Poultry, which is raised by humans around the world for eggs and meat, is a member of the genus Fasiana, a subfamily of the Fasianidae family of birds. Today’s domestic chickens are the posterior generation of domesticated red wild chickens. Chickens lay eggs up to 300 days a year compared to other birds. The hens lay their eggs only during the day. Especially in the morning. Why do chickens not lay eggs at night?
The reproductive cycle of a chicken is controlled by light (photo period) or light exposure. Chickens need at least 14 hours of light per day to lay eggs. They produce eggs at maximum rate with 16 hours of light exposure. Chickens usually lay their eggs within six hours of sunrise – chickens kept on the farm need artificial light. Lack of light can affect egg laying.
Chickens have only one ovary. The ovary is full of immature follicles. During growth, the yolk sac forms before moving to the ovary. This is where the laying process begins. An ovum or egg yolk is released from the ovary. The egg white, shell membrane and egg shell form around the yolk. It slowly travels to the long ovary of the chicken. The reproductive, urinary, and intestinal pushes the egg out through a single hole in all three. It takes about 26 hours from ovulation to ovulation.
The hens usually lay their eggs in the morning but turn around in the afternoon and lay their eggs till 3 o’clock. (Genetic factors also affect egg laying. Brown breeds lay eggs earlier, while white and gray eggs lay late. Broiler chickens, which are bred only for meat production, are found to lay eggs in the morning.) One hour after laying, the next ovulation takes place. If a hen lays eggs in the afternoon, ovulation will be delayed again until the next day. The egg is laid after about 26 hours. That is why some hens lay their eggs on alternate days.
Laying hens can produce only one egg every 28 hours. It does not ovulate at night or lay eggs in the dark, and the rate of egg production varies depending on the duration of light and time.