My smallest hen started laying right after Thanksgiving. She gave two eggs the first day, two eggs the second day and one egg a day every day since then. she lays the first egg between 6 and 6:30 every morning. (On the second egg days she laid those around 9am in the forage pen)
She did not lay an egg this morning. I checked both houses and even turned over the bedding in the entire enclosure looking for it.
We had out first truly winter weather overnight. Temps in the twenties but the real feel temp was around 10 degrees. There were salt trucks and plows out more than 6 times over night. They make a lot of noise and my dogs were kind enough to let me know that the were out on the road each time they passed our farm.
This is the first time they've had to deal with the flashing lights and noise from the municipal trucks. We've had plenty of nights in the twenties but none with a real feel that low yet.
They're eating a balanced soy free layer ration and have free choice grit, oyster shell, poultry herb mix (basil, oregano, garlic, calendula etc.) that was an early present from Santa Paws.
They also receive steamed potato and either steamed green beans or chopped kale/ chopped cabbage as part of breakfast and supper each night. I usually offer the greens in the morning.
They get fresh water in the morning and fresh water again at night. They get 30-45 minutes in the duck yard in the morning and 15-30 minutes in the duck yard at night.
I turn their bedding as needed. I added a fresh, thick layer of bedding Sunday because I knew this weather was predicted. I fluffed it up again last night in the dark.
Last night I added some cracked corn to their nightly meal and some cat food because of the low temps and nasty weather predicted. All of the hens were noticeably nervous last night when I fed them supper and let them out in the yard. It was already very obvious that a weather system was blowing in.
What can I do to better support her while she lays in the winter ?
I understand that it is not typical for ducks to lay in the winter. But she is and I want to do the best I can for her.
There is no way I can block out the plow lights or noise. We're set back from the road over 100 feet and we can hear it inside the house and see the flashing lights.