Tis the season to not be laying?

Miss Pearl

In the Brooder
6 Years
Aug 14, 2013
I have 6 hens (2 & 3 yrs. old) that have always produced 5-6 eggs per day. But since the daylight savings time change, I may get 1 or 2 eggs per week. How long will they continue this and is there anything I can feed them to help with egg production?
There are two main reasons why production slows down or stops at this time of year. First is the seasonal molting. While they molt, their bodies put all of their energy into growing in new feathers. Increasing the amount of protein will help get them through their molts faster. Some hens will start laying as soon as they finish their molt, others won't start laying again until spring is on the way.
The other reason is lack of daylight. The shorter days mean there isn't enough daylight for production.
The good news is that it's only about 4 more weeks till winter solstice and the days begin to lengthen again. Once the days are long enough, production should start back up.
It's the lack of light and their age. In a chicken's first year (especially if less light happens right when they get to POL) they will generally continue to lay the first winter. The next winter rolls around, now they are 18-20 months old, laying will decrease. You can try to force laying on them by adding supplementary light of 14 hours per day but I don't recommend that. It's hard on their body and just like a human female, each chicken only has so many eggs in their lifetime. I would suggest adding a couple Point of Lay to your flock if you can so you can get the two eggs per day from them! I plan to add 5 more chicks to my flock in April so they are POL for next winter.
What they said
Also, some breeds seem to lay better in the winter months than others (my easter eggers have quit, but my wyandotte and marans crosses are still going strong)
Thank you all so much for replying back so quickly. This all makes complete sense with the daylight and laying eggs. You're right about the molting. I have 3 molting now. Well, I'm not going to push them for eggs. I'll just make sure they have plenty of protein to get them through this stage. Thanks again for all your help. I feel so much better knowing this is normal and they're okay. Have a Blessed Holiday Season.
I was getting 4 a day from my 4 pullets, but in the last two weeks I'm getting 2 a day. We are down to 8-9 hours of daylight... Hoping by March we see a positive change!
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