Laying hen laying cycles?

Discussion in 'Chicken Behaviors and Egglaying' started by muircheartaigh, Feb 22, 2013.

  1. muircheartaigh

    muircheartaigh Chillin' With My Peeps

    Is there anyone out there who can shed some light on egg laying necessities i.e., required temperature, light cycle, optimal feed ration, effect of molt, laying cycles, etc. for laying hens in winter months. In terms of anatomy, what should the vent look like on a laying hen? Are there any other experiential tidbits that might expose a hen as off duty? Please feel free to go into as much detail as possible.
    Slainte mhath!
  2. Kikiriki

    Kikiriki Chillin' With My Peeps

    May 26, 2011
    Central Florida
    Different lines lay differently: length of day and food are prime to laying. If they slow down too much add a strong light to the run and coop to extend the hours. My three girls head into the coop right after the sun drops below the horizon. They are golden comets, which are a cross for high laying and in the summer I got six eggs a week from two, and 13 every two weeks from one. Each day each hen will lay at a later time, and after her day off, will go back to early in the morning and start the cycle again. It was not something to set a clock by though...usually about 45 minutes later, but sometimes 2 hours, or sometimes just 10 minutes.

    They kept laying through the winter, rotating around laying for two days to not laying for two days, but all on a different schedule from one another. Some days I got no eggs, most days I got two, frequently only got one, and some days I got three. After not laying, however, the first eggs laid would be bigger, and sometimes they would be enormous! Way bigger than store bought extra large....

    Finally, if the chickens do not get enough protein, they will not lay, too: 16% minimum for layers, I believe. If you use layer feed that is not an issue. I do not, so I have to pay attention to their forage... Bugs are good protein and Florida has no shortage!
    Last edited: Feb 22, 2013
    1 person likes this.

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