Egg laying in winter

Discussion in 'Pictures & Stories of My Chickens' started by ESMayes, Dec 3, 2012.

  1. ESMayes

    ESMayes Out Of The Brooder

    Oct 3, 2012
    Does the egg supply stop during cold weather? My four are still laying at the minute. I have read its better to insulate the coop from outside not the inside so the cluckies cannot eat it. Some advice would be great but I really don't want to put heaters in in case of fire.

    Elaine x
  2. stevetone

    stevetone Chicken Advocate

    Skip the heaters. Make the coop draft-free, but well ventilated and dry.

    A hen's egg production depends largely on the duration of daylight, not on temperature. They need to have 13-14+ hours of light per day for their bodies to "get" that they should be laying. This is also somewhat dependent on breed, as some have been bred to be better Winter layers.

    Now, young pullets that generally don't molt prior to their first Winter may continue laying, at a lower rate, regardless of light duration.
  3. Usually egg laying will slow down or stop during the cold months, but it's not really due to cold temps. Usually the reason hens will stop laying is because there's less daylight hours everyday. To keep up good production hens need 12-14 hours of light everyday. Right now we are getting about 9 hours.

    It is recommended you have a 40 watt light bulb for every 100 sq. ft of coop, or a 60 watt for 200 sq ft. I have a 60 watt on a timer that comes on at 4 am, goes off at 7 am, then it comes on again at 5 pm, and off at 8. Any lights should be 7 ft off the ground, and I would recommend getting a heat lamp guard, so if any chickens run into it the bulb won't shatter. If you want you could use a heat lamp bulb, but it's not really necessary.

    Make sure your lights are secure and that a chicken flying will not knock it down and start a fire. Also make sure there's no cobwebs, dust, straw, or anything like that hanging around the guard.

    Having those extra hours of light will make a HUGE difference to keep your girls laying all winter. :)

    ~~Ms. B :)

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