will they lay in the winter?

Discussion in 'Chicken Behaviors and Egglaying' started by PuffMommy, Aug 26, 2008.

  1. PuffMommy

    PuffMommy In the Brooder

    Apr 9, 2008
    Fairfield, CT
    forgive me, i'm new at this...
    so someone just told me that my birds are not going to lay until next year. i have buff o's, rir's and wyandottes that are currently 12 weeks old. i was under the impression that they were going to start laying eggs in late october (around 21/22 weeks) and continue through the winter. i was just told that they will not lay until the spring unless i have them under a light. is this true??? this is coming from a guy that raises bantams. maybe he's mistaken about my heavier breed birds? please say he's mistaken...
  2. They will slow down or totally stop laying during the winter becuase of the amount of daylight. I put a light in my coop for an extra couple hours, and that keeps them laying though the winter.
  3. keljonma

    keljonma Songster

    Feb 12, 2007
    8A East Texas
    A hen needs 14 hours of light to lay eggs.
  4. chickflick

    chickflick Crowing

    Mar 10, 2007
    Hens need 14-16 hours of light to lay. You can provide artificial light in their coop with a simple light bulb. Put it on a timer to make things easier. It should go on in the morning rather than in the evening. The chickens will be caught in the dark and will not be able to roost during the night. They don't see well in the dark.
    Some hens will continue to lay with or without light, but it won't be continuous.
  5. vfem

    vfem Yoga...The Chicken Pose

    Aug 4, 2008
    Fuquay Varina, NC
    I had heard the same thing. I did hear you do have a choice of added a light to their coop to come on at about 5:30 am and timed to go off at 7pm and they should lay more regularly. Mother nature at it again! [​IMG]
  6. illinichick

    illinichick Songster

    Mar 31, 2008
    SE Il
    I just hung a light in the center of the room, turn it on to make sure they get 14-16 hours of light per day. My hens never stopped laying even during the coldest, below zero days.
  7. silkiechicken

    silkiechicken Staff PhD

    I let my birds rest during the winter so don't provide any light. That said, they don't stop either. They just slow down. This will be the 3rd winter for most of them so we'll see how they lay though it. I know my leghorn at her 2nd winter laid right though stopping for 3 weeks to drop her feathers and walk around a freezing pin cushion during the coldest month!
  8. Buff Hooligans

    Buff Hooligans Scrambled

    Jun 11, 2007
    We have four Buff Orps, and they laid consistently right through their first winter without artificial light.

    What's funny is that they've been major slackers during the summer months. We get one egg a day from them, sometimes none, and the weather hasn't been that taxing. Go figure.
  9. PuffMommy

    PuffMommy In the Brooder

    Apr 9, 2008
    Fairfield, CT
    thanks for all the input. i think i'm just going to let mother nature do her thing and see what happens...
  10. Jessika

    Jessika Songster

    May 31, 2008
    Eagle Creek, OR
    When do your hen start slowing down? I am thinking my hens are just being lazy....lol...but this week I have gotten half the eggs I usually do.

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