Winter laying...

Discussion in 'Managing Your Flock' started by vortec, Mar 6, 2009.

  1. vortec

    vortec Chillin' With My Peeps

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    Jan 29, 2009
    Martin County, NC
    I am looking to going into selling eggs after my hens start laying. I currently have a laying fleet composed of buff orps, barred rocks, australorps, and a jersey giant. I have leghorns and ameraucanas, but most of my potential buyers want the large brown eggs. This is a funny question to ask as winter is on its way out, but will these hens lay all throughout the winter consistently or do I need to invest in buckeyes and chanteclers( known for being cold hardy ) I want to maintain a steady stream of eggs to sale all year. Thanks

    vortec
     
  2. morelcabin

    morelcabin Chillin' With My Peeps

    Feb 8, 2007
    Ontario Canada
    Your birds will lay all winter, in NC, no problem! You probably will want to put a light in thier coop though, they need at least 12-14 hours of daylight to lay well.
     
    Last edited: Mar 6, 2009
  3. crazyhen

    crazyhen Overrun With Chickens

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    mtns of ,NC.
    Sorry in NC. we still have winter and hens still need to rest. If they start laying in the fall they usually lay most of the winter. But if this is not their first winter of laying they will stop for a bit. There is also molting. If you want consistent layers start some new ones each spring esp. of the sexlinks for those large Brown eggs. I have two mixed Brahma that started laying last fall and have layed almost everyday. I expect a molt anytime now. Love the Buffs too. Mine should start to lay very soon. Jean
     
  4. jlmann

    jlmann Chillin' With My Peeps

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    Mar 3, 2009
    Yeah you'll definately have to start more almost every spring. If possible try to get some towards the end of march get them started off good then get some more around the first to the middle of may. This staggers their ages so that when the first group is molting the second is still laying and when the second starts to molt the first is starting to lay again. You'll also definately need the light in the winter. If you use a timer make sure you have it come on early (say 3 or 4 am) but cut off before it gets dark so the birds will have enough light left to roost.You may have to adjust this when the days are really short and in midsummer you prob. won't need the light at all. I would say a minimum of 14 hrs. a day maybe as much as 16 since you're going commercial! Good Luck!

    JM
     
  5. Chauntecleer's Keeper

    Chauntecleer's Keeper Chillin' With My Peeps

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    Feb 28, 2009
    West Little Rock, AR
    The light is the key. Hens need a certain amount of light to stimulate laying. My hens slacked off untill I put a light in the coop. It provides heat in a small coop too. I leave it on 24/7 and have had no problems that I have noticed.
     
  6. CityChook

    CityChook Chillin' With My Peeps

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    Apr 9, 2008
    Minneapolis, MN
    My Coop
    I have BOs in their first year and they all layed consistently through-out the winter without a light. Next winter, maybe not so much. I just thought that it seemed closer to nature to let them follow the seasons.

    Peace, Love and Bellbottoms!

    Edited for spelling...
     
    Last edited: Mar 15, 2009
  7. TechEdFireman

    TechEdFireman Chillin' With My Peeps

    I'm with Keeper, I didn't have a light on at the beginning of the winter and I was lucky to get 5-6 eggs a day. Put a simple 2' fluorescent light on 24/7 all winter my egg out put went up to a dozen or more a day from my 15 girls.
     

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