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How often do jersey giants lay eggs?

Jersey giant chickens are a popular large breed known for their excellent egg laying abilities. As a backyard chicken keeper, understanding the egg laying habits of your Jersey giants is important for planning and care. In this comprehensive guide, we will cover everything you need to know about how often Jersey giants lay eggs.

Jersey Giant Egg Laying Ability

Jersey giants are considered excellent layers of large to extra large brown eggs. They are known for their reliability and persistence in egg production. Here are some key facts about Jersey giant egg laying:

  • Lay rate: 4-5 eggs per week on average
  • Begin laying at: 6 months of age
  • Lay most eggs in: First 2 years of life
  • Egg color: Light to dark brown
  • Egg size: Large to extra large
  • Laying season: Year round

With proper feed and care, a healthy Jersey giant hen can lay up to 250 eggs per year. Their large size and hearty appetite supports substantial egg production. Jersey giants lay eggs consistently once they reach laying maturity.

Age and Egg Laying

The age of a Jersey giant chicken impacts how many eggs they lay. Here is an overview of what to expect at different ages:

0-6 months

Chicks do not lay eggs. They require proper nutrition and care during these early months to support development. Most pullets will reach laying maturity between 5-7 months old.

6-12 months

This is when Jersey giants will begin laying eggs. Expect some irregularity at first as they establish a routine. Laying 4-5 eggs weekly is common for a new layer.

1-2 years

Peak egg production for Jersey giants. You can expect to collect 4-5 eggs per week consistently. This is when hens are at their prime for egg laying.

2+ years

Egg laying will start to decline in older hens. Drops to 3-4 eggs weekly are common as Jersey giants get past 2 years old. Laying may become occasional. Retirement is ideal if egg production drops significantly.

A backyard hen may live 5-8 years, but their most abundant egg laying occurs in the first 2-3 years of life. Egg production declines as the hen ages.

Influence of Day Length

The number of daylight hours a Jersey giant is exposed to will impact egg production. Like most chicken breeds, Jersey giants lay the majority of eggs with 14-16 hours per day of light exposure. Here’s how day length influences laying:

Hours of Daylight Impact on Laying
Under 14 hours Decreased egg production
14-16 hours Highest egg production
Over 16 hours May decrease egg production

To optimize egg laying, make sure your Jersey giants receive 14-16 hours of daylight. Use artificial lighting if needed to maintain light exposure during short winter days.

Diet for Optimal Egg Production

Proper diet and nutrition are vital for Jersey giants to produce eggs consistently. Follow these feeding tips:

  • Free choice layer feed – Always provide complete layer feed formulated for chickens actively laying eggs.
  • Calcium – Boost calcium intake with oyster shell supplements to support egg shell strength.
  • Treats – Offer scratch grains, vegetables, fruits, and mealworms for variety.
  • Clean water – Fresh, clean water must be available at all times.
  • Grit – Provide insoluble granite grit to help digestion and calcium absorption.

Avoid any drastic changes in diet that could shock the hen’s system and disrupt laying. Allow free choice access to an optimized laying feed for nutritional needs.

Inducing Molting for Rejuvenated Laying

Molting is the annual shedding and regrowth of a chicken’s feathers. This process causes a pause in egg laying that allows the hen’s reproductive system to rest. After molting concludes, hens typically resume a strong egg laying cycle. Here is an overview of induced molting for renewed egg production:

  • When – Induce molting after 12-18 months of heavy egg laying
  • Process – Withdraw day length and limit diet for 1-2 weeks to induce molting
  • Result – Hens rest reproductively and regenerate feathers
  • Laying – Egg production returns stronger once molting completes

It’s controversial to deliberately induce molting by initiating stress. But many backyard chicken keepers report success restarting laying this way. Make sure to meet the hen’s needs during the process.

Common Reasons for Declines in Egg Production

When your Jersey giant’s egg laying drops off, review these common reasons why:

Cause Solution
Aging hen Expect gradual decline as she gets older
Molting Allow 1-2 month break for new feather growth
Improper lighting Ensure 14-16 hours of light per day
Stress or illness Reduce stressors and treat health issues
Poor nutrition Improve diet with layer feed and supplements
Extreme temperatures Add cooling or heating to reduce stress
Broodiness Separate hen if attempting to hatch eggs

Address any underlying issues to support maximum egg production from your Jersey giant flock.

Typical Laying Pattern

Once a Jersey giant hen establishes a laying routine, she will typically follow the same predictable pattern week after week. Here is the usual sequence:

  1. Hen lays egg #1
  2. Day off
  3. Hen lays egg #2
  4. Day off
  5. Hen lays egg #3
  6. Day off
  7. Hen lays egg #4
  8. Day off
  9. Cycle repeats

You can expect each hen to produce an egg every-other day following this sequence. Any deviations could indicate an issue interfering with normal laying. Provide good care and nutrition to support her natural process.

Tips for Collecting Eggs

Here are some tips for gathering all the fresh eggs from your Jersey giant flock:

  • Collect eggs at least once daily in the late afternoon when most hens have laid
  • Provide many clean nest box options to prevent competition
  • Use fake ceramic eggs to show hens where to lay
  • Close nest boxes at night to prevent chickens roosting inside
  • Gently wash eggs and store refrigerated in cartons
  • Remove any cracked or dirty eggs right away
  • Tracking each hen’s laying can identify health issues

Following a consistent daily egg collection routine will ensure you gather all the rewards of your Jersey giants’ excellent laying habits.


Jersey giant hens are committed layers that can produce bountiful eggs for any backyard flock. Expect 4-5 large brown eggs weekly from each healthy hen at peak lay. Provide a proper diet, lighting, and care to support their egg production. Speak to your local veterinarian if you notice a significant decline in laying rate. With good management, your Jersey giant flock will keep you supplied with delicious fresh eggs.