Does it matter if it is winter?

Discussion in 'Chicken Behaviors and Egglaying' started by Tomfieldenloveshichickens, Nov 10, 2010.

  1. Tomfieldenloveshichickens

    Tomfieldenloveshichickens Chillin' With My Peeps

    Nov 9, 2010
    Somerset, England
    I have Rhode island reds that are 22 weeks and 21 weeks old. But some people have told me that i will probably won't get eggs this winter, which is annoying. But i want to know whether they are right or not. Thanks for helping me. I am new to keeping chickens. [​IMG]
  2. Yard full o' rocks

    Yard full o' rocks Chillin' With My Peeps

    Mar 24, 2009
    Cartersville, Georgia

    It has more to due with the amount of DAYLIGHT we have in the winter as opposed to winter itself. You might try adding some light to their coop at dusk for an add't 4 hours or so thru the winter. Chickens need approx 14hrs of light to lay eggs and we just dont get that much sunlight during the winter

    Hope that helps
  3. chicmom

    chicmom Dances with Chickens

    Feb 24, 2009
    Strasburg Ohio
    I had chickens that turned 20 weeks old in the beginning of December, and I still got eggs. You definitely get less eggs during the winter because chickens need a good 14 hours of light in order to produce eggs. Now, I light my coops all winter, so that I get eggs all winter long. Some people believe their chickens deserve a resting period during the winter. It's a very hot topic of discussion.

    I'm betting you'll get some eggs soon, but if you just let nature do the lighting, then that could taper off to next to nothing until spring.

    Hope this helps!
  4. Judy

    Judy Chicken Obsessed Staff Member Premium Member

    Feb 5, 2009
    South Georgia
    Yes, adding a few hours of light is a hot topic. I don't do it, but only because I get enough eggs for us anyway. One aspect of it that is not debatable is, chickens have a set number of eggs for life, so if they lay more in winter, they won't lay as long. Truth is, though, many chickens die before they run out of eggs anyway. I've never seen anything in print that actually proves adding light is hard on them. As far as I know, it's just an opinion or feeling that a lot of people have. Not likely to be researched since commercial operations don't care.
  5. kristim23

    kristim23 Out Of The Brooder

    Oct 8, 2010
    Ok, I'm a little confused... Do they stop laying all together with less daylight, or just slow down? Does that depend on breed? I have read a lot of posts on breeds, and some say "mine kept laying all winter". I have always assumed that they meant with extra lighting, but maybe I'm wrong [​IMG]
  6. blaundee

    blaundee Chillin' With My Peeps

    Aug 3, 2009
    I don't use lights, and most of mine slow down their laying in the winter. However, I have a California White hen, Christine, who lays right throught the winter and the heat of summer- she is a HECK OF A LAYER!!!! She lays approx. 13 eggs over 2 weeks! I am putting several of her eggs in the incubator tonight, with the hopes of getting a bunch more like her. [​IMG] She started laying in the late fall at exactly 6 months old, and has been steady for over 2 years. [​IMG]
  7. Judy

    Judy Chicken Obsessed Staff Member Premium Member

    Feb 5, 2009
    South Georgia
    Quote:It depends as much on the individual chicken as the breed. RIR's from a hatchery are certainly bred to lay a lot, and I would expect you will get some eggs in the next few weeks, even without adding light.

    Mine keep laying all winter --- or at least some do, or they all do but less frequently, I really don't know. I have 13 hens of about 5 different breeds. I certainly get more eggs in warm than cold months. I don't provide extra light, because I get enough eggs anyway. In the summer I give some away, and the chickens get scrambled eggs more often.
  8. gritsar

    gritsar Cows, Chooks & Impys - OH MY!

    Nov 9, 2007
    SW Arkansas
    From my own experience and what I've read of others experiences, I can tell you that in their first winter the amount of light isn't as critical. A pullet will lay when she's ready to, wintertime daylight or not. If you're going to see a slow down it will be in their second winter.
  9. zeus

    zeus Out Of The Brooder

    Jun 12, 2010
    norfolk county
    Hey there...Oh good...I thought I was the only one.. I have 3 RI reds about 22 weeks and they haven't started laying yet's funny though,I think they might be getting ready to,and I have seen little piles of grass,like little nests here and there...hopefully soon [​IMG][​IMG]
  10. ginznchix

    ginznchix Chillin' With My Peeps

    Sep 27, 2010
    South Jersey
    My RIRs are 23 weeks and one started laying last week. I'm waiting for her 4 sisters to catch up! We're getting an egg a day from her, a little small right now but I'm sure they'll get bigger. I have a JBG pullet the same age but I don't epect anything from her for a while.

    Question - my other JBG pullet turned into a roo and he's breeding the RIRs - is he too big for them? He's pretty darn big!

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