Does egg production stop COMPLETELY in winter?

Discussion in 'Chicken Behaviors and Egglaying' started by Jhs51684, Nov 22, 2015.

  1. Jhs51684

    Jhs51684 Chillin' With My Peeps

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    Hi. It's my 1st year as a hen keeper. I have 4 silver Duckwing bantams (very small). I've gotten 1 egg since daylight savings time has ended. Does production stop completely in winter? I also recently switched from pine shavings to straw in the coop, not sure if that affects the birds either.

    Thanks
     
  2. BantamLover21

    BantamLover21 Overrun With Chickens

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    How old are your bantams? Egg production can and does often stop completely during the winter as daylight hours shorten and many birds molt. Some highly productive breeds, like Red Sex-links, will keep laying, but most won't.
     
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  3. Jhs51684

    Jhs51684 Chillin' With My Peeps

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    Thanks. They are nearly 10 months old
     
  4. Ol Grey Mare

    Ol Grey Mare One egg shy of a full carton. ..... Premium Member

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    Agreed with @BantamLover21 -- breed plays heavily into expected winter production. Birds in the first laying cycle are generally less effected by the winter, but even they can experience a "lay-off". One thing to remember is that in the times of plenty (summer/fall) you can start preparing for winter by keeping more eggs back (they stay quite edible for some time if stored properly) and you can even freeze eggs for longer storage (though this does somewhat limit their uses when thawed). Your birds are not particularly known for their productivity.
     
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  5. Martlet

    Martlet Chillin' With My Peeps

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    Thanks. Sorry to piggy-back on this post, but it was related and didn't want to start a redundant one.

    One week ago I adopted 5 Red Stars and 1 Black Star. They were already molting. I got 7 eggs the first few days but nothing since. One put out a bunch of mush one day. I'm giving them layer pellets. They were pastured before and I believe they had a light to extend the day. I'm keeping them in the run for awhile before pasturing or free ranging them.

    I'm curious about the stop in production, but I assumed that the combination of shorter days, molting, new home, change in feed, etc probably stopped it and possibly won't start again until spring. Should I be concerned, or is my assumption likely correct.
     
  6. dekel18042

    dekel18042 Chillin' With My Peeps

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    Talking about my own birds, I certainly hope the freeloading slackers start laying before spring.
    I know my Old English game bantams aren't really a laying breed. They're just pets and one has sneaked a nest under the shed, so whether or not they will lay before spring is anyone's guess but I doubt it.
    The large fowl, thankfully, finally, the pullets from the spring are just starting to lay (took their sweet time about it.) so at least we have pullet eggs and a couple of the Easter Eggers are contributing, but brown eggs have been really scarce. The birds seemed to be doing a flock molt so I've switched to a higher protein food and will switch back to layer crumbles when they start laying again. They do get to free range daily and don't eat much so I assume they're finding food.
    The molts seem to be mostly complete and they're in fine feather so I'm really hoping to see more eggs....soon!
    I'm wondering if giving them a little extra light would kick start them? Then once they start again, discontinue.
     
  7. shodack

    shodack Chillin' With My Peeps

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    I have four seven month old pullets who have been laying well, 3-4 eggs a day for a the last month or 6 weeks. Just in the last week or so they have really cut back- I've been getting two eggs a day now for the last several days. I'm assuming it will mostly stay this way for a couple months.
     
  8. Ol Grey Mare

    Ol Grey Mare One egg shy of a full carton. ..... Premium Member

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    Supplemental light will need to he continued to be effective.
     
  9. Talithahorse

    Talithahorse Chillin' With My Peeps

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    I am in the same boat. My main laying pen has been giving me nothing since they all decided to molt and daylight savings ended. My new Dorkings had just started to lay, then stopped and molted and now nothing. So out of 30 plus chickens I am lucky to get 1-2 eggs a day and that is out of the silkie pen. This is the first year that I decided I was going to try without supplemental light but now I am thinking that if things don't pick up I will have to break down and buy eggs (UGGGH!) I decided to add supplemental light back but I know it will take a couple of weeks to kick in and work. Oh well, I guess Thanksgiving will have a few more egg free recipes.
     
  10. dekel18042

    dekel18042 Chillin' With My Peeps

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    Drat! I'm really hoping since they have their new feathers they might start to lay on their own. So much for choosing cold hardy breeds and breeds that are supposed to lay through the winter. This is the first year they have done this, molting all at once going into winter.[​IMG]
     

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