8 Tips To Help Your Chickens Lay More Eggs

If you start to raise chickens to be more self-sufficient, you want them to be as productive as possible. But what if they aren’t laying as many eggs as you’d hoped?

The most common reasons that chickens aren’t laying eggs is because they are too young, too old, the hours of daylight are too short, it is molting or the feeding is not of sufficient nutritional value. You might not be able to affect those first points, but you can help contribute to a stress-free environment for your chickens while keeping them healthy and well.

Chickens will typically lay one egg or less during a day and that will decrease with age. Their egg-laying years will typically last for 2-3 years.

If you are experiencing a low yield of eggs from your chickens, check out these tips below to see what you can do to help them lay more eggs.

Chicken eggs1. Quality Feed
You don’t have to go crazy with some cutting-edge feed that’s guaranteed to make your chickens produce eggs the size of a garden gnome. It’s recommended that you use a diet of premium laying mash or pellet, along with occasional fresh fruit. vegetables, meal worms and other healthy treats. If you’re going to change your tin foil, do it gradually substituting it in slowly.

2. Clean Nests Boxes
One of the most important factors to helping chickens lay eggs is a clean nesting box area with comfortable bedding. You can also make a soft surface with recycled-newspaper pellets which also are easy to toss and replace.

3. Open Areas
The idea behind free-range chickens is that if they are more comfortable, they will produce more healthy eggs. While free-range chickens might not be a possibility for some urban homesteaders, it’s a great idea to have a larger area with enough area for the chickens to graze on a lawn while still being protected from hawks or other predators.

4. Calcium
Egg-laying takes a lot of calcium from a hen’s body. Be sure to provide them enough calcium in their diet to keep a steady flow of eggs. Besides a high-quality feed, you might consider mixing crushed oyster shells in a cup of of feed. Or even placing a cup of oyster shells in the coop for the chickens to eat when they need it.

5. Inspect Regularly
Try to handle your hens often checking for problems. If they have large cuts, broken bones, etc. it will give you a better idea of how you can help. Are they uncomfortable? Have they been pestered by predators? Handling your hens on a regular basis will help you know how to best help them.

Homesteading Backyard Guide

6. Coop Security
Along with the previous point, make sure your coop is secure from predators. Make sure that animals like raccoon's, cats and other animals can’t burrow or find their way into the coop.

7. Fresh Water
To stay healthy, chickens need constant access to water. Change the water every day. It might be a chore to do it every day but it will lead to healthier chickens who will lay more eggs.

8. Parasite Control
Parasites love to prey on chickens. Mites are the most common and can take control of your coop without you even realizing it. Make it a habit to inspect your chickens at night when mites are most active. Mites are small, reddish-brown insect that scurry around a chicken’s head. If you do have a mite infestation, use a dose of ivermectin (available from a veterinarian) for each chicken.

What Have You Found?
How have you helped your chickens lay more eggs? Comment below to help us know what we can do to make our chickens more productive. Explore more DIY possibilities and get the supplies you need to enhance your preparation.

49 thoughts on “8 Tips To Help Your Chickens Lay More Eggs”

  • Dan

    Another important thing to avoid is stress some of which is covered under Inspect Regularly paragraph but any issue not taken care of can cause stress.
    If you have a rooster and he gets stressed so do the girls. Our rooster got out of their run and all the girls where following him back and forth along the fence. He was loose for a couple of hours. No eggs the next day.

  • Reid

    grandma saved all our egg shells washed them crunched them up and fed them to the chickens mixed with their feed thereby recycling the Mg, & Ca.

  • fauna

    A few years back we were raising Araucanas and, out of 18 chickens, were getting 6 eggs a day. When winter set in that went to zero a day.
    We were newspaper deliverers then and didn't have the funding for chicken feed. However, on our route was a large pumpkin field. After Halloween the pumpkins were free. We were excited to get a truckload and can them. The cannery never opened its doors to us until it had snowed on our pile twice and rotted our crop...so, we started feeding them to the chickens along with some weevily wheat. In no time flat the chickens began producing an egg a day or more and all of this in the dead of winter. We shared our stash with our neighbors who had turkeys and chickens - lo and behold, they achieved the same results!!

  • Kathleen

    I know about the stress too. I broke my back two years ago this coming July. My cousin volunteered to tend to the chickens for me. I didn't know she was afraid of them or I would not have agreed. My girls were laying less and less eggs every day until they weren't laying at all. I was finally able to start moving around again and went out with her to feed and gather eggs. She said "do you see that stick over there, I have been using it to keep the chickens away from me". It was a 2" diameter branch she had used to keep them away from her by hitting them. She didn't know they always come to you when its feeding time. Needless to say I asked her to leave after explaining to her they were not trying to attack her until she had beat on them a few times. I am happy to annonce that they have recovered from there stress this month and are starting to lay eggs again. I was stressing at the thought of having to butcher my girls until the eggs started coming. Each day there are more eggs to collect. My girls are "pets" they follow me all over the yard, and when I stop to do some gardening they wait for me to dig up some good juicy bugs. Do you think they might be spoiled?

    • Francoise

      Yes they are,and once spoiled with certain food or treat they will wait for the treat and live there feed alone,I have the problem with my 55 and now that I have got 65 chicks and I gave them dry bread like for the 55 one year old, they try to act the same way look for treat instead of there babies food;they only 1 month,I start them on medicated feed then , to one part crush corn mix with it at 3
      weeks, and off in on crush dry wheat or white bread and mill worms.

  • Randy

    I have found that if while mowing the lawn I dump a bagger full of grass clippings in the coop it helps immensely. even though our chickens are out often having this grass in the coop for them to play in gives them a more diversified diet rather than letting them pick and choose what they want while grazing...what they don't eat becomes bedding...

  • Melissa

    I'm new to chicken owning and would welcome any advice. I have a large coop and bought 19 hens from a man who lost the rest of his chickens to bob cats. I have feed from farm supply,and bins for egg laying and they laid 16 eggs in two days. I think thats pretty good. Some of the eggs are very small, they are good and normal eggs but tiny{2 inches long and 1 inch wide. Maybe stress from bob cat attacks @ previous home and moving to my house? I am open to any and all suggestions that will help me take great care of my lady chickens.

    • Francoise

      They could be young hens about a year old only,I have mine about this age and they just now start to get slowly larger eggs,however half of them still at the small to medium size.I could be wrong, what have me thinking this way is because couple of them have little blood on the shell,and the eggs start to get larger,I have 55 hens, one year old and 65chicks, one month old,so I am going to learn more with them.

  • Ruth

    I use to have chickens years ago when all my children were young but now my husband will not let me have chickens but one of our daughters who lives near about 500 ft away says she would love them and i can buy a coup and put it on her,but she has 4 dogs two being labs and i am afraid of the stress that would cause the chickens,Is there any solutions?

  • Vern Walters

    Ruth I have barredrock chickens and have a male king black lab and a female regular black lab. I have no problems with the chickens being stressed from them. It does depend on weather the dogs are trained to leave the chickens alone or not. Another way to help with a dog that isn't trained to leave them alone is to put a covering down the fence so that the dogs do not see the chickens and chickens do not see the dogs. It is possible to have chickens and dogs and still get eggs from your chickens and have healthy chickens as well. Good luck Ruth.

  • Lisa Mennenger
    Lisa Mennenger July 15, 2013 at 3:22 am

    Help!!! We went on vacation for 4 days and a friend was supposed to water and feed the chickens. He didn't! Grrrrr now they are not laying. Any advice?

  • Patricia Mixon
    Patricia Mixon July 30, 2013 at 2:37 am

    I don't know if this is where I need to ask questions at, but I am going to ask one. I need to know if you are feeding your chickens laying mash can you feed them anything else? We've been told that if we feed them anything else then they will stop laying. Also, my hens are young just really started laying. They are 21 weeks old to 23 weeks old all have not started laying.

    • Francoise

      they still young however,sometime it take up to 7 month and still it will be very small eggs laying,and slowly larger as the month pass.

  • Name Robin Shirley
    Name Robin Shirley August 27, 2013 at 2:21 pm

    Help!!!! My girls are not laying. I got 15 new hens over a month ago that are supposed to be around 10 months old by now. I have 2 bard rock roosters in with all the hens. I have 3 older hens that give me an egg or two some days but have not got one single egg from the new girls. They were in with all kinds of hens & roosters from the man I bought them from. I feed them crumbles, oyster shell, Omega 3, scraps from the fridg, cracked corn occasionally & bread. They get fresh water everyday. Have had chickens all my life & can't figure this out. Could u tell me what is going on, they are not molting either.

  • mina

    hi umm I was just looking for some tips to make my chickens happy and healthy if u have any ideas on how to inprove my coop let me know also um not to be mean but u said cups of of feed lol

  • Kathleen

    I hope this eases the anxiety of you new "mommies". And "daddys". My girls range in age from 5 months to 3 years. We initially went through straw in the nesting boxes, then shredded paper, the girls wanted nothing to do with it. Then I tried wood shavings, ta dah! At first they were sceptical of it and then they all moved to the boxes with the wood shavings. I don't know why but they liked it best. It seems that the more stress you remove from their environment the more eggs they produce and the larger they get. There is a breach in the wire around their yard that I do not patch so they can get out and when they are ready they can get back into their pen. They go in and out all day and still have the security of their home if they see a bird flying overhead. On really hot days I open both doors (they occupy the horse barn, no horse)so they can have a cool breese, but they prefer to stay close to home. I have about 65 hens and one rooster, soon to get 2 more roosters. I'm getting a dozen +/- because of the heat. I am adding "bird netting" to their yard to give them a slight shade but mostly to keep preditors from stressing out my girls. People fail to realize that they can calm their flock by talking to them in a soothing voice while you check on them or when feeding them. Some of my girls feel that they have to be up close and personal by sitting on my arms, shoulders, or head. Yes, I do think they are spoiled.
    P.S. When feeding them I throw their feed on the ground. This allows them to pick up grit at the same time. Chickens also enjoy digging around in the dirt and ground feeding seems to allow them do this and has a calming effect on them. Enjoy your "kids" and have a happy day.

    • Brian

      Hi Kathleen. My name is Brian. I see you know a lot about chickens. Hahaha your little girls. I have recently bought for little girls, chickens. I have many questions if you can help me out??? My little girls are just turning 3 months old. We just started feeding them egg laying mash. Wondering how long it will take before they start laying eggs?? They have a fenced in yard which some is a part of our old vegetable garden. The coop I built is 4 feet wide by 4 feet deep and 6 foot high. Each of my little girls has their own bed. I fill with wood chips. I have a bug light to keep them warm on cold days, and nights. I live in PA. COLD winters hear. Down to single digits. Is the light enough to keep them warm this winter??? I also have their " mash " feeder and water feeder in their with them. They perch at night under the light ( yellow, bug light. ) Is it warm enough??? Water, I keep the 02 feeder as clean as possible, but don't change water EVERY DAY. I refill it as needed. Is this okay??? How do I keep the water from freezing this winter???? I also hear fresh air is good for them. At the top of one wall of the coop is a gap to let fresh air in, or is that a breeze, which I read is bad for them??? They seem to be very happy. I check on them in the morning before wrk. 5am. They are sleeping nicely on a perch under the light. I also check on them when I get home, 4:00pm. Also again before I go to bed, 10:00 pm. They have a friend that visits them occasionally, a baby mole...lol. It's okay with me, its not doing too much damage. I am a nature lover. Deer, ground hogs, and so on come into the back yard daily. I have a scare crow for the vegetable garden. I'm hoping it scares of the fox that visits our yard also. I hate to shoot it. Hoping the scare crow does the trick, but for how long??? Also winter here brings alot of snow. Will my tractor and snow plow stress them in the early morning when I plow the snow, 4am??? And will they go out of their coop to get exercise in the snow during the winter??? Also warmth during the winter. Will the light be enough. I love my little girls dearly. No eggs yet but hoping pretty soon for eggs. I sit with then, talk to them and pet them daily. Should I handle them??? I look at then to check for bugs on them, bad spots, cuts, excetra. I have read handling them is good for them. Ever time I try they get stressed, until I get them and start to pet them, then they settle down. I try hard not to stress them out. I think and hope they are stress free. Can you help. Anything you see I'm doing or have for them is wrong, please please let me know. No experience is too much for my little girls. Thank you for reading, anything you can do to help will be GREATLY APPRECIATED!!!

      • Elizabeth

        I have owned chicks for a little over a year now and might be able to answer some of your questions. Sounds like a nice setup! They should start laying around 6 months depending on the breed. You will probably get less in the winter unless you have a light on. As long as the co-op is fairly draft free your hens should be warm enough, just use plenty of straw in your coop. You definitely want the window to have proper ventilation. Some people clean and refill their waterers every day but I fill as needed. As for the light I'm not too sure what kind of light you have. You might try a heat lamp like you used when they were chicks. As far as handling, handle them as much as possible. It might be a little stressful at first but it's worth it in the long run. As far as keeping water from freezing just fill your waterers with room temperature water when filling every day. You can buy heated waterers. Your tractor might stress them out depending on how far away it is from the coop. I really wouldn't worry about it unless you notice a serious drop in egg production (if they are laying at this point) or notice them really carrying on.

      • minnihiia

        Just speaking to those that think winter is a mottling season in California this winter pretty cold & it is the first with our 3 babies laying. I think they are babies for ever as parents we got them 5 days after birth. So our babies are still regular doing their daily work of laying...feed is regular laying stuff, scrap vegetables & fruit crumbs of all sorts are the snack,we have compost pile that they work along with us to turn the soil, they work the soil when we gather wood, they love eating that horrible three leaf grass weed. Note just like the chickens have picking orders they also have different taste of foods & bugs. One dislikes slugs,one eats everything and one tattles on the other two that are wandering into trouble. I let them out daily for exercise & clean their habitat twice a week. They let me know when they are nervous but learn your own chicken's temperment & communication sounds. They start to become your sanity when you are stressed, they contribute to your diet with eggs, help work the land by scratching sometimes throwing dirt at you not intentionally so hilarious, eat the weeds/ slugs, fertilize the soil with manure for veggies. A whole circle of life where at work do you see such rewards

  • Steve

    I put up with alot from my chickens, they love me and I love them.
    I have always added a small amount of bleach to the large watering can because of the Green Slime that appears very quikly it seems. My 95 year old grandmother did the same. I have done this for 20 yrs. and has not hurt them. Arizona is HOT and the slime comes quickly. Be nice to your chickens, keep them clean, stress free, and they will lay eggs when they lay eggs. Thanks for all the hints. Steve

  • Cal

    Feed your chickens greens - not any that have been sprayed with anything - all that they can eat in a day, grass, broadleaf plants, lettuce, carrot tops (and shreded carots), bugs, seeds, worms (bait shops if you do not have a worm bin).

    Chicken need about 2-3 percent of their body weight in fodder; grit and calcium supplements.

    Sprouting and growing grain for your chickens is another simple and efficient way to feed your animals a more natural and fresh diet. Sprouting fodder for livestock is similar to sprouting seeds for human consumption, but in an extreme degree.
    When you sprout grain as fodder, harvest it (feeding it to your animals) right before the sprouts get their second leaves at about 7-10 days, you do not need to use anything more than water to grow them –not even fertilizer.
    The action of sprouting amplifies the natural proteins, vitamins, mineral, enzymatic activity, omega 3’s, amino acids, natural hormones, and stimulates immune response. The increase in these benefits will vary grain to grain.
    The sprouted fodder, no matter what seed or grain you choose to use, is fed whole; greens, seeds, and sprouts as a whole. Commonly used grains for fodder are barley, wheat, and whole oats. Barley, which is the easiest to grow, has a crude protein percentage of 12.7 percent and a crude fiber percentage of 5.4 percent as a seed. These percentages jump to a crude protein percentage of 15.5 percent and a crude fiber percentage of 14.1 percent after an average of seven days of sprouting.

    This is the way chickens were raised in the past (not with sproutiing). Make sure that they have lots of fresh air, but no drafts when it is cold. Fresh air is important!

    Another good idea when you cannot free range your chickens is a chicken tractor - a movable coop that can be pulled to a new spot when needed. Inside it, the chickens scratch and eat weed seeds and bugs while depositing their droppings directly on the soil. This way they get the type of food they need while enriching your soil. Online are many plans to build simple and easy chicken tractors.

    I learned a lot of this from my grandparents and parents practicing it, and also from researching heritage ways of raising HEALTHY chickens.


  • Name

    Hi how's life

  • fatim

    i have 12 chicken- they used laying 5 eggs a day, but now since 3 months hardly lay one egg.
    beaside two died just in the last two days, i dont know what to do to let them lay more eggs..pleas advice.

  • Jessica L

    I've found that fresh herbs in the laying boxes on top of the hay helps (lavender, rosemary, mint, eucalyptus). When they get in and they step on and scratch around on the herbs, it releases the scents... Kind of like aromatherapy :)

  • jitender shekhawat
    jitender shekhawat November 23, 2013 at 1:29 am

    We start laymore product to our chiken from 12 days and our production now dicreasing so kindly tell me is this a regular process or we need to stop that product right now

  • GuamGal

    My daughter and I moved into a neighborhood where there is free rage chicken. This is Guam, so they are practically everywhere. We never had an issue with them laying eggs on our yard until now. About 3 wks ago we found 1 egg below a utility sink. My daughter thought it was cute and says to leave it as the momma will come and tend to it. Needless to say, no momma and some pest poked at it. Last week I cleaned out our back porch and placed two rattan tables. This morning I opened my back door and low and behold, 3 eggs were on one of the tables and one was in my neighbors yard along a fence. I don't know anything about chickens so I'm searching the net and came across this blog. Questions; shall I leave them alone? Are the eggs ok to eat? I'm almost tempted to place them in my fridge being that cost of living is high here.

  • dan

    Aromatherapy? Wow lol!!

  • Brenda

    I would like to have chickens, I have 3 acres, but I live in NW Montana & there are several months where there is snow on the ground. I know a light to keep them warm, but what about them having to walk around in the snow? Is it possible to have hens in this cold?

    • Francoise

      Hi,long they have a place to coop in a warm aria,with good feed and clean water,they will still get in a out n the snow,it wont hurt them they smart,last year we had 3 feet of snow and my hen would come in the snow to see what I bring them to feed on,fallow me back in the cage.

  • Lambert

    @guamgal, eggs from free range chickens should be fine. Sometimes my chickens lead their eggs at different places in the backyard. When we find them we collect them.

  • Robin

    Here are a few natural products I have found work very well. I use Diatomaceous Earth to prevent parasites. I sprinkle some in the food and in the coop. I also use Raw apple cider (Bragg) in their water about once a month. The cider has a number of benefits. In the winter I will make sure my girls have some extra fat. I use either suet or ground meat scraps. Since starting to give them the fat in winter I now am getting eggs almost every day. My girls seem to be healthy and happy even though the days are short and it is very cold. Even though mine are free range I give them a bit of scratch feed and meal worms. It may seem excessive however they don't eat a large amount of pellets so it seems to balance out.

  • Barbara

    We were given 75 bales of year old hay that was deteriorating. After hauling it home, we discovered about half was still frozen and had worms all inside. Instead of putting it into the garden as planned, we put it in the chicken yard. We didn't even spread it out. The hens did that. First day they hunted worms all day and we heard their constant clucking in delight as they found another tasty treat. Hay has been inside their yard for a month now and every morning when they are let out, they begin the scratching and re-arranging. When they tire out, they gather hay around them and make a temporary nest and relax. This is the most peaceful our hens have ever been. Am now actively searching for more old hay for them.

  • MarieGrace

    I have gone from no eggs to 8 a day after one use of this recipe! 2 cups live culture vinegar, 2 cups black strap molasses, 2 gallons water, egg layer crumbles until all the water is absorbed but the crumbles are still significantly wet. Let stand and soak for a few hours and feed to your chickens. Adding a cup or two of oyster shell is a good idea too. Soaking it will allow the chickens to absorb more calcium from it. But it will need to soak longer.

  • Jas

    Hi I just bought a chicken and she hasent laid any eggs I'm worried. What can I feed her to help her produce eggs and what can I do??

    • sharon

      (correction to above message)

      My 14 month old hens had mites - I treated them and their feathers grew back - they now look perfectly healthy - but they have NOT laid eggs again for the last 3 months - what's going on?

      Reply ↓

  • Teri

    Hi i got 3 chinkens from my daughter in AZ
    and we NM ,they went from hot to not so hot , Made them a coop and a cover yard, been in there new home for 2 weeks and no eggs yet.

  • Name: Dale

    I just bought two hens an one rooster!! I have had them two weeks now only one egg I have learned alot an look forward to getting to know the girls!!!Thanks for all the advice I have learned so much!!!

  • Brady

    I live in Eastern Washington, I am also new to chicken raising. As I have learned from seasonal daylight hours, I know that from experience, stress is the most common factor in my chickens laying schedule. I introduced light into the coop and it caused a molt that I was unaware of. My chickens all stopped laying, after a month of trying everything I was about to give up. I tried layer crumbles and egg laying started to increase. Proper basic feed and lack of stress is what everyone needs to be considerate of when egg laying starts to diminish.

  • Amy

    I am currently building a chicken coop and hope to have around eight chickens in the spring. I see a lot of stuff about parasites and now I'm seriously worried. That stuff really creeps me out especially when the word common is mentioned along with mites or lice. Eeek! My backyard is pretty damp and consists of leaves, dirt, and pine straw. The coop has a floor but what should I put in on the floor of the coop and the run to prevent these awful infestations? Also how common is it really to have an infestation?

    • Francoise

      Hi,really easy,just sprinkle some seven dust around over the straw,and dirt floor, little in their nest,all over where they sun bath in the dirt,mix it very good with a rake,and move the nest straw or what ever you use when you sprinkle seven dust,do not let the chicken breath the dust cause when you sprinkle it neither you,it will come down pretty fast,but is very good to keep mite of getting on the chicken,I use it every 3 month even if I do not see mite as a safety.cause is not so easy to have to put Vaseline all over their feet to chock the mite.

    • Francoise

      I forgot to say ,a load of river sand mix with little river rock in your coop help to keep there feet clean and there body of mite,they will bath in it and is cheap to get by the bucket load.

  • Dare Williams

    Pls I need help, my seven layer birds not laying properly pls what can I do to rescue the situation

  • Sharon

    My 14 month old hens had mites - I treated them and their feathers grew back - they now look perfectly healthy - but they have laid eggs again for the last 3 months - what's going on?

  • petrol lawn mowers in leeds

    I simply couldn't leave your website prior to suggesting that I really enjoyed the usual info a person supply
    to your visitors? Is gonna be back continuously to check up
    on new posts

  • Lisa

    I have a question I just purchased two hens that are just over 2 years old and I have had them for a week and they are not laying a single egg their previous owner sad that they laid an egg a day and I'm getting nothing what am I doing wrong? I give them quality feed from a feed store, I change their water daily, and they have fresh straw in their chicken coop.

  • eCommerce websites

    Really fantastic info can be found on website.

  • lasertest

    Howdy! I understand this is kind of off-topic however I had to ask.
    Does building a well-established blog like yours take a massive amount work?
    I'm completely new to running a blog however I do write in my journal
    everyday. I'd like to start a blog so I will be able to share my
    personal experience and views online. Please let me know if you have
    any ideas or tips for new aspiring blog owners. Appreciate

  • click here

    Hello.This post was extremely motivating, particularly since I was browsing for thoughts on this issue last Friday.

Leave a Reply