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#75951 - 01/15/04 05:52 PM egg laying in winter
Leeann Offline
New Egg

Registered: 01/15/04
Posts: 9
Loc: Pennsylvania
I got my first batch of chickens this September.
My hens were laying pretty good, but now of course they've stopped. Is this because of the shorter days or because of the cold? And if you feed your hens more than laying pellets or mash...such as corn and scraps...make them lay less often or quit altogether?

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#75952 - 01/15/04 06:41 PM Re: egg laying in winter
Anonymous
Unregistered


OK. Some breeds lay during the winter - I think Rhode Islands are one example. If chooks get fat, they also stop laying. There is no reason for your chooks to stop laying (other than moulting during darker months) if you feed them sufficient shell grit, layer pellets and food scraps.

I'm sure that they'd be moulting - shorter days brings this about. Chooks lay best during Spring and Summer. Don't worry, if you feed them properly, they're likely to just be moulting for a few months, and they'll be back to laying when days lengthen.

If you try lighting your pen during Winter at times when it is usually light during summer, they'll think it's summer all year round and lay pretty well all year round.

It's good to feed chooks scraps, just not many fatty ones.

GOOD LUCK!
Brett. laugh

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#75953 - 01/16/04 04:32 AM Re: egg laying in winter
Anonymous
Unregistered


My red has stopped laying. I hear of other nerby chicken people not getting any eggs either. Yes winter plays a role in egg lay. It even states that in the Storey's Guide To Raising Chickens, written by Gail Damerow

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#75954 - 01/17/04 03:52 AM Re: egg laying in winter
Anonymous
Unregistered


I was at my inlaws last night. They have about 18 layers. They are down to four eggs a day and they have excellent layers. In the warmer months they are loaded with eggs that I do know.

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#75955 - 01/17/04 07:29 AM Re: egg laying in winter
CJR Online   content
Coop Master

Registered: 07/16/02
Posts: 8489
Loc: Montana
One reason that the cold weather may mean few or no eggs is water consumption. Hens have to drink a certain amount of water to continue egg production, and when it is very cold, sometimes water is frozen when they want to drink. And they do not or cannot drink enough water if the water is very cold, to continue production. And lack of water can delay startup of laying again for a long time, even when temperatures go back up and water is always available.

Same is true of hot summers, if the hens are left without water--can mean no eggs, and maybe none for a long time after the empty waterer is kept refilled.

Keeping chickens can be very labor intensive!

CJR

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#75956 - 01/17/04 06:26 PM Re: egg laying in winter
Anonymous
Unregistered


Laying eggs is linked to the hours of light. Egg production goes down when the days get shorter. If you put a light in the coop that gives them a total of 14 hours of light, they will start laying again. I put heat lamps in my coops 2 weeks ago and my egg production has gone from 3 eggs a day to 18!! The temp doesn't matter as long as they have food and water. Temps have been in the single digits where I live. Flossie

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#75957 - 01/18/04 05:22 AM Re: egg laying in winter
Anonymous
Unregistered


We will see CJR and Flossie. I have a good laying red who stopped after News Year. She now has an unlimited supply of fresh water that will never freeze (heat probe) and she is feed free choice and has 15 hours of light per day (artificial & actual daylight). The temps have moderated from well below zero for over a week to just below 30 degree's. I am hoping in a week or two things will look up. smile

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#75958 - 01/18/04 08:19 AM Re: egg laying in winter
CJR Online   content
Coop Master

Registered: 07/16/02
Posts: 8489
Loc: Montana
You should be in good shape again soon. BUT, there is always an IF. Suddenly giving the extra light is a shocker that will take adjustment for the bird's internal "clock". The water alone, may make some difference. And any interruption, such as not drinking ENOUGH water while it was cold, can cause a delay in getting the system back in working order. Interruptions can also trigger moult before resuming laying So you are doing what you can--and let's hope you will be getting those eggs again soon!! Hens are complex creatures, and we take them pretty much for granted, sometimes--CJR

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#75959 - 01/19/04 04:07 AM Re: egg laying in winter
Anonymous
Unregistered


Thanks CJR. I also cant wiat to get my new chicks in the spring smile

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