When planning your flock, you need to know all the egg-laying details of your hens to ensure you have enough chickens.
It’s harder to plan how long they will continue laying eggs, so how long will your Buckeye chickens lay eggs?
Buckeye chickens are prolific layers, and they will start laying eggs around 7 months old and continue until they are 4 years old. Some reliable hens will continue laying eggs for a few years after this.
Keep reading to learn more about this American breed of chicken’s egg production and the factors affecting the number of eggs they lay.
Buckeye Chicken and Egg Laying
The only American chicken breed bred by a woman, Nettie Metcalf, Buckeye chickens make a great addition to your flock.
One of their advantages is their reliable egg production, just like their lookalike breed, the Rhode Island Reds.
When Do Buckeye Chickens Start Laying Eggs?
Buckeye chickens are a dual-purpose breed, and most dual-purpose chickens will start laying around 6 months old.
However, as slow growers, Buckeye chickens take longer than average.
Expect your hens to start laying around or after 7 months of age.
What Are Buckeye Chickens’ Eggs Like?
Once she starts laying eggs, expect 3 or 4 a week, totaling 150-200 eggs in a year.
Buckeye chickens’ eggs are brown and large compared to the average breed.
These reliable layers will continue to lay longer into the cold winter months than other breeds.
This is because Buckeye chickens are weather-hardy birds with game bird genetics.
Overall, these active layers are a great breed for chicken keepers.
When Do Buckeye Chickens Stop Laying Eggs?
Age, nutrition, and weather affect a hen’s egg production.
A general rule of thumb is average chickens will lay about 600 eggs in their lifetime since female animals are born with a finite number of eggs.
Typically, a hen’s production will decrease year after year.
For example, a hen laying 300 eggs in her first year will probably lay 200 to 250 in her second year.
If she lays another year, it will be even lower.
However, egg production varies greatly by breed, with a wide range of longevity.
Some hens will only lay for 2 or 3 years, while some will produce consistently at 5 or 6.
Individual hens also have different production schedules.
Buckeye chickens are known to have both excellent rates of lay and longevity of lay.
Expect at least 3 or 4 years of consistent, prolific egg laying from this poultry breed.
Some individual hens will continue laying a few eggs a week for a few years after this timeframe.
Another benefit of this breed is its ability to lay well into the cold weather of winter.
After your other breeds have stopped laying, Buckeyes will continue providing eggs.
When egg production stops, this breed is also good for meat.
Egg Production Factors
Different times of the year and feed will affect how many eggs your chickens lay.
Let’s cover a few of these factors and why they affect a hen’s egg-laying ability.
Chickens naturally molt every year.
This typically happens in the range of late summer to fall.
When they molt, they lose their old feathers and look rather tough.
However, this process is necessary to make room for new feathers to grow, keeping them warm and protected as they head into the cold winter months.
So much of their energy and nutrition goes into growing these new feathers, so they have less left to go into egg production.
For this reason, they will either lay fewer eggs during this time or even stop laying entirely.
After a few weeks of molting, egg production will return to normal.
Ensure extra protein and calcium to reduce the impact on how many eggs you find in your chicken coop.
To keep your chickens laying consistently and encourage longevity, make sure they are getting all the essential minerals and nutrients they need.
Keeping your chickens healthy is the first step to great egg production.
The most important things to provide are protein and calcium.
Store-bought food for hens contains about 16% protein feed.
This is higher than you’ll find in table scraps or extras from your garden.
Fish, nuts, and even cooked chicken make excellent snacks full of protein.
If your chickens’ egg production is lower than normal, give them some of these treats to get them back to normal.
It will usually take a few days for it to level out.
In addition to protein, calcium is necessary for good eggs with tough shells.
Eggs from chickens who are not getting enough calcium will have easily broken shells.
Older hens need more calcium, so regular feed will not provide enough calcium.
Turn egg shells into a powder form and add to their feed for an extra kick of protein.
If you don’t, your hens could start eating the eggs they’re laying.
Environmental conditions play a large role in egg production.
The egg-laying process starts with light, which stimulates the hormones needed.
Because of this, hens need lots of light to lay eggs consistently.
It’s best when they have 15 to 16 hours during the day.
Artificial lighting will extend the light they receive during darker times, like winter.
Depending on where you live, there will be only 10 hours (or fewer) of daylight during the winter season.
During rainy weather, hens are more susceptible to illness.
This strains their bodies and reduces their laying capabilities as well.
Do Buckeye Chickens Go Broody?
Many chickens have been bred over the years to decrease their chance of brooding.
However, Buckeye hens will sometimes decide to hatch and raise chicks.
As a broodier breed, they’ll sit on their eggs and refuse to leave them.
The behavior of a broody hen changes to be more aggressive and protective.
It is hard to remove a broody hen from her nest.
If you want to maintain or grow your flock size, you want broody hens to raise replacement chicks.
This makes Buckeyes great for small, self-perpetuating flocks.
With a goal like this, keeping a ratio of 10 hens per rooster is best.
Buckeyes also make great surrogate mothers for less broody breeds if you have a mixed flock.
It is possible to break a hen’s broodiness, so don’t let this deter you from adding this breed to your flock.
However, consider a different breed if you don’t want the added hassle and only want eggs for eating.
In the 20th century, Buckeyes were endangered.
Their conservation status has improved, but adding this breed to your backyard will still help them!