Do you give your hens breaks?

JacksFarmNGardn

Songster
5 Years
Dec 26, 2015
299
123
151
New York
I'm new to owning my own chickens. I grew up with them. I have 4 hens who aren't laying. 2 were molting though,but they are done now. 3 of the 4 hens are squatting,so I would imagine they will be soon. However,I don't even care right now! Lol! I see alot of people add lights to coops to continue winter laying. Is it just me,or am I the only one that thinks winter time,my girls deserve a break from laying. Anyone else give winter breaks to their hens?
 

oldhenlikesdogs

Grateful
BYC Staff
Premium Feather Member
5 Years
Jul 16, 2015
45,528
79,427
1,462
Wisconsin
Here in Wisconsin we get brutal winters, if my hens don't want to lay it doesn't bother me, I would prefer they stay warm first, I never push anyone and I will actually cut the protein levels in my growing pullets to slow them down so they don't begin laying too soon, I prefer for them to mature first, I have no expectations on my chickens as far as egg laying goes.
 

song of joy

Crowing
9 Years
Apr 22, 2012
1,191
664
281
Central Pennsylvania
I've never used lights or heat in the coop, as I don't want to push them to lay in the winter when there are other biological demands upon them.

The girls molt when it's time, lay eggs when it's time, and go broody when it's time. Broodiness is the only part of this that I may interfere with, depending on the need for new chicks and reliability of the broody.
 

JacksFarmNGardn

Songster
5 Years
Dec 26, 2015
299
123
151
New York
Phew! I'm glad i'm not alone! We have brutal winters here! I just want my hens to concentrate on keeping warm and healthy! My one had a sinus infection from the stress of the fluctuating temperatures.11 degrees one day,47 the next! She's recovered better than I expected and would rather use this time with my newish hens this winter to bond and keep them warm,happy and healthy! I'm patiently waiting for spring for hatching out their chicks!
1f60a.png
 

AuntNomi

Songster
5 Years
Aug 13, 2015
547
42
146
Callahan, Florida!
I agree! Everytime I read post trying to add light and such to get the chickens started back I always wonder why. I understand that some need the eggs to sell so that they can buy feed and such. I've only had chickens since March so I have never had to deal with thinking about adding a light. Mine started laying August 29th and have not stopped yet. I only have one in that group that does not lay, but she never started yet either. She's a 9 month old Black Australorp. I am not sure how I will feel when I have to go back to the store and buy eggs because my hens abruptly stop laying but I will not be doing any tricks to keep them laying, other then maybe getting more spring chicks that might lay through the next winter coming. I believe they take a break for a reason, so I will respect that.
 

aart

Chicken Juggler!
Premium Feather Member
8 Years
Nov 27, 2012
96,566
130,240
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SW Michigan
My Coop
My Coop
Phew! I'm glad i'm not alone! We have brutal winters here! I just want my hens to concentrate on keeping warm and healthy! My one had a sinus infection from the stress of the fluctuating temperatures.11 degrees one day,47 the next! She's recovered better than I expected and would rather use this time with my newish hens this winter to bond and keep them warm,happy and healthy! I'm patiently waiting for spring for hatching out their chicks!
1f60a.png
Sinus infections are caused by bacteria, not fluctuating temps.
Tho fluctuating temps can cause stress on the body to allow those bacteria to thrive and overwhelm the immune system.
Lots of good balanced nutrition and lots of fresh air in the coop can help keep illnesses at bay by keeping birds healthier.
 

JacksFarmNGardn

Songster
5 Years
Dec 26, 2015
299
123
151
New York
Sinus infections are caused by bacteria, not fluctuating temps.
Tho fluctuating temps can cause stress on the body to allow those bacteria to thrive and overwhelm the immune system.
Lots of good balanced nutrition and lots of fresh air in the coop can help keep illnesses at bay by keeping birds healthier.


Yes,this is what i mean by the temps fluctuating causing the sinus infection. As per stress. The coop gets cleaned about every week,and is ventilated. As for nutrition,well i swear i'm purposely cutting veggies for them! Lol! Made soup yesterday,so today they'll get the celery ends
1f60a.png
at least every other day a healthy snack! Cause i know how ctappy it is out now,and they'll need it more!
 

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