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How Many Eggs Will Three Backyard Chickens Lay In A Year?

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A black and white chicken, a black and gold chicken, and a brown speckled chicken all eating a cob of corn with some sedum plants in the background.

If you been thinking about getting a few backyard chickens for laying eggs then you’re probably wondering how many eggs to expect a small flock of backyard chickens to lay in a year’s time. I was wondering this before I got my chickens, and I did some searching online to find out the average amount of eggs that different breeds or chickens were likely to lay to help me with making the decision of which breeds of chickens to get. But since most websites talking about egg amounts are just estimates and averages, I thought I would share my personal experience with my own chickens and the amount of eggs that they each laid in a year’s time.

The estimates that you will find on breed information articles for chickens are definitely just estimates of the average amounts that you might expect a chicken of that breed to lay. Each individual chicken is different, and the chickens that you get may or may not fit the descriptions of those estimates when it comes to the number of eggs that they lay.

So if you’re trying to answer the question of how many eggs will three backyard chickens lay in a year (or four backyard chickens, or whatever number of chickens you are thinking of getting) then maybe it will be helpful to hear the actual experience that I had with keeping track of how many eggs each of my chickens laid in a year’s time.

Two of my chickens were pretty close to the estimates I had seen about egg production, but one of them ended up being below the common estimate for egg count per year. So, when you are looking at estimated egg totals online, it might be best to assume that your chickens might be on the lower end of those estimates because then you could be pleasantly surprised by getting more eggs that you thought you would get rather than being disappointed by getting less eggs than you thought.

How I Kept Track of The Egg Count for Each Chicken

Since my chickens didn’t all start laying on the same day, I counted each of the eggs for one year from the day that they first started laying to keep it fair. And since I had three different breeds and each of their eggs is a slightly different shade of brown (and also usually different sizes and even different textures of smooth vs. speckled) I was able to tell them apart to know which chicken laid which eggs.

I used a chicken keeping journal that my mother had gotten me for Christmas to write down each day what the total egg number was and which of my chickens laid each egg. This is the journal I’ve been using to keep track of eggs and other things related to my chickens. (If you end up using this journal, what I did was to write the number of eggs for the day in the color category, and then to write the first initial of each chicken’s name in the Number of Hens category.) And then at the end of the month I would add up the number of eggs for each chicken and write the total so it was easier to add them all up at the end of the year.

It’s been really fun keeping track of how many eggs they each laid this past year, and I’m going to continue to do it for the upcoming year, too. If you have a large flock or several chickens of the same breed then it might be more challenging to try to keep track of which chickens laid which eggs, but if you have a smaller flock and multiple different breeds then it’s easier to keep track of it all.

These are the total number of eggs that each of my chicken’s laid, in order of third place up to first place:

Total Eggs for Speckled Sussex Chicken

Brown and white speckled chicken staring directly at the camera with text overlays saying "Eliza" and "Speckled Sussex," and a yellow 3rd place ribbon and a banner that says "166 Total Eggs."

My third place egg layer is Eliza. She is a Speckled Sussex chicken. She started laying eggs a few weeks after the other two started laying eggs, and her total number of eggs for the year was 166. She took a pretty long break after her molt and she went for over four months without laying any eggs at all. Her eggs are also the smallest of the flock (which is kind of funny considering the fact that she is the biggest chicken in the group!) Her eggs would probably be medium sized if they were at the grocery store. Her eggs are a very pretty cream color, though, and she is a good-natured and pretty docile chicken, so her personality helps to make up for the smaller egg amount. The Speckled Sussex chicken is a dual purpose breed that was originally bread for meat in the United Kingdom, so that definitely makes sense with Eliza’s larger size. She must have gotten more of the meat bird genes than the egg laying genes.

Some things that I read online about Speckled Sussex chickens said that they can lay around 200 eggs per year and that they can lay well throughout the year, but Eliza didn’t really fit that description, at least not for her first year of laying. She laid less than 200 eggs, and she took quite a long hiatus from laying in the fall and winter months.

Total Eggs for Golden Laced Wyandotte Chicken

Close up profile shot of a gold and black chicken with text overlays that say "Delia" and "Golden Laced Wyandotte" and a red 2nd place ribbon and a banner that says "208 Total Eggs."

My second place egg layer is Delia. Delia is a Golden Laced Wyandotte, and she was the first one to lay an egg in the flock (although she was only the first by less than an hour because my Barred Rock, Mary, laid her first egg very shortly after.) Delia’s total number of eggs for the year was 208. She went through her molt pretty quickly, going only two months without laying any eggs, and she started molting at the end of October and was laying eggs again by the end of the December, so she was pretty good at laying eggs semi-consistently through the winter time. Delia’s eggs are a pretty good size, and they would probably be a large size at the grocery store. Her eggs are a light brown and they are very smooth. Delia is the bossy one of the flock and she is the most flighty of the three. She’s definitely not the friendliest of my chickens, but she’s been a good consistent egg layer.

Delia’s egg total was more consistent with some of the estimates that I had seen online, and I had also read that Wyandottes can do better with laying during the winter than some other breeds, and that seemed to be true for Delia.

Total Eggs for Barred Rock Chicken

Black and white striped chicken facing sideways but looking at the camera with text overlays that say "Mary" and "Barred Rock" and a blue 1st place ribbon and a banner that says "246 Total Eggs."

My first place grand prize-winning egg layer is Mary. Mary is a Barred Rock chicken, and she laid a total of 246 eggs in her first year of laying. Mary molted very late in the season, and so she was still laying eggs until the middle of December. She did a hard molt and took about a two month break from egg laying, and then she was right back into laying consistently again. Her eggs are the biggest of my three chickens, too, and they would probably be an extra large size at the store. (The other day she laid an extra big egg and when I weighed it it ended up being a Jumbo egg by egg grading standards!) Her eggs are a brown color and almost always have some sort of speckles on them. Mary is a very friendly chicken and she sometimes follows me around chattering away about something or other. She is also determined to escape over the fence as often as possible. I think that she feels like she can get away with escaping since she is the best egg layer of them all.

Different online sources say different things about the estimated egg totals for Barred Rocks, but I’ve seen anything from 200 eggs up to 280 eggs, so I guess Mary was in the middle of the range with her 246 eggs.

Three eggs lined up: A large brown speckled egg with the text "Barred Rock" above it, A slightly smaller lighter brown egg with the text "Golden Laced Wyandotte" above it, and a smaller cream colored egg with the text "Speckled Sussex above it.
Side-by-side comparison of egg sizes and colors.

The Total Number of Eggs My Three Chickens Laid In A Year

The total number of eggs that the three chickens laid in their first year of laying added up to be 620 eggs. That’s a pretty decent amount. It’s not as high of a number as what some of the higher production breeds might be able to lay, but I’m hoping that these three chickens will keep laying eggs for a longer time. I’ve never had any of the hybrid or really high production breeds before, but I’ve heard that sometimes they can lay eggs really well for a short period of time and then the production can really drop off quickly after that. I’m hoping that these heritage breed chickens will have a more gradual drop in egg production as they get older. I guess I’ll find out!

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A black and white chicken, a black and gold chicken, and a brown speckled chicken all eating a cob of corn with some sedum plants in the background and a text overlay that says "How Many Eggs Will Three Backyard Chickens Lay In A Year?"
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The information in this post is not to be taken as medical advice and is not intended to diagnose or treat any disease.

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William Post

Wednesday 17th of April 2024

Wow great record keeping! You must really love eggs or have a good side gig selling them.

Lori Elliott

Wednesday 17th of April 2024

Thanks! It was fun to keep track of them. And I do like eggs! I haven't sold any of them because between me and my family eating them for breakfast and using them for cooking and baking there wasn't actually any extra of them.

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