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How do I make my hens lay in the winter?

Discussion in 'Chicken Behaviors and Egglaying' started by ScrambledAcresFarm, Jan 6, 2009.

  1. ScrambledAcresFarm

    ScrambledAcresFarm Songster

    Aug 23, 2008
    Caulfield, Missouri
    I know it has something to do with the hours of light they get. I just don't know how much that is!
  2. macnugget

    macnugget Songster

    Give them light! I put a small wattage bulb on a timer to come on at 5am and go off at 7:30 in the morning when the sun comes up. I also so have it go on again at dark for another hour that usally gets me 16hrs in a day. It has helped with egg production.
  3. swtangel321

    swtangel321 ~Crazy Egg Lady~

    Jul 11, 2008
    They need about 14 hours per day !! Putting a light on a timer works well (you can buy a timer at walmart for about $10) Set it to come on in morning and off at night.

    How old are your hens ??
  4. Country Guy John

    Country Guy John Songster

    Apr 30, 2008
    South Carolina
    I have barred rocks and they are giving me about 12 - 18 eggs per day without any artificial light and with cooler temps.
  5. beak

    beak On vacation

    Dec 12, 2008
    Kiowa, Colorado
    It's the light. All they need is about 40 watts. I have a small flourescent designed to go under your kitchen counter. Put it on a timer like the other people said. You can use an extension cord. Just run it where the chicks can't peck it. Be sure they're getting the right feed. We also use a red bulb over the water to keep the water unfrozen. The extra warmth might help a little. We didn't have that stuff last year and the chickens stopped laying. This year were getting a steady 12 per day from 17 hens. 3 or 4 aren't laying yet
  6. ScrambledAcresFarm

    ScrambledAcresFarm Songster

    Aug 23, 2008
    Caulfield, Missouri
    They are little over a year. My friend gave them to me a week ago when a tornado took her barn and the roof off her hen house!
    They were barely laying for her because of the time of year. I was just hoping to get them all laying again. My neighbor down the road who was selling eggs, for some reason just up and quit and I have always wanted to go big with my birds and thought this would as good a time as any. Plus we go through a lot of eggs in my house.
    Last edited by a moderator: Jan 6, 2009
  7. bigzio

    bigzio Crowing 11 Years

    Jan 20, 2007
    Yep, the 14 hours of daylight is optimum for laying.

    The girls are stressed from the excitement, so that has to be considered also...they don't like change either, so keep that in mind.

    They will come around and respond to he additional light, as well as a new safe, dry home with fresh feed and water daily.

  8. ScrambledAcresFarm

    ScrambledAcresFarm Songster

    Aug 23, 2008
    Caulfield, Missouri
    I can tell they are already feeling great because the pen they were in had no greenery. My pen was all grass(Was!) They've used their house since I brought them home with out any problems.
    I guess I will buy a 40 watt bulb!
    How does leaving the light on all day and night effect them?
    I know that big egg producing companies do that!
  9. Debi214

    Debi214 Songster

    Apr 6, 2008
    Richmond, VA
    You don't want to leave the light on all the time - it will stress them out even more big time. Just from 5am to 7am. I live in VA which has less hours of light a day right now than you do and I don't give my hens any extra light and they haven't slowed down in laying. So maybe they are just stressed from the change and will pick up soon. Good luck!!
  10. ScrambledAcresFarm

    ScrambledAcresFarm Songster

    Aug 23, 2008
    Caulfield, Missouri
    Thanks everyone for the info and suggestions!
    By the way Debi, I used to live in Norfolk Va. and have been to Richmond several times!
    Good Night All!

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