Winter Laying


9 Years
Feb 21, 2010
Duvall, WA
Hi Guys,

I hatched out some sweet little French Marans at the end of July. They are 12 weeks now so they should be due to start laying sometime in December. I know the big girls generally slow down as the days get shorter, but when you have babies who are due to start laying in the middle of winter do they tend to wait a little longer to start or do they usually start at around the same age?


10 Years
Feb 21, 2009
I too,need some help! My chickens are 2yrs. old and my egg production is horrible! I live in Az. west of Kingman -we get around 100 degrees here so when they slowed down I thought it was the heat --now they are molting. I have 8 hens -2buffs,2 australopes,2rock and 2 aracanas and I'm lucky to get 2 eggs a day. It's out of the question that I butcher them and start over ! I feed them20% protein flock raiser Purina( which I really like because of the heat ) every day I feed them greens -collard greens from my garden and I keep egg shells to feed back to them. I don't see that I'm doing anything wrong but I sure would like more eggs. Do hens need 2 or 3 months to start laying after molting or do they lay better in the spring. I really don't like the idea of a light at night I think they need their sleep,too. I hope someone has some ideas for me.

Fred's Hens

Premium Feather Member
9 Years
Is it possible your hens are laying somewhere besides where they are supposed too? That's number one. If they free range, even for an hour or two a day, they may be "nesting" somewhere hidden and private. Keep them cooped for a few days and see what happens.

Second, do you ever watch them and account for their trips to the nesting box? It isn't an exciting way to spend a few hours in the early morning, but it does help establish their laying patterns (or non laying patterns).

Finally, if some eggs are being eaten by certain hens, you'll have to investigate that possibility and cull those offenders.

Of course, post molt, their production should resume to levels near year one. They also need 14 hours of light per day, to have premium production. A light for a few hours, say, before natural sunrise, to encourage production wouldn't hurt.

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