winter egglaying

Discussion in 'Chicken Behaviors and Egglaying' started by Terry71, Dec 18, 2010.

  1. Terry71

    Terry71 Out Of The Brooder

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    Nov 2, 2008
    Whitby, Ontario Canada
    Hello there. I have one rooster and four hens. They are all three years old. Each fall when it starts to get colder, they stop laying. Then in the spring they start again. I thought this was normal behavior. The other day I went to a farm to get hay for my other animals and low and behold his chickens are still laying. Well, half of them are. Can someone explain this? Is there something I should be doing to get eggs still in winter?

    Thanks in advance,

    Terry
     
  2. ADozenGirlz

    ADozenGirlz The Chicken Chick[IMG]emojione/assets/png/00ae.png

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    Oct 18, 2009
    Connecticut
    Quote:It is normal for egg production to decline with decreased daylight as the process is light/hormone driven. You could supplement their lighting so that you're giving them 12-14 hours per day. I light my coop at dusk (4:30ish these days) and it goes off at about 9:30pm. It helps. The molting however, is another cause of dropping egg production entirely. I have no idea what can be done about that though.
     
  3. newham0614

    newham0614 Chillin' With My Peeps

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    Jul 26, 2010
    orange,va
    Depends on the breed. I got all winter hardy birds and they still lay. It's been in the 20's at night. I have no additional light.
    Good luck
     
  4. shopchicks

    shopchicks Chillin' With My Peeps

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    Sep 4, 2009
    Boise, Idaho
    We had a really cold snap in November and all of mine stopped laying completely. Now that it's not so cold (20's to 40's), I'm getting an egg or two per day from 5 hens. I wonder, being in Canada, if your temps and photoperiod have a stronger effect than here. I think if you put artificial light on them, they may keep laying, but from what I've read, they'll have a longer laying lifespan if they get to take a break in winter.
     
  5. chickerdoodle

    chickerdoodle Chillin' With My Peeps

    Aug 21, 2009
    Oregon
    My Barred Rock pullet started laying in mid September and has laid 6 eggs a week since--no slowing down at all. One of my other pullets--a Speckled Sussex-- just started laying and laid 2 eggs last week and 5 this week. Both breeds are known to lay in winter--no supplemental light either. Gotta love theses girls! [​IMG]

    Now if the other 3 feathered freeloaders would just ante up...
     
  6. kendra1178

    kendra1178 Out Of The Brooder

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    Apr 3, 2010
    Muskegon, Michigan
    I have 10 chickens. 8 have been laying regularly and I think the youngest 2 are holding out until spring time at this point. One of my 8 'regulars' just started molting, so she isn't laying right now either. Out of the other 7, I have been getting 4-6 eggs per day.

    When the days suddenly started seeming shorter towards the end of October, egg production went down dramatically. At that time, we put a light in their coop to go on for about 4 hours early in the morning. This extended their day without messing up their normal bed time at dusk. By the second day of doing this, egg production was back to normal. A few weeks ago, we swapped out the regular light bulb on that timer for a small strand of LED Christmas lights (cheaper to run and no risk of fire) and it has worked just as well if not better than the light bulb we were using before.

    We are in Michigan where the temps have been around 20 degrees for the last week. The chickens have refused to leave the coop for over a week now due to the snow and cold weather...LOL.
     
  7. Mrs. K

    Mrs. K Overrun With Chickens

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    Nov 12, 2009
    western South Dakota
    I am wondering if it is the fact that your hens are 3 years old, laying drops drastically then, and combined with the lack of hours of daylight, might be your problem. mk
     
  8. Mrs. Feathers

    Mrs. Feathers Chillin' With My Peeps

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    I wondered the same as Mrs. K...re: age and winter although it sounds like this is an annual occurance. Some breeds do just slow down or stop in the winter.
    I am also up in the great north of Canada [​IMG] on the West Coast where we rarely get snow but it is dark by 4:30PM.
    Our girls have not slowed up on laying at all...we raise BA`s which are known to be winter hardy.
     
  9. speedy2020

    speedy2020 Chillin' With My Peeps

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    Jul 24, 2010
    Quote:Why don't you ask the farmer for hatching egg or chick? The farmer may have better stock.
     
  10. 33yardbirds

    33yardbirds Chillin' With My Peeps

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    Jun 15, 2010
    Southern New Jersey
    I have cut myself back to 9 hens and still getting 4-6 eggs a day, which for right now is plenty for family and friends. These are Barred Rock production birds with no extended lighting to induce production. The temp during night has dropped down to 8-15 degrees during the night and low to mid 30s during the day. I just make sure they have water and plenty of feed, no special attention or care.
     

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