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Eggstra successful production in a cold and rainy December

Discussion in 'Chicken Behaviors and Egglaying' started by YardBirdCountry, Dec 26, 2013.

  1. YardBirdCountry

    YardBirdCountry In the Brooder

    Apr 27, 2013
    I have 6 birds. 4 have been laying for a while (got them in February), cinnamon queen, 2 RIRs, Jersey Giant. One of the younger two just started laying (2 barred rocks). I am getting 3-5 eggs at day, and usually five. This is good after a slow November. More than enough eggs for family's egg use and a few left over for sharing. I am anticipating even more as the weather warms and the sixth bird finally matures.

    Birds can stay dry in the coop up top. I try to clean it pretty regularly (pulling out extra poop for compost pile and changing the bedding up top every few weeks).

    I like to use DE, wheat straw, and pine straw as bedding. Scratching at DE keeps feet dry and healthy I think.

    I am feeding pellets and regularly treating with oats, vegetable scraps, and even meat scraps and other kitchen scraps (they love sweet potato skins). Very little food waste (only thing I avoid giving them is citrus fruits) Recently extra desert scraps with all the holiday stuff (better to treat the birds than get fat eating it all).

    Birds like to hide under the deck from hawks and to stay dryer and warmer and forage for greens in the yard. Fenced yard keeps most predators away. Putting food away in coop at night (and the neighbors cats) discourage rodent problem.

    The coop is barely big enough for 6 birds. The 4 older birds hog the roosting bar. And the birds mostly ignore the extra roosting bar I put in. Younger birds "roost' in nesting box, causing some poopy egg issues, but not a big deal to just brush off in the sink. You could say that I have one nesting box they generally use for laying and not pooping and one toilet box that they sometimes lay in.
    Last edited: Dec 26, 2013

  2. ChickenCanoe

    ChickenCanoe Free Ranging

    Nov 23, 2010
    St. Louis, MO
    I'm glad things are working out.
    Cold has very little effect. Daylength is the big determinant of egg laying and first year pullets, once they start, will lay no matter what. In subsequent years they'll molt and take a nice long break.

    It's important to break them from sleeping in the nests.
    The roosts need to be higher than the nest.
    Close off the nests before dusk and force them to use or put them on the roost. After a few days it will be better.
    Last edited: Dec 26, 2013
    1 person likes this.

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