Why are my hens laying now?!

Discussion in 'Chicken Behaviors and Egglaying' started by Cheesay, Dec 16, 2016.

  1. Cheesay

    Cheesay Chillin' With My Peeps

    Jul 7, 2014
    Hi all,

    I bought some barnyard mixed pullets over the summer. They weren't quite old enough to lay all summer, but just barely started early November. I decided not to put a light in the coop, and just let the hens "rest" for the winter. Plus, I just don't like picking up eggs when it's this cold. I'm always late, and they end up freezing.

    I opened the coop a few weeks ago and found a slew of eggs in a hidden "nest". I figured maybe they laid them earlier, and I somehow missed it. I cleaned it out and didn't check on it until a week later. Sure enough, more eggs. Why are they still laying? I thought they wouldn't lay this time of year with the daylight being so minimal.
  2. Happy Chooks

    Happy Chooks Moderator Staff Member

    Jul 9, 2009
    Northern CA
    My Coop
    Birds under a year old will typically lay through winter. Next winter, they will stop and molt.
    1 person likes this.
  3. Pullets lay all the first Winter till molt at 18 months........Why do you not collect the eggs?........

  4. Cheesay

    Cheesay Chillin' With My Peeps

    Jul 7, 2014
    Thank you! I did not know that. I don't like them laying through winter because in years past, the timing was just off when it came to me getting the eggs. I work, so in the morning when I'd go to get the eggs, they hadn't laid them yet. By the time I got home, the eggs were frozen. It's not so bad during a mild winter, but the temps have been really cold, so the eggs just don't stand a chance.
  5. azygous

    azygous Flock Master

    Dec 11, 2009
    Colorado Rockies
    Do you have electricity to your coop? You could lay a heating pad under the nesting material and it should keep the eggs from freezing. I'm sure the hens will enjoy having a heated nest to lay in, too.
  6. Beekissed

    Beekissed Flock Master

    Nesting material can make a big difference....if you are using pine shavings or straw it tends to move to one side as the hens nest around in it, leaving the eggs laying on bare wood or metal, which will chill them faster. Try using hay for nest box bedding, nice and deep, and you'll see less freezing of the eggs, even in subzero temps. Mine won't freeze in those temps unless I leave them overnight.

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