Winter laying

Discussion in 'Chicken Behaviors and Egglaying' started by montain_dweller, Jan 21, 2014.

  1. montain_dweller

    montain_dweller Out Of The Brooder

    73
    2
    31
    Mar 13, 2011
    Continental divide
    Hey folks. I am at 9250 feet above sea level in Colorado. It's been a chilly winter here, as with most places north of me. I have a small flock of 8 hens (mixed flock, all layers) and a BO rooster.
    Until this weekend my flock has been with natural light, this weekend I placed a light in the coop. They are fed fermented layer mash. And have a large run to be in on the sunny days.
    For the past 2 months I have not seen a single egg. Aside from lighting, which is now in place, can anyone suggest how to bring back the laying before spring arrives?
     
    1 person likes this.
  2. Angiebubs

    Angiebubs Chillin' With My Peeps

    2,331
    58
    196
    Aug 19, 2011
    Amery, WI WI/MN border
    How much total light are they getting now? After adding light (enough to give 10-12 hrs total per day) it takes a week or two before they "red up" and start laying again. Also, if its too cold, they sometimes wont lay, as their energy is all going towards staying warm.
     
  3. Alaskan

    Alaskan The Frosted Flake

    Also, how old are they? Age does greatly effect laying.


    I find that the biggest factor in cold weather is the water. It freezes up so easily, and any water restriction means that they will not lay.
     
  4. montain_dweller

    montain_dweller Out Of The Brooder

    73
    2
    31
    Mar 13, 2011
    Continental divide
    They are all around 1 year old. They did have a molt before winter, and they always have good clean melted water inside the coop. With the light they are now getting 12 hours of light.
     
  5. Happy Chooks

    Happy Chooks Moderator Staff Member

    39,653
    1,177
    516
    Jul 9, 2009
    Northern CA
    My Coop
    What are you feeding them? When they go through molting, they need all the protein they can get. Once their feathers grow back in, they need to get their body weight back up before they can resume laying. Increase their protein if you can.
     
  6. montain_dweller

    montain_dweller Out Of The Brooder

    73
    2
    31
    Mar 13, 2011
    Continental divide
    Ranch way feeds organic layer mash, fermented. It I 18% protein, they also get random boiled meats and scrambled eggs on occasion
     
  7. turkey lover

    turkey lover Chillin' With My Peeps

    162
    1
    83
    Mar 12, 2013
    i live in Utah an so its cold right now I have put a small 25 wt. bulb in my coop im wondering if I should put a stronger wattage out there or a heat lamp to help keep them warm I feed them 18 percent protein laying mesh its my first winter with chickens I give them lots a greens left over oyster shells scrambled eggs not sure what else to do I have two chickens who are still laying but my others just aren't seeing the light I guess any ideas out there I have a timmer out there starts at 5.30 a,m turns off at 7.30 a.m then turns on again at 5.30 pm an off at 8.30 pm
     
    Last edited: Jan 22, 2014
  8. whittychick

    whittychick Chillin' With My Peeps

    555
    30
    136
    Jul 28, 2013
    Cape cod
    I live in Massachusetts and its been freezing here (2 degrees right now) and lots of snow! I provide oyster shells, grit and layer pellets to the girls. I have NO extra lighting or heat. My girls have been laying 7 a day out of 10...maybe you need more protein in food? Or calcium?
     
  9. montain_dweller

    montain_dweller Out Of The Brooder

    73
    2
    31
    Mar 13, 2011
    Continental divide
    I'm using the highest protein count I can find locally. I have not been supplementing the calcium. Perhaps I will also get some oyster shells out for them to take as they need.
     
  10. mama-goose

    mama-goose New Egg

    3
    0
    6
    Jan 22, 2014
    I found that it is the water. They need free flowing water at all times. If they go one day, and I dont mean 24 hrs, you will go days without an egg. They can recover faster with no food than they can without water. So a couple of changes a day in this cold weather helps.
     

BackYard Chickens is proudly sponsored by