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Do you give your hens breaks?

Discussion in 'Chicken Behaviors and Egglaying' started by JacksFarmNGardn, Jan 12, 2016.

  1. JacksFarmNGardn

    JacksFarmNGardn Chillin' With My Peeps

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    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?
     
  2. junebuggena

    junebuggena Chicken Obsessed

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    Loads of flock owners here prefer to let their girls take a break during the fall/winter. It helps extend their laying life and keeps them strong and healthy.
     
  3. oldhenlikesdogs

    oldhenlikesdogs Sits With Chickens Premium Member

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    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.
     
    2 people like this.
  4. song of joy

    song of joy Chillin' With My Peeps

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    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.
     
  5. JacksFarmNGardn

    JacksFarmNGardn Chillin' With My Peeps

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    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! [​IMG]
     
  6. AuntNomi

    AuntNomi Chillin' With My Peeps

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    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.
     
  7. aart

    aart Chicken Juggler! Premium Member

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    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.
     
    1 person likes this.
  8. JacksFarmNGardn

    JacksFarmNGardn Chillin' With My Peeps

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    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 [​IMG]at least every other day a healthy snack! Cause i know how ctappy it is out now,and they'll need it more!
     
  9. Poultrybonkers

    Poultrybonkers Chillin' With My Peeps

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    Since mine havent started and I got them in april they get a light. They dont need a break as they had all summer to take a break.
     
  10. aart

    aart Chicken Juggler! Premium Member

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