Are my hens going to just QUIT laying this winter??

Discussion in 'Chicken Behaviors and Egglaying' started by paxicotrader, Dec 19, 2009.

  1. paxicotrader

    paxicotrader Out Of The Brooder

    Apr 16, 2009
    We have a flock of about 30 hens and 2 roosters. Through the summer and fall they were giving us about 20 eggs a day.

    But ever since the "cold snap" we had after Thanksgiving, we are lucky to get 5 eggs total for the entire week. What's going on? These are the hardy black australorps, which the catalogs say will lay in winter. We expected decreased production, surely, but not this! Now I'm having to go back to the store and buy tasteless eggs for my family.

    They have a red lamp in the coop which gives some heat.

    Are we doing something wrong? Going from 140 eggs a week to 5 seems really extreme. [​IMG]
  2. LynneP

    LynneP Chillin' With My Peeps

    Not sure where you are located, checked your BYC page without finding that! We're at 45 deg north.

    I think you will find that a bulb with a larger spectrum will work better in your coop. I've been using a 250W white light with good success. The thing is that hens need 14 hours of full-spectrum light. I use natural daylight and 3-4 hours in the early morning, on a timer. Now if you need heat and light, you may have to add a second source...[​IMG]
    Last edited: Dec 19, 2009
  3. mylilchix

    mylilchix Chillin' With My Peeps

    I think it's normal because mine are doing the same thing. They did it last winter, too. My bantams have completely stopped and my big girls are hit and miss. I have 25 standard hens. Some days I get 2 eggs from them, some days I'm really lucky and get 8. The weather CO has been effecting them. We'll have a few cold snowy days, then it gets sunny and warms upa bit. I don't think my girls know what to do right now!

  4. jwchicklady

    jwchicklady Chillin' With My Peeps

    May 29, 2009
    Howell, MI
    It is more the light than the cold in my experience. The red heat lamp does not give them light like daylight light. I use a regular bulb and keep it on till about 9:00pm Another thing to check on is their protein intake. Some will stop laying if they aren't getting enough protein.
  5. catfish/okie

    catfish/okie Chillin' With My Peeps

    I have 7 hens and been getting 3 or 4 eggs a day. I know my wellie hasnt laid in about a week because of her spotted eggs hasnt been coming. I dont give mine no extra light. I think having a roo probably helps a little.
  6. cedar post

    cedar post Chillin' With My Peeps

    Feb 19, 2009
    More light in the coop is what your lacking. Mike Keep a 40 watt bulb burning.
  7. bunnibird55

    bunnibird55 Chillin' With My Peeps

    Oct 13, 2009
    NW Ohio
    My girls - 20 full size New Hampshire red hens - laid 7 eggs today with the snow whirling around the outside of the barn. Last winter I let them go without light and they were miserable and didn't lay for 2 months - this year I have a full-spectrum flourescent plant light - 40 inches long, two blubs, hanging 2 feet above the feed trough. Mr. Wooster is very proud of his hens and thinks they are doing a great job! I have some new poults that are 4 months old and will be moving into the big barn with the rest of the girls next month. I have people lined up waiting for eggs from me - the girls are laying at least two double yolk eggs each day. I feed them a mixture of a 22 percent hi-flier crumble with free choice cracked corn and a pan of oyster shells. Last year I added soybean oil to their feed before I decided to try the light - the light seems to have made the difference for them. I sat out in the barn today with them and they were so happy just scratching away - the barn is a 60x40 ft pole barn and I have two miniature horses at the far end of the barn - the hay is stacked in the middle of the south wall and the chickens love being able to get up on the hay and eat a bit of green grass whenever they want. When my animals are happy, I am happy!!!!!

BackYard Chickens is proudly sponsored by