"Coming of age" in the winter months

Discussion in 'Chicken Behaviors and Egglaying' started by Chemguy, Jul 25, 2011.

  1. Chemguy

    Chemguy Chillin' With My Peeps

    May 30, 2011
    Springfield, Ohio
    Hi All,

    I have eight 1-week old chicks (4 BO, 4BR) who will be of egglaying age sometime in December or January. I'm in the Northern US, so it will be in the coldest part of winter that this will happen. I have no plans to light the coop artificially. Should I even expect eggs this winter? Even if there are no eggs, would it be wise to mix in a small amount of layer feed anyway to provide calcium as a nutrient?
  2. JodyJo

    JodyJo Chillin' With My Peeps

    Sep 27, 2010
    first off, they don't get layer feed till they are laying...they need starter,/grower till then.

    They lay because of light, not heat...is your coop draft free and fairly warm? They will be feathered out, so they won't need a heat lamp.
    You may need a heater for your waterer etc.

    I live in Colorado, -30 in the winters...some hens don't lay as well in the cold, some may stop all together.
    Yours should continue to lay...I have a friend with 30 BO and I have BR, they all lay, maybe not as many...

    I plan on putting a string of Christmas lights in my coop this winter, with a timer, so they get the needed light to continue to lay...
    you may want to consider this, or a small bulb light. They don't need a lot.
  3. Jeffross1968

    Jeffross1968 Chillin' With My Peeps

    May 14, 2011
    Smoky Mountains
    Quote:I thinking providing layer feed at the appropriate age should be done regardless if they are laying or not. That being said, I'm very interested in the first part of your post, as I'll have a few coming of laying age close to the end of the year too.
  4. sixty7x

    sixty7x Out Of The Brooder

    Dec 12, 2010
    Warwick RI
    My first 2 RIR started laying in december. I was told they may hold off until spring. They also didn't start laying until they were 6 months old. I put them all on layer feed at 4 1/2mo-5mo. I can't exactly remember right now. good luck
  5. lynnemabry

    lynnemabry Chillin' With My Peeps

    Jul 24, 2010
    Beautiful Lake County
    depending on light they may not lay until the days get longer in the spring. they should be on flock raiser until then, layer feed has too much calcium for them.

    if you are really concerned that they will not have enough calcium, when the first starts to lay feed oyster shell or eggs shells until that bag is gone.
  6. cmom

    cmom Hilltop Farm

    Nov 18, 2007
    My Coop
    I have had many birds start laying during the winter months. I think extreme heat or cold can affect how often they lay.
  7. Denninmi

    Denninmi Chillin' With My Peeps

    Jul 26, 2009
    Mine RIR were hatched early June, started laying at New Years. My ISA Browns hatched early June started laying in November.

    The first year, I lit, the 2nd year, I didn't light, and it made no difference on the number of eggs.

    Extremes of heat and cold will produce a temporary slowdown, for just a few days. When the weather moderates, production picks back up.
  8. cmom

    cmom Hilltop Farm

    Nov 18, 2007
    My Coop
    Quote:I agree. I have RIRs, Isa Browns and RIWs too. I love my birds...
  9. janinepeters

    janinepeters Chillin' With My Peeps

    Jun 9, 2009
    I am in Mass., and many of the dual purpose breeds I have had started laying in winter, and kept laying throughout. I have never provided a light or heat. Many first year birds lay well throughout winter, even with the short day length and cold weather.

    As for feed, I switch them all to layer feed as soon as the first one starts laying. Some of the others may not start until weeks or even months after, but I've never had a problem with having them all on layer feed.

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