Winter egg laying vs feed

Discussion in 'Feeding & Watering Your Flock' started by mpoland33, Nov 18, 2018.

  1. mpoland33

    mpoland33 Songster

    I know there have been conversations on here about this before but wanted to open up another one....

    I have 7 hens and we pretty much skipped fall and went right to snow and 30's at night. My girls are 9 months old or so and during the summer we were average 7 eggs a day (i have 8 girls at the time) and are down to averaging 2 a day for the past week or so...1 one day and 3 the next.

    What do you guys do for feed or anything else (except supplemental light- I don't have that ability) in order to keep the girls laying. Where do you get your vitamins or whatever you use?
     
  2. ChickenCanoe

    ChickenCanoe Free Ranging

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    The dearth of eggs is likely from shorter day length. We're only about a month from the shortest day of the year and then increasing day length (vs. dark) will begin stimulating production.
    If you can't provide light, there really isn't much else you can do except insure they go out right at dawn to maximize light exposure.
    Unless you are collecting eggs for hatching, you likely don't need to add vitamins if you are feeding a fresh feed with very little supplements like scratch.
    If you have a need for nutrient supplementation, Nurti-Drench for poultry is a good product.
    What breeds are your layers.
     
    IowaChickChick likes this.
  3. mpoland33

    mpoland33 Songster

    I have a coop inside a run and keep the door to the run open so the girls are out early. Nothing for hatching...just looking for eggs to eat and I made the mistake of not stocking up- sold and gave some away to customers and co-workers.

    I have a range of breeds.
    1- Americauna
    2- Buff's
    1-barred rock
    1- Delaware hen
    1-black australop
    1-black laced wyandotte

    I knew there would be a hit to the amounts I'd get compared to summer but I didnt think I'd ever have a day with 1 egg from 7 chickens.

    I know the Americauna hasn't laid in 6 days (she's acting fine, eating,foraging, no penguin walk, etc)
     
  4. PirateGirl

    PirateGirl Chicken Lover, Duck Therapist

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    I think last week we hit the tipping point where I definitely noticed my eggs supply in the house is shrinking much more quickly than the girls are laying. My husband said so what if we have to buy eggs, they are cheap, but I keep telling myself we only need squeak by for one more month until solstice and then things will turn around again. I have had several zero egg days from the chickens lately. I have at least 2 birds that I know haven't laid in weeks (I can tell by what color eggs I'm getting). I have 2 that never seem to have molted, still lay on occasion, and look terrible because they need to grow some feathers. I keep them on an 18% protein food. I know that molt and laying takes a lot out of them, and when it's really cold they seem to eat less, so I like to think this helps. We had sooooo many eggs this summer I did give away quite a few in trades, but now I'm wondering if I gave away too many too. I'm sorry I don't really have answers other than it's normal this time of year and will get better after the solstice.
     
    Criticalicious likes this.
  5. PirateGirl

    PirateGirl Chicken Lover, Duck Therapist

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    Oh, and I don't know about you, but I extremely disappointed in my Delaware as a layer. She lays 3-4 eggs a week at the best of times. Went broody on me 2-3 times this summer and quit laying, then went into molt and quit laying, and now seems done with laying for winter. :barnie
     
  6. Folly's place

    Folly's place Free Ranging

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    It's normal for chickens to stop producing eggs when lighting decreases below fourteen to sixteen hours per day; it's what they do. If you aren't providing supplemental lighting over winter, think about what you are feeding! AQ layer diet is meant for birds actively laying eggs only. Feed an all-flock feed instead, with oyster shell in a separate feeder for those birds who actually need it.
    Mary
     
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  7. Folly's place

    Folly's place Free Ranging

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    Winter happens, and with extra lighting I'm still getting poor egg numbers per day!
    Mary
     
  8. mpoland33

    mpoland33 Songster

    I like my Delaware a lot...err should I say the kids really like her...but I have all brown egg layers (other than the Americauna) so I can't tell who's eggs are who. I put a trail cam in the nest box tonight so I hope to find out this week who is laying and who isn't right now.

    I can tell you might is loud as all get out and is in and out of the coop all morning (where the nest box is)...

    These are all first year girls but I didnt have any of them go broody on me so that's good so far.
     
  9. ChickenCanoe

    ChickenCanoe Free Ranging

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  10. IowaChickChick

    IowaChickChick In the Brooder

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    Chickens need light, protein and calcium to produce eggs. It's natural for them to slack off in the winter months. And, some breeds are more likely to lay in the colder months than others. I'd recommend adding hardy breeds that are good winter layers if you are looking to maintain production in the winter.
     
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