Eggs freezing in winter?

Discussion in 'Chicken Behaviors and Egglaying' started by robomb, Sep 26, 2011.

  1. robomb

    robomb Chillin' With My Peeps

    72
    4
    101
    Aug 15, 2011
    Northern Vermont
    My girls haven't started laying yet (they're 11 weeks), but a friend asked me what I'm going to do in winter when they lay during the day, and I don't get home until 5:30? Northern Vermont gets awfully dang cold. Anyone had this problem / know of a solution? Or perhaps I'm just getting all anxious and worried over nothing.... I don't know what to expect - will they go out in the snow? So far they all go out in the rain, even cold rainy days they're out foraging. I thought I would shovel a little path around their coop, and maybe a bit bigger too. They have about 350 sf of outdoor run for 7 chicks.
     
  2. Dar

    Dar Overrun With Chickens

    5,930
    10
    251
    Jul 31, 2008
    my eggs freeze in the winter.. sadly i loose half my eggs because of this
     
  3. ChickiKat

    ChickiKat Chillin' With My Peeps

    Jul 10, 2011
    Eastern Kansas
    I don't get many eggs in the winter because that is when my birds molt.
     
  4. Fred's Hens

    Fred's Hens Chicken Obsessed Premium Member

    If the temps do not fall much below 20F during the day, which is an average winter day, the eggs will be fine. Remember, the next hen into the box sort of re-warms them. If you left them over night, yeah they'd freeze.

    During zero and below zero weather, you know, that awful week or two we get every year, the eggs will freeze in 2 or 3 hours. No doubt. But, they aren't completely ruined. You can still thaw them, if they aren't cracked, and if they are cracked, I just feed them back to the hens, mixed into their feed. The total loss of frozen eggs isn't that many during an average winter.
     
  5. BarefootMom

    BarefootMom Chillin' With My Peeps

    Jul 20, 2010
    Half Way, Missouri
    we had a few eggs freeze last winter, but not a lot. Only on those days when it was super super cold (like below 10 degrees and strong sub zero winds) As long as your coop is winterized and insulated your eggs should be fine. I add extra straw in the nest boxes in the winter not only for comfort but for warmth. Just be sure to get your eggs everyday. Since as we all know night temps can be extra cold.
     
  6. WoodlandWoman

    WoodlandWoman Overrun With Chickens

    5,719
    43
    283
    May 8, 2007
    Wisconsin
    As long as we collect eggs late in the day and don't let them sit in the coop overnight, we don't lose that many eggs to freezing. If the high was below zero and everybody popped their eggs out early in the morning, well, that's a tough day.

    Cracked eggs, we give to the dogs. You can also cook them up and feed them back to the chickens, so they don't go to waste.

    We use a community nest area, so the chickens do sit on each other's eggs during the day, keeping them warmer. Even if you use individual nest boxes, the chickens usually like to use one particular nest that will become the favorite.
     
  7. ailurophile23

    ailurophile23 Chillin' With My Peeps

    492
    14
    111
    Dec 21, 2010
    VA
    My nest boxes are built onto the outside of my coop so they are not so insulted by the coop itself and yes, we did have some eggs freeze last year - I don't get home until 5 PM and many of the girls lay in the AM. We will be insulating the bottoms, sides and lids of the nest boxes (on the outside - not the inside where the hens could peck at the insulation) to try to alleviate this issue - and also adding more nesting material. The other option would be to place a nest box inside the coop to insulate it more from the low temps. Good luck.
     
  8. ailurophile23

    ailurophile23 Chillin' With My Peeps

    492
    14
    111
    Dec 21, 2010
    VA
    P.S. My hens go out in the snow though they much prefer it if I shovel the snow out of the way and they can get underneath their coop where there is no snow and it is more sheltered. The first snow of the season was amusing though - the hens were not quite sure what to make of the white stuff and did not want to walk in it. [​IMG]
     
  9. top of the hill

    top of the hill Chillin' With My Peeps

    280
    0
    99
    Jun 20, 2011
    Connecticut
    wow, this was a really great question, I hadn't even thought of the eggs freezing. Thanks for posting!
     
  10. Atrayu

    Atrayu Chillin' With My Peeps

    108
    1
    91
    Aug 12, 2011
    Hermosa, South Dakota
    I live in the Black Hills of South Dakota and it gets mighty cold in the winter. We insulated the coop when we built it and it has a small ceramic safety heater that will be kept by the nesting boxes. We also installed a couple of grow lights and 1 warming lamp. I work during the day so I was concerned about the eggs freezing too when we first decided to get them. This will be my first winter with the hens, so I hope it all works out.

    Great topic to post!
     

BackYard Chickens is proudly sponsored by