Egg Laying in Winter

heybarb

Songster
7 Years
Mar 9, 2012
425
22
111
North Carolina
I have 3 layers: a white leghorn, a leghorn mix, and a buff orpington. They have all been pretty consistent layers until the past week or so now that the temperatures are dropping. Instead of my usual 3 eggs a day, I've been getting 2 eggs per day and it seems to alternate as to who is taking the day off. So, I expected that, which is fine. But I guess my question is will they probably continue to lay through the winter - just not as often, or is it likely that they will stop laying all together?

The 2nd question is about the eggs themselves. We don't always collect the eggs every day, but what happens if the temp drops below freezing at night? Are the eggs still OK to eat?
 

americana-lover

Songster
7 Years
Apr 13, 2012
717
22
123
Michigan
yes, the eggs are still ok to eat, but its just a better idea to collect eggs daily; it prevents chickens from getting broody or something ( like a raccoon or somthin) wont smell the eggs and break into your coop.
yippiechickie.gif


My hens dont lay in the winter either. Its because theyre molting, and all hens usually dont lay in the winter, its just the one time of the year hens dont lay. Thats why farms or egg factories kill the hens at 18 months, when winter comes and they stop laying.

Hope i helped!
 

heybarb

Songster
7 Years
Mar 9, 2012
425
22
111
North Carolina
So, are you saying that all my girls will probably stop laying through the winter? If that's the case, then I think I'll save the 3 dozen eggs in the fridge and keep them instead of giving them away this week like I had planned...
 

mickey328

Songster
7 Years
May 4, 2012
1,380
93
168
Northern Colorado
Not all hens stop completely during the winter; for many the production just slows. If they're not molting, it's generally a function of light. For full production, they need about 16 hours of light a day. If you want, you can add a light to the coop on a timer to come on a few hours before sunrise; those hours will add to the regular "day" for them. For the time being, we opted to just let nature take its course, but we'll see how it goes as the days shorten even further. Our six hens were laying an average of 5 per day over the summer and are down to about 3 per day now. If it doesn't drop any further we'll probably just let them be. Three a day is more than we need anyway :)
 

Choco Maran

Songster
10 Years
Jul 25, 2009
730
51
153
Ribera New Mexico
Place a light in the coop and this will help to give them the 12-1 hours of light they need to keep laying though the winter. I have a batch of 24 week old chicks that are just starting to lay and i keep a light on in their coop 24/7. Unless they are molting you should continue to get eggs.
 

heybarb

Songster
7 Years
Mar 9, 2012
425
22
111
North Carolina
They are not molting now. But I also don't have power out at the coop. So, I guess we'll just let things go as they are right now. We've got about 11 hours of daylight - with the sun coming up around 6:30am and setting around 5:30pm. It's OK whatever happens, I was just curious if they would slow down or stop.
 

PolkaDotMommy

Hatching
9 Years
Apr 14, 2010
5
0
7
Eugene, OR
I'm curious about this as well. . . we have 14 girls (various breeds). One is definitely broody (golden wyandotte) and has been sitting on nothing for a good two weeks now. Despite that, we were still getting 11-13 eggs/day but the last 4 days we are down to 4-6/day. We are a family of 7 and eat at least a dozen eggs a day (grain free family) and I'm back to the grocery store to supplement. The first morning I made scrambled store bought eggs my kids exclaimed, "these look different, they are sooooo pale!".

Anyway, we have a light on. It's set to come on at 5 am and go off at 9:30pm. We've started leaving it on all day as it's quite grey/gloomy and they are under a huge tree. Should I be giving them extra protein or something? Do they need heat? I heard that just the one light bulb should be sufficient even in the colder weather (and it's not below freezing yet).

Suggestions?
 

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