Winter laying performance, how are your chickens doing?

Discussion in 'Pictures & Stories of My Chickens' started by MacTech, Dec 1, 2014.

  1. MacTech

    MacTech Chirping

    This'll be my flock's first winter, I understand laying performance drops off due to shorter daylight hours and lower temps, but I have noticed a marked difference in the breed performance...

    My specs are;
    Location; southern seacoastal Maine
    Housing; unheated two stall barn, barn is 230 years old (same as the house) with pine shavings and hay as bedding
    Food; layer pellets, cracked corn, and whatever they decide to eat out on the lawn and hayfields, they spend all day browsing the lawn

    The chickens free range all day, from 8:30 to whenever they put themselves to bed

    Partridge Plymouth Rock (2); they started laying first, and were reliable up until the temps dropped into the 40's and below, but have since stopped for at least the last month

    Easter Egger (1) started laying early last month, got 5 eggs, now nothing....

    Buff Orpingtons (3) laying consistently but slowly, at least 1 egg every other day, the BO hens seem to be nice, steady, reliable layers (got two eggs today)

    Of my three breeds, the Orpingtons have been the most reliable

    Biggest eggs (consistently) EE
    Most variable size eggs (PPR)
    Most consistent size eggs (BO)
  2. bdjh

    bdjh Chirping

    Aug 7, 2013
    Winnipeg, here.

    Our girls have all but gone south for the winter. We're down to about 8 hours of daylight now, and we're getting almost nothing. It's been really cold, so they refuse to go outside. They seem to be eating and drinking about the same, but few eggs. This is our second winter with birds, and last year was pretty much the same.

    We've got 2 Leghorns and a Columbian Rock that are a year-and-a-half old, plus 4 Americauna/Brahma crosses we got in the fall who haven't started laying yet.

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