Silkies are one of the friendliest chicken breeds and are often considered family pets.
Due to their bantam size, Silkies are not often raised for meat and are not known to be prolific layers.
Still, these delightful birds are a favorite among backyard flock owners who love the Silkies’ docile nature and fluffy feathers.
As a heritage breed of chicken, Silkies begin egg production much later than the average chicken.
So, when does a Silkie chicken start laying eggs?
On average, a Silkie hen will not begin laying eggs until she is between 7-9 months of age. When she starts laying eggs, the older a Silkie is, the more eggs she is likely to produce in her lifetime. Unlike other breeds, a Silkie chicken will continue egg production through the winter.
You will usually be able to tell what color a hen’s eggs will be by looking at the color of her earlobes.
However, Silkie chickens are the exception to this rule because they have blue earlobes but produce light brown to cream-colored eggs.
Keep reading to learn how many eggs Silkie chickens lay in a year and what affects a hen’s egg production.
How Many Eggs Does a Silkie Lay in a Year?
A Silkie hen will lay between 2-3 eggs per week, with an average egg production of 100-120 eggs per year.
Compared to the Orpington, which lays 190-200 eggs per year, or the Sussex, which lays 200-250 eggs yearly, Silkies are considered poor layers.
Silkie eggs are also much smaller than the average chicken eggs you find at the grocery store.
Despite the small-size eggs a Silkie hen produces, they are still edible and full of flavor.
Silkies are not known for their meat or egg production but make delightful family pets.
Related: Are silkie chickens good to eat?
If you raise backyard chickens for their eggs, you may consider adding some different breeds to your existing flock.
Docile breeds such as the Barred Plymouth Rock and Australorp are more prolific egg layers and will get along nicely with your Silkies.
Avoid more aggressive chicken breeds to prevent your Silkies from being injured.
Rhode Island Reds produce many eggs, but they are known to attack Silkies and would not make a good addition to your flock.
What Affects a Silkie Hen’s Egg Production?
Even though Silkies are known to be poor layers, there are several reasons your hen’s egg production will decrease or stop altogether.
A Change in Daylight Hours
Silkie hens require between 14-16 hours of sunlight daily to maintain steady egg production.
As the summer gives way to fall and winter, daylight hours per day gradually decrease.
Your Silkies may still produce a few eggs in winter while other breeds stop laying entirely.
Further Reading: How well do Silkie chickens handle heat and cold?
Cooler temperatures will also cause a drop in egg production.
To ensure your Silkies continue to produce eggs during the colder months, you may provide them with extra daylight hours by using artificial lighting.
It is important to take care when using artificial lighting, as you do not want to completely disrupt your entire flock’s daily routine.
Use a lighting timer, and set it to turn on a couple of hours before sunrise during the winter.
This early morning lighting encourages your hens to lay eggs for the day.
Never leave a light on in the chicken coop at night because this will disturb your Silkies’ sleeping habits.
If your Silkies do not have enough space in the chicken coop, they will begin to feel stressed.
This stress translates to decreased egg production in your hens.
It is recommended to provide between 4-6′ square feet of coop space for each bird.
Your hens may also lay fewer eggs if there are not enough nesting boxes in the coop to accommodate them.
As a general rule, the chicken coop must have at least one nesting box for every four hens.
It is unlikely for all of your Silkie hens to lay eggs simultaneously, but it is common for a broody hen to occupy a nesting box for long periods.
Without enough nesting boxes available, your hens may begin laying eggs in unusual places or stop laying completely.
Your Silkies may also be stressed if they do not feel secure in their coop.
Regularly inspect the chicken coop for openings small predators might come through.
It is also helpful to have plenty of low perches in the coop for your Silkies to roost at night.
Roosting on perches makes chickens feel safer from predator attacks and allows the birds to sleep better.
If your Silkie hens do not have adequate nutrition, they will produce fewer eggs.
You must feed your Silkie hens a layer feed with added protein and calcium for healthy egg production.
A calcium supplement is crucial for the formation of durable egg shells.
A high-quality commercial layer feed, such as this one, has a good balance of protein and other essential nutrients your Silkie hens need.
In addition to a quality layer feed, you may supplement your hen’s diet with some healthy treats to stimulate egg production.
Some good choices of treats include:
- Leafy Greens
- Oyster Shells
- Japanese beetles
- Sunflower seeds
- Scratch grains
- Cracked corn
Take care not to overfeed your hens, as obesity will cause lowered egg production.
It is also vital to provide your Silkies with plenty of clean water to prevent dehydration.
Related Post: Can you eat Silkie chicken eggs?
Adult Silkies typically molt in the fall, lasting anywhere from 4-6 weeks.
Silkie hens will not lay any eggs during molting to focus on growing their new feathers.
Molting also allows the hen’s reproductive system to rest and rejuvenate, so she is ready to lay eggs again after the process is complete.
Silkie hens will lay eggs for almost their entire lives.
However, once a Silkie hen reaches two years of age, her egg production will gradually decline.
It is normal for hens to lay fewer eggs as they age.
The age a hen begins laying eggs will influence how old she is when her egg production begins to taper down.
Silkies are known for becoming broody more than other chicken breeds.
These unusual birds have even been known to steal another hen’s eggs to hatch them as their own.
When a hen is broody, she will focus all her time on incubating her eggs instead of laying new ones.
You may discourage broody behavior by promptly removing the eggs from the nesting box every morning.
In extreme cases, you may need to separate the broody hen from the rest of the flock for a couple of days until she calms down.
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