One of the best decisions a backyard chicken owner can make is to add more chickens to their flock. Unless that’s just the crazy chicken lady within me coming out.
Nevertheless, there’s something quite special about the Delaware chicken.
Although there’s so much good to say about Delaware chickens, here we’re looking at everything about their egg-laying capabilities.
After all, when you’re raising chickens you want them to be paying their rent in eggs, right?
Delaware Chicken Egg Laying Characteristics
If you’re looking to maximize egg production, then Delawares aren’t the one.
But of course, that’s not why people love raising Delawares in the first place!
If you’re looking for a beautiful, curious, and friendly companion that also lays consistently large eggs, then look no further than the Delaware.
Delaware hens will still produce four jumbo-sized light brown eggs per week, pretty reliably I might add.
Even though they don’t lay as much as some other breeds, the jumbo size of the eggs makes up for it!
For chooks that aren’t bred specifically for their egg-laying, Delaware chickens sure know how to provide for their owners.
When Do Delaware Chickens Start Laying?
The most highly anticipated event in any chicken owner’s journey is awaiting their chicken’s first eggs. There’s really no other feeling like it!
In the case of Delaware chickens, you’ll need to be a little patient, but you don’t need to wait as long as with some other breeds’ first eggs either.
Typically, Delaware chickens start laying eggs at about five to six months old. However, this can vary from hen to hen. A few begin laying as early as four months old while others wait until they’re over six months old.
Hens start producing their eggs at maturity. And just like most others in the animal kingdom, hens can reach maturity at different ages.
Still, from about five months old you’ll start to notice your Delaware chooks are reaching maturity as they will appear plumper and they will have decent-sized wattles on them (although much smaller than the combs and wattles on Delaware roosters)
Although it’s safe to eat your chicken’s first eggs, many chicken owners honor them in other ways too!
How Many Eggs Do Delaware Chickens Lay Per Year?
The short answer is that it varies. The number of eggs can vary based on their environment, diet, and protein consumption, and even just between hens.
However, from the age of maturity, you can expect your Delaware hens to reliably and consistently lay an average of 4 eggs per week.
So you can expect about 200 eggs per year from each Delaware hen.
This includes times when they may lay an egg a day for a week, and times when they might not lay at all (like when molting).
When Do Delaware Chickens Stop Laying Eggs?
It’s quite well known that many high egg production breeds can stop laying from as young as 4 to five years old, like Golden Comets or ISA Brown.
But, if you own Delaware chickens you’ve got plenty of time. Delaware chickens can lay eggs even into the late ages of 6 to 7.
However, you’ll find your Delaware chickens lay the most eggs in their younger ages between 6 months and 3 years old. From then you’ll get a few more years of decent egg production before it steadily declines.
This is mainly just due to their bodies gradually slowing down and reproductive systems aging. It’s completely normal!
Do Delaware Chickens Lay All Year Round?
There are some breeds of chickens that thrive in warmer weather and some that thrive in colder weather.
Those that aren’t used to the cold sometimes slow down their egg production over the colder winter months.
Luckily, Delaware chickens are very cold-hardy and generally will continue to lay all through winter. Of course, only if they are consuming enough protein to continue egg production AND keep them warm enough.
They also have no trouble in the heat, and generally won’t slow their egg production in summer.
The only time Delaware chickens may take a break from egg production is when they molt. But this hiatus generally only lasts between 2-3 weeks.
Are Delaware Chickens Broody?
All hens have a degree of broodiness to them. After all, it’s just their motherly instincts kicking in, telling them to stop laying eggs and sit on them instead to hatch them!
However, some chicken breeds are known to be more broody than others, like Silkies for example.
Luckily, for those that enjoy the constant egg production, Delaware chickens don’t tend to go broody too often thus producing eggs more consistently.
Since Delaware chickens don’t brood often or for long, any owner looking to breed Delaware chicks should incubate them themselves for a much better success rate.
Delaware hens will start laying from about 5 months old, lay roughly 4 eggs a week or 200 eggs per year, and so do until they reach the age of about 4 or 5.
They lay pretty much all year round, and don’t often go broody either!
All in all, Delaware chickens are amazing. They’re not only beautiful and fun to raise, but they can also lay large, voluminous jumbo eggs for you and your family to enjoy.
Happy farming everyone!