ONE WEEK OF EGGS FROM 30 Chickens in Dead of winter!!! Without artificial lighting!

Discussion in 'Feeding & Watering Your Flock' started by LarryP2, Jan 25, 2014.

  1. LarryP2

    LarryP2 Out Of The Brooder

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    I think I have discovered how to maximize winter egg production, without resorting to artificial lighting. The key I believe is to keep the chickens absolutely bone dry, but allowed to run free in a covered run that maximizes air circulation and miserly winter light. My artificial run is in two sections: The "Old Section" is about 8' x 80'. The New Section is 40' x 12'. The entire complex is roofed with metal roofing, and has held up under some pretty severe weather this winter. It is the first structure of any I have ever built! I found 300' of used 6' chain link fencing on Craigslist for $100, and then found enough used metal roofing on Craigslist to roof the entire thing for another $100. The "walls" of the runs were built with "T-Posts" and the chain link. 2x6 ceiling joists (used off Craigslist of course) Totally predator proof too.

    We have had weeks of below zero weather and some pretty massive snowstorms, and today it is very depressingly dark and extremely cold (our ponds are all frozen). I have a heated water supply. I just dump full bags of chicken feed on the ground, and the chickens LOVE "scratching" through the deep deep dust.
     
    Last edited: Jan 25, 2014
    1 person likes this.
  2. SelfMadeFarming

    SelfMadeFarming Chillin' With My Peeps

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    :thumbsup
     
  3. LTygress

    LTygress Chillin' With My Peeps

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    I haven't been getting THAT many, since I don't have thirty laying hens, but mine have done pretty well laying lately too. I'm getting right about 5-6 per day out of 7 laying hens. Not bad considering two of those are sumatras - not known for being prolific egg layers!

    But my pen is much the same as yours with one difference - most of it is not currently sheltered from the weather. It's just a net laying over the top. But I expect to be getting a canopy that will stand well above the net to keep them dry. The pen is 17' x 21', and the shelter will be 10' x 20'. So they'll have a little bit uncovered, but PLENTY of shelter for all of them.
     
  4. chickencoop789

    chickencoop789 Chillin' With My Peeps

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    Just out of curiosity, what do you do with all of those eggs???
     
  5. Katt66

    Katt66 Chillin' With My Peeps

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    Maybe that's why mine lay so well also, I dunno.

    I've got a Leghorn, Black Orpington, Buff Orpington, Gold Sebright, and Silver Sebright all started laying within the last two or three months. I've been getting between four and five eggs a day. My Sebrights lay pretty much every day with just a skip day here and there to reset I guess. Like five to six eggs a week from each of them. Leghorn lays nonstop as expected and the two Orpingtons also only skip a single day here and there to reset and also lay five to six eggs a week.

    They have a fully enclosed and covered run and a lovely cozy little coop. Full access to all the dry feed and water they want and a bowl of fermented feed each morning. No artificial lighting here either. But the run being covered in plastic does give a nice greenhouse effect. You wouldn't believe how much warmer and cozier it is in there even when it's only in the single digits outside.
     
  6. escape

    escape Out Of The Brooder

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    I have horses and an indoor riding arena. The first of November, we moved the coop into a corner of the arena and attached a 5X12 run.

    I ride my horse in the morning and then let the chickens out to "free range" in the arena. I toss some fodder out to them and they think it is summer in the pasture. [​IMG] They love going up to the hayloft and playing in the hay.

    The arena isn't heated, but it has light panels so is very bright and it is out of the wind.

    Our temps have been dipping below zero (the high tomorrow is supposed to be -5ยบ) and we are still getting 5 - 6 eggs a day out of six chickens. (3 sexlinks and 3 leghorns).
     

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