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Different breeds of chooks have varying lay rates and different functions.

Natural ways to ensure your chooks lay eggs aplenty

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There are many natural ways to help your chooks reach their laying potential. Two important ones to consider are diet and natural light.


It all starts with a healthy, balanced diet, which is crucial to egg lay. Hybrids, the most productive layers, eat around 110g of feed a day and lay a 60–70g egg! Egg contents reflect what hens eat, and won’t contain desired vitamins if they are not present in the diet.

Feed companies employ animal nutritionists to ensure their rations contain everything hens need in the correct balance, so feeding a complete layer ration of mixed grains, pellets or mash will maximise egg lay. Provide some grass or greens for fibre and bright yellow yolks, and a handful of kitchen scraps for fun and entertainment. Don’t forget a bowl of shell grit for shell strength, and plenty of cool clean water.


Light stimulates laying as it signals to the bird that longer days are here and therefore it’s laying season. Commercial poultry producers run artificial lights to keep hens laying over winter. It’s possible to follow a more natural approach and still utilise benefits of light: simply ensure the henhouse has generous mesh windows so daylight reaches birds even when they are penned up or you have slept in. Face windows east for best effect. Regular time outdoors will also enable fowls to maximise daylight. 

Jessamy Miller's chook laying eggs


Jessamy’s top choices for backyard egg layers first appeared in our Early Summer 2022 issue (OG 137) to see  There’s a selection of back issues available here — you can also subscribe and get the most recent issues delivered to your door!

OG 137 cover