humans. 

Once the egg is in the ovary, it waits to be fertilized. 

When fertilized, expect cute baby chicks soon after. 

The chicken will still lay the egg if it is not fertilized, which is usually the case on backyard farms without roosters. Instead of a healthy chick, you will see the yolk of the egg. 

The process for producing fertilized and unfertilized eggs is roughly the same. 

The egg travels down the reproductive tract, where the mucus membrane and shell are created. 

Chickens only lay eggs for a certain amount of days per year. 

Many will stop during the extreme cold and heat. It is not as routine as a human’s menstrual cycle. 

Certain breeds of chickens like Rhode Island Reds are famous for their prolific egg-laying abilities, but even they only lay up to 300 eggs a year. 

Many people find domestic chickens to lay so frequently because it is what they were bred to do. 

Through selective mating and breeding, chicken breeders achieve prolific amounts of eggs yearly. 

The domestication of chickens for increased egg production has greatly impacted how often a laying hen will form an egg. 

Breakdown Of The Egg-Laying Cycle

  1. The process starts when the pineal gland of the chicken is triggered by daylight. The pineal gland starts the process of egg-laying in the ovary. 
  2. Next, the yolk drops down the oviduct. The oviduct is a long tube-like organ in the reproductive system of a female chicken. This is where fertilization would occur should your laying hen mate with a mature rooster. 
  3. The yolk of the egg will continue to travel down the oviduct, where it will form a mucus membrane, structural fibers, egg white, and shell. 
  4. After the egg is fully formed, the hen will lay it. The entire process takes between 24-26 hours from start to finish. 

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Growing up amidst the sprawling farms of the South, Wesley developed a profound connection with farm animals from a young age. His childhood experiences instilled in him a deep respect for sustainable and humane farming practices. Today, through, Wesley shares his rich knowledge, aiming to inspire and educate others about the joys and intricacies of rural life.

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