I am new to chickens in the winter and have egg laying questions...

Discussion in 'Chicken Behaviors and Egglaying' started by festivefeet, Dec 12, 2009.

  1. festivefeet

    festivefeet Chillin' With My Peeps

    Apr 2, 2009
    Hi there. I have five hens in my coop/run. They will be 1 yr in April. They were laying pretty consistently for a good long while but now that the weather is really cold here in Michigan and the days are shorter I am only getting about one egg a day and sometimes no egg. I am wondering how normal this is. I am having to buy store bought eggs and am not happy about it. I thought maybe it was because it was to cold, so we put a heat lamp in the hen house (also because their water was freezing in the hen house). So the temp in there now is about 40-50 in the day and 35-45 at night. The water no longer freezes and the coop is much warmer than before.

    Is there more I can do to help them produce more eggs or is this just how winter is?


    PS. I have one buff orpington, two silver laced wyandottes, an easter egger and a mutt chicken (not sure what it is, some kind of mix).
  2. LynneP

    LynneP Chillin' With My Peeps

    You have a pretty bouquet of birds there. [​IMG]

    Some of us put lights on to bring their laying cycle back- takes 14 hours a day. I have lights on from 5 am - 8 am, seems to work, we almost at the shortest day.
    Others rest their birds...it's your choice! [​IMG]
  3. festivefeet

    festivefeet Chillin' With My Peeps

    Apr 2, 2009
    By the way, they are on Dumor layer feed, they have oyster shells, we are trying to give them fresh veggies now and then (leaf lettuce and some apples etc). They occasionally get scratch.

    I have always heard that happy chickens are laying chickens and I am not sure where I am lacking for them.
  4. festivefeet

    festivefeet Chillin' With My Peeps

    Apr 2, 2009
    What kind of lights? Right now they have a heat lamp in the coop.
  5. Happy Chooks

    Happy Chooks Moderator Staff Member

    Jul 9, 2009
    Northern CA
    My Coop
    This is my first winter with my chickens, but they have slowed down A LOT. I was getting 5-6 eggs a day in summer, and now I'm averaging 2 a day. (from 6 chickens) I now have 2 of my chickens molting, so that is cutting it down even more. If it wasn't for my EE and light brahma, I would only be getting 1 egg every few days.
  6. PandoraTaylor

    PandoraTaylor RT Poultry n Things

    Jun 29, 2009
    if you have the Red heat lamp in there already, you should only need to give reg. light, enough you could read a newspaper in the coop is all that is required for 14 hours a day.

    I have a full spectrum florscent in mine, but have been told that is alittle excessive.

  7. write2caroline

    write2caroline Chillin' With My Peeps

    Jun 21, 2009
    I am wondering if it is the light itself or wouldn't it be better to use a grow light that makes plants grow too? My older pullets hatched 3/15 and have not laid their first egg. I am debating adding light since we are near already the longest night (around xmas) and soon days will be getting longer again. Plus my coop design makes adding a bulb difficult. But I wonder if it is the actual light they need or something sunshine provides naturally.

    Just thought I would ask the question since this discussion is already on the floor!

    Jacksonville FL
  8. annie3001

    annie3001 My Girls

    Jun 11, 2009
    hi there!
    couple questions for ya:
    are you using the heat lamp all the time?
    do your hens get to free range in the natural light?

    we have 5 hens also, mine get to free range (only when i am home)
    at first they hated the cold,, now they cant wait to get out and stretch!!
    its our first time with chickens and winter.
    i plan only using heat lamp in the most coldest minus degree days.
    i have spolied them and left on the heat lamp,, to keep the main coop a bit warm.
    but mine are hardy. i have aclimated them to the cold weather,,even down to the 20's
    their coop is also insulated.

    good luck!
    hope they start laying again....[​IMG]
  9. jafo

    jafo Chillin' With My Peeps

    May 2, 2009
    It's 6 degrees here right now. We have 6 Orpintons, 5 hens yr old, and a roo. No heat, no insulation, a heated waterer, and a 40 watt bulb thats on for 12 hours a day, and we get 3 - 5 eggs a day. I MIGHT put a heat lamp in the coop today. But they're scratching around in the coop as I type this, so they aren't TOO cold,,,,,yet.
  10. cactus-hen

    cactus-hen Chillin' With My Peeps

    Jun 21, 2008
    I have 12 chickens capable of giving me eggs. I was getting 8 - 10 eggs every day this summer. Then 2 went broody, 6-8 eggs daily. Then I started seeing enough feathers to suspect a predator problem, but no predator. Egg production dropped to 2-3 eggs daily. I upped their calorie intake and protein level, made sure that there was a lot of oyster shell available and my two broodies finished raising their babies. I am back up to 5-6 eggs daily. No matter where you're located, your egg production will drop in the winter. Egg production isn't a factor of cold weather but of daily light exposure. The more light, the more eggs. The age and breed of your chickens will also have an effect on how many eggs will be produced in winter. I rest my hens in the winter. Some say you get a longer egg producing life if they rest.

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