The Winter Blues

Discussion in 'Chicken Behaviors and Egglaying' started by fireflyhatchery, Feb 17, 2016.

  1. fireflyhatchery

    fireflyhatchery Chillin' With My Peeps

    I am from the state of Iowa which has all four seasons to the extreme. Now is winter and like every other winter the temperatures can never make up their mind and range from -30 to 30. One thing that does seem to stay the same is that once it gets cold, the birds slow to a crawl for egg production. I had thought it was the breed that I had so I had a comparison one year on the different species from the flock and found that the Austrolorps and RIR did the best but still slowed production during the winter. I need tips! Diet, breed, superstitions or anything else that I can try to get the birds to lay better.
  2. crapwagon

    crapwagon Out Of The Brooder

    Feb 15, 2015
    Fremont IN
    My Coop
    I have Jersey Giants and I'm getting about 2 eggs a day from 7 hens. Some of the guys at work said to give them cat food and it'll help boost egg production. I thought it was strange so all I did was increase their feed and added mealworms as treats. Along with oyster shells. with that I got my production over the last few weeks to 4 a day. So I'm wondering if its really worth it. I think we are in the same boat. [​IMG]
  3. donrae

    donrae Hopelessly Addicted Premium Member

    Jun 18, 2010
    Southern Oregon
    How old are your birds?

    It's not so much temp, as length of daylight. have you looked into supplemental lighting?
  4. oldhenlikesdogs

    oldhenlikesdogs I Wanna Be A Cowboy Premium Member

    Jul 16, 2015
    central Wisconsin
    Switching to a higher protein feed can help them get through a molt quicker and them resume laying sooner, as well as keeping them laying, especially if you are feeding anything more besides a ration.
  5. aart

    aart Chicken Juggler! Premium Member

    Nov 27, 2012
    SW Michigan
    My Coop
    Pullets will often lay thru their first winter....hens, not so much...even with supplemental lighting.
    Lots of variables.

  6. fireflyhatchery

    fireflyhatchery Chillin' With My Peeps

    They are going on 3 years with 18% crumbles and mild lighting all day. I have no scratch additives which I have heard makes a difference, the bedding is somewhat old but the water also stays half full no matter what.
  7. oldhenlikesdogs

    oldhenlikesdogs I Wanna Be A Cowboy Premium Member

    Jul 16, 2015
    central Wisconsin
    Going on three means unfortunately they won't lay as much this year, the first two years are the best, by three and four production can be cut in half in some hens and by five or six many will have quit laying with a few continuing for another year or two sporadically laying. Your best bet for continual eggs is to add a few new chicks each spring or summer, or at least every two years.

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