Winter Egg Production

Discussion in 'Managing Your Flock' started by MLGarber, Dec 15, 2012.

  1. MLGarber

    MLGarber In the Brooder

    Apr 10, 2012
    How much is the normal drop in egg production? I have 8 pullets (7 RIR Mixes, and a Brahma). We were getting between 6 and 7 eggs a day. Now we are only getting 1! A huge drop off and all of a sudden.

    At first I wondered if the eggs were being eaten, but there has been no evidence of shells or yolks in the boxes or the coop. And I have started checking for eggs more often just to be sure.

    What is normal? It seems like such a steep decline, but this is my first winter with chickens. I knew to expect some decline. Just was thinking it would cut in half... not all the way off.

    Assuming that we cannot add a lamp to the coop because of the distance from the house, are there any suggestions as to how we can stimuate production, or should we just let nature take its course and ration our eggs until spring?? I would hate to have to buy eggs from the STORE!!

  2. TheSpeckledRoo

    TheSpeckledRoo Chirping

    Dec 10, 2012
    I have the same thing going for me. I have thirteen hens who used to lay about 11 eggs a day, now it is only around 6. Maybe you can install a solar light? I ran an extension cord out to mine (obviously it wouldn't work in your situation).
  3. sumi

    sumi Égalité Staff Member

    Jun 28, 2011
    Rep of Ireland
    The shorter days are having quite an impact on our hens' egg production. What you described is normal [​IMG] If you really want eggs you may have to look into getting some extra light in their coops in the mornings. It doesn't have to be a bright light, just enough to read by. Hens need about 14 hours of light per day, so if you can up it to that that should help. Otherwise ration your egg use and give the hens a break 'till spring.
  4. lorain's fids

    lorain's fids Songster

    Jul 9, 2011
    New Jersey
    I have 5 chickens. On top of the days being shorter they are all molting right now too. I have gotten NO EGGS in the past 4 days. I decided not to add lighting to their coop...letting the chickens be chickens and nature taking it's course. The eggs will start up soon enough.[​IMG]
  5. ci_cyfarth

    ci_cyfarth Chirping

    Dec 29, 2011
    Columbia, MO
    I've got four. During summer, we definitely had lots of 3-4 egg days.

    Once the days started getting shorter, though, that started dropping to 2-3 egg days when the EE decided to go on hiatus. I'm told this isn't unusual. The other three -- a Buff Orp, a 'Lorp, and a Barred Rock -- have continued laying pretty well overall, though we're edging down into 1-2 egg days as the Winter Solstice approaches.

    I'm good with it because I'm happy with my hens having a fairly natural year cycle. That said, if you're really concerned about egg production, you might consider supplementing the amount of light they get. My understanding is that it's not the warmth that gets them moving but the amount of sun. If that's the case, an LED tap light could work.
  6. GET MORE CHICKENS. If you want more eggs get some stronger layers that lay through winter pretty well, like RIR's, Langshans, Faverolles and Plymouth Rocks. Your RIR mixes might come from a weaker line than most purebreds and Brahma's arnt very good layers to begin with, giving about 4 eggs a week but they make that up in looks. I know you said you cant get electricity down there (i have the same problem, hen house is to far away) but lighting is the only way you can fix this if you dont want any more hens.
  7. Mrs. K

    Mrs. K Crowing

    Nov 12, 2009
    western South Dakota
    The lighting is a big issue, but so is age and breed. Check your breeds on henderson's chart, getting good egg laying breeds will make for better production.

    The other is age, having a multi age flock, will at least keep you in eggs. The pullets are pretty good about laying through the winter at least sometime, but as the girls get older, the lack of light really effects them. And a molt will compound it.

    My June pullets just started laying this week, the older girls molting, I was back in the store buying eggs! ugh!

  8. donrae

    donrae Hopelessly Addicted Premium Member

    Jun 18, 2010
    Southern Oregon
    How old are your hens?
  9. I'm not sure who you asked but i have POL hens then hens who are a couple weeks over POL then some year old hens and a few in between a year and POL and some that should start laying in a couple more weeks then some 4 week old chicks.
    Last edited: Dec 19, 2012
  10. Schrebergaertner

    Schrebergaertner Songster

    Dec 13, 2010
    Our experience is definitely that the younger hens lay better through the winter. We have 18 now in three groups ranging in age from 9 months, 1.5 years, and 2.5 years. The new ones are still laying almost every day. Some of the older ones have stopped altogether, and others have slowed way down. Part of the reson seems to be that the young ones haven't molted, which is what seems to put the older ones on hiatus. We're still averaging 4-7 a day even now, though, so I'm not complaining.

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