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Henopause, a wordplay combination of "hen" and "menopause", is sometimes used to refer to the point at which hens stop laying eggs. Although daily egg production starts to tail off after 1 year old, it may continue until 5–7 years old. Older hens gradually produce fewer eggs, and the eggs are usually larger.[1] Since the average lifespan of a pet layer hen is 8–15 years,[2] henopause has received attention as a potential problem for backyard or urban chicken farmers who are eventually faced with the decision to either slaughter older layers or keep them as non-producing pets. In the UK, the British Hen Welfare Trust charity rescues commercial hens who would otherwise be sent to slaughter when they become no longer commercially viable. In commercial farming, a layer hen is considered no longer commercially viable at around thirteen months and is called a "spent hen".[3][4][5][6][7]


  1. ^ Elizabeth Creith. "When Chickens Stop Laying Eggs". Farmer's Almanac. Retrieved 2016-10-02. 
  2. ^ "Top 10 Questions and Answers About Backyard Chickens". Countryside Magazine. January 29, 2016. Retrieved 2016-10-02. 
  3. ^ Rebekah Denn (May 17, 2013). "'Henopause' and whether you should have backyard chickens". Seattle Times. 
  4. ^ Rachel Turiel. "HENOPAUSE". Edible Southwest Colorado. 
  5. ^ Douglas Stevenson (March 31, 2014). The Farm Then and Now: A Model for Sustainable Living. New Society Publishers. ISBN 9781550925654. 
  6. ^ Lucie B. Amundsen (March 1, 2016). Locally Laid: How We Built a Plucky, Industry-changing Egg Farm - from Scratch. Penguin. ISBN 9780698404052. 
  7. ^ Sally Nancarrow (December 8, 2006). "Battery hens saved for retirement". BBC News. Retrieved 2016-10-02.