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Here is a dumb question. When a hen lays her eggs and I replace them with dummy eggs, she sit on them about three weeks then lays another pair of eggs. If I let her keep the eggs, they hatch in 18 days and she raises youngs for about three weeks before she lays another pair. So the break the hen gets is Not from laying eggs but raising young, correct?

Just trying to get my facts.

Actually like SW said........if they raise babies they get a bit of a longer break.
With dummy eggs....they sit for 18 days (or so), then lay again in 10 days or there abouts, so basically, every 28 days, they're laying two eggs.
If they actually raise babies....they sit on the egg for 18 days, raise their babies for around 14 to 17 days and then lay again, so actually they're laying eggs every 32 to 35 days. Not a huge difference really.
Of course every hen is different and some lay sooner than you would like when they're raising babies. I just had a new, young hen this past year that laid her second AND third set of eggs when her babies were 11 days old. She laid her first set of eggs after being with her mate for only 6 days. She's quite a little pistol.......:D
Then I had another hen that didn't lay her second set of eggs until her babies were 23 days old..........there's a big age difference in these two hens though. The first on is a 2008 bird. The second one is a 2003 bird. She's been around the block a few times, so I guess she figured there wasn't any reason to get in a big hurry about everything.
 
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