Question about cold weather laying

Discussion in 'Chicken Behaviors and Egglaying' started by iLikeMineFried, Sep 19, 2016.

  1. iLikeMineFried

    iLikeMineFried Out Of The Brooder

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    Jun 29, 2016
    Northern Wisconsin
    My gold laced wyandottes should be starting to lay around Thanksgiving, they are currently 12 weeks old. We live in north central Wisconsin and the nights are already getting chilly, and all my birds are in molt right now. My question is, with the cold creeping in, will that slow down the maturing process meaning I won't have eggs till say Christmas? I would really like to make my holiday meals/baking with fresh eggs for my family gatherings. This is my first flock, so bear with me.[​IMG]
     
  2. redsoxs

    redsoxs Chicken Obsessed

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    Since chickens don't molt til their second autumn you won't have to worry about that. But it's not cold as much as shortened daylight hours that knocks back egg production. Chickens need 14 hours of light per day to lay consistently. They will still lay this fall but not in numbers like if they were reaching laying age in March. A cozy coop will help. Some folks also add light to the coop to up the amount they get t keep laying happening regularly. But I know what you mean. I start stockpiling eggs in early November as I've had December days with zero eggs from my 25 girls! Good luck to you.
     
  3. iLikeMineFried

    iLikeMineFried Out Of The Brooder

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    Jun 29, 2016
    Northern Wisconsin
    So my birds are not molting yet? There are feathers everywhere and they have a bunch of new feather chutes coming in. Every time they flap their wings a few feathers fall off. I won't be able to provide extra light because we have no power in the coop. I do have a large window on the west wall though. Pop doors on the East and door facing south. Vents on North and East walls at the top of the wall. I will be putting down pine shavings in a thick layer on the floor of the coop since it's dirt, and also in the nest boxes. The coop is insulated. So I may have to buy eggs this holiday season. Oh well. Thanks.
     
  4. chickens really

    chickens really Overrun With Chickens

    Your young birds are going through the juvenile moult...My coop and run looked like a pillow fight happened...
    As for cold weather laying...My hens lay all winter...I run a heat lamp as soon as it gets cold...I have sand in my coop so I do not have too worry so much about fire as most people do....My water never freezes and my birds are happy and healthy all winter long!
     
  5. iLikeMineFried

    iLikeMineFried Out Of The Brooder

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    Jun 29, 2016
    Northern Wisconsin
    Even with my coop being insulated, 10 birds inside, the window closed, and one of the pop doors closed, my water will still freeze when it gets to -20 degrees. I have no electricity for a heat lamp or heated water bowl. The coop is too far from the house for an extension cord, I would have to use 3 of them hooked together and I have safety issues with that. I have one of those rubber feed pans that I will fill twice a day for them with water. Pillow fight is about right. My birds look awful. All patchy and fuzzy. Next year we are going to put sand in the coop to bring up the floor level. When it rains the coop floods.
     
  6. chickens really

    chickens really Overrun With Chickens

    We built a floor for my coop...Have it raised off the ground..It was a dirt floor because it was a garden shed made out of wood and stucco to match our house...It flooded always too...I have lino laid inside that I cover in sand...I run extension cords to my coop all winter with zero issues....

    Just what works for me!

    Cheers
     
  7. aart

    aart Chicken Juggler! Premium Member

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    My Coop
    I hope you left some open spaces for ventilation.
     
  8. iLikeMineFried

    iLikeMineFried Out Of The Brooder

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    Jun 29, 2016
    Northern Wisconsin
    2 of the walls have vents at the top, the vents are 4 inches tall by 8 inches wide, and one of the two pop doors at ground level stays open year round. Is that not enough? Should I leave the window open a little too? it is right across from the roost and wind blows in and I am afraid of freezing my birds.
     
  9. chickens really

    chickens really Overrun With Chickens

    You answered your own question...Keep the window closed in the winter so the cold wind is not blowing on them..The top vents will be fine...
     
  10. aart

    aart Chicken Juggler! Premium Member

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    Definitely don't want any strong drafts moving across the roost.
    Whether those 2 vents are enough depends on the size of your coop....
    .....can you post pics of coop in side and out and give dimensions of coop in feet by feet?
     

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