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Country Discussion Topics
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Laying Chickens
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Ted    Posted 12-14-2003 at 08:45:48       [Reply]  [Send Email]
It seems as soon as it gets cold my chickens go on strike (stop laying). Is a light required all night long or just a certain number of extra hours to simulate daylight hours?
Thank You

Don...    Posted 05-17-2004 at 22:26:14       [Reply]  [Send Email]
we have egg laying chickens... just would like to know how many hens to a nest box to lay there eggs... thanks...Don...

Berry    Posted 12-14-2003 at 12:37:49       [Reply]  [No Email]
I agree with Donna, I've tried it all and mature hens just take a break in the winter, no matter what. Lights are dangerous so you need to be very careful with how you attach them. I do as Donna does and add a certain number of pullets each year to keep production going all winter. Just my experience.

Ron/PA    Posted 12-14-2003 at 09:48:51       [Reply]  [Send Email]
Ted, Length of daylight is a natural trigger for laying hens. Two rules of thumb for layers.
Never increase length of light for chicks/pullets, until you are ready to bring them into production.
Never Decrease length of light for laying hens. Unless you are ready to decrease production, or throw them into a restore molt. If you look around you can see how length of day affects alot of critters. First people, look how many people are affected by winter day length. Dogs, Decreasing day length begins the winter coat growth. Increasing day length starts the shedding process.
Take your longest daylength, and install a light and timer to match that time. You will still see a reduction in production because much of the protein in the feed is converted to calories for body heat as well as body maintenence, such as bone strength. During peak production the birds cannot consume enough calcium to produce egg shells, so they pull calcium from the bones to keep up with egg production, sooner or later the body tries to lessen production, and send the calcium back to the bones, and prevent osteoperosis.
The long and short of it is, sometimes they need this break, as well as suplemental calcium, along with vitamin D, prefferably water soluable. to maintain bone density.
Any questions feel free to e-mail me, and I'll see if I can help.

Kayla Parcell    Posted 02-06-2005 at 17:41:05       [Reply]  [Send Email]
I am getting ready to buy chickens to show at my county fair. A lot of kids that show their chickens when they are in molt, making their chances of getting grand champion very slim. I always do really good, but sometimes even my best chickens are in molt, making me not get grand champion. I was wondering if I buy chickens at a certain time of year, then would that decrease my chances of my chickens being in molt? I would appreciate any information that you can offer. Thank you very much.

PAT    Posted 09-09-2004 at 18:34:09       [Reply]  [Send Email]

Donna from Mo    Posted 12-14-2003 at 08:48:59       [Reply]  [No Email]
It's been my experience that you have to start with pullets who have just started laying in the fall, in order to have eggs all winter. And after the first winter, they'll go on strike like all mature, older hens. I've had people say if you feed them certain things, or leave a light on, it will keep them laying. None of this ever worked for me. I always tried to start out with enough pullets each fall to keep us in eggs through the winter.

sheila    Posted 01-23-2004 at 04:58:22       [Reply]  [Send Email]
Hello, I'm glad I ran across this site in search of laying chickens. Hope anyone out there reading this can help. I would love to get some chickens this spring. But I DONT KNOW WHICH ONES TO GET.......... HELP!!! I want some that we can get eggs from also some good eating ones. But I havent a clue as to what I'm doing. We want to start building a building for them this winter in our garage and putting it on a skid so that come spring we can move it out and that much will be done. But as far as getting the chickens, do I get little ones from say tractor supply or I got a book from a hatchery? (is this a good place to buy them from?? How many is a good #? Do I get little ones or bigger ones? Thanks for all your help Sheila

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