Couple questions on winter egg laying and storing eggs

Ciqala

Songster
6 Years
Apr 14, 2013
316
39
121
New Hampshire
My small flock is about 6 months old, this is the first time I'm keeping chickens and have a few questions about the upcoming winter in regards to eggs. I've heard chickens either slow down a lot with their egg laying or stop completely through winter unless you use artificial light, which I am not going to be doing. If this is true, around when can I expect them to start slowing down/stop? I ask because I give away a lot of our eggs and would like to make sure I start keeping them at a somewhat appropriate time to make sure we have plenty through the winter. I have 11 hens, only 7 are laying as of right now.

Also, to extend the life of the eggs is my best plan to keep them unwashed on a counter and then at some point put them in the fridge when their room temp "life" is nearing it's point? If I do it this way, how long are they good on the counter for and then how long in the fridge?
 

ChickenCanoe

Enabler
Premium Feather Member
11 Years
Nov 23, 2010
33,949
29,814
1,117
St. Louis, MO
It somewhat depends on the breed.
You probably won't see a big slowdown from spring hatched chickens their first winter. The second autumn and each thereafter they'll molt and stop completely, then slowly coming back on line through the winter.

Adding light does make a big difference depending on your latitude. Day length is one of the most important factors in egg production.
However, not adding light will allow the birds time to rest and lay many years longer - just fewer per year early on.

The very best way to store eggs longterm is unwashed and immediately refrigerated in a sealed container - in which case they'll be good for 6 months or more.
 
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