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Country Discussion Topics
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Laying eggs in the winter
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week N warrior / MO    Posted 01-04-2004 at 11:12:53       [Reply]  [Send Email]
This may be a dumb question, but do chickens lay eggs in the winter?
We have one hen that laid one batch of eggs about four months ago. Her first. She hatched the eggs and haven't laid any more since. We have three other hens that are now about six months old. We've got no eggs from them. My wife told me she don't believe chickens lay eggs in the winter.
Is that right? I was thinking that egg laying was a year around thing for chickens. After a chicken lays a batch of eggs how long does it that for her to do it again? Does it make a difference if the eggs are aloud to hatch or if they are harvested?

aimee lie    Posted 09-13-2004 at 22:25:07       [Reply]  [Send Email]
Hi, Dear,
I have 9 chickens, they are about one year and a half old, they laid many eggs, almost every single day but now for one month they stop laying eggs, I want to know if they stop completely laying eggs or they will start again later? I do not have any rooster, is that the problem?
Please let me know,

Dave 2N    Posted 01-04-2004 at 15:19:27       [Reply]  [Send Email]
Not sure about chickens but it looks lie the Denver Broncos do.

Linda in UT    Posted 01-04-2004 at 12:49:42       [Reply]  [No Email]
Put a light bulb in their coop - just a 40 watt bulb will do - and put it on a timer so the hens get a minimum of 14 hours of light out of each 24 hours. That will reset their inner clocks so they think it's time to lay eggs. It may take a month or so, but if you just make sure they have that 14 hours whenever the days start getting short, they will continue to lay. They will not lay as well as in the summer, but you will get eggs.

Lynn Ruth in California    Posted 01-04-2004 at 16:42:49       [Reply]  [Send Email]
Our poultry leader said for us to use a heat lamp, but my Rooster is confussed, never thought that the light would be the coulpret!!!!! He is crowing at 10:30 PM!!!! Its an amber bulb but still puts off light! I will try your suggestion!!! Thank you very much!! Poor things probably dont know wich way up or down! Get eggs, but have confussed chickens!
see ya later bye!!!

Lynn Ruth

week N warrior / MO    Posted 01-04-2004 at 13:01:47       [Reply]  [Send Email]
Never thought about the lengths of the days stopping the laying. I haven't wanted to put a heat lamp it with them because I thought it would keep them up at night. But I guess it could have a dual purpose. Would it be best if it came on early in the morning and went off after dark in the evening so they get the 14 hours of light and then can still get some quality sleep time?


Linda in UT    Posted 01-04-2004 at 14:38:06       [Reply]  [No Email]
You can set the timer however you want. We set ours to come on very early in the morning, but found the rooster did a bunch of crowing about 3:30 in the morning!

You could also set it to just extend the day for as long as is necessary. Just keep an eye on it when the days are getting shorter. Sometimes it would get dark and then the light would come on a little late when I tried doing it that way. The hens didn't lay as well when I goofed up and confused them by having it get dark and then the light would come on. That's why we went to the early morning setting.

As others have suggested, keep the coop snug, but I don't think you don't need a heat lamp. Our temps get down below zero in the winter and our coop wasn't heated. The hens did seem to like deep bedding in the nest boxes in the winter, and we made a point of collecting eggs twice a day during the very cold days.

Good luck to you. I think the extended day theory will work for you, but it may take some time to reset their inner clocks. You mnight look at the weather report online for the times the sun is coming up and setting to see how long to have the light on. That's how I used to figure the time. You need 14 hours minimum.

Lynn Ruth in California    Posted 01-04-2004 at 11:32:04       [Reply]  [No Email]

I have a flock of various laying hens, and we live above the snow line. My hens will lay in the winter, but if they get too cold, they will stop laying till the temp warms up! A heat lamp where they roost, is a good thing for a chicken, especially if you are looking for good egg production. Harvesting the eggs daily is good, a chicken that is brooding on eggs will stop laying!!!! play around with the height adjustments of your lamp, if they all crowd under the lamp, they are cold and you need to move it lower so they can warm their bones, if they move around the light and not under, its too hot they are moving away from the heat, just takes a couple adjutments to get it right! If your hens are molting they will stop laying, and hey should lay an egg every other day at least! But I bet they are chilly, try the light see what happens! see ya later!

Lynn Ruth in California

Lynn Ruth in California    Posted 01-04-2004 at 11:47:47       [Reply]  [Send Email]

Scratch!!!!! is a good gut heater too! and they love it! feed as a treat each day along with lay crumble, and it will help keep them warm! sorry I forgot to tell ya that! see ya!

Lynn Ruth in California

week N warrior / MO    Posted 01-04-2004 at 12:39:54       [Reply]  [Send Email]
I just finished building them a nice chicken house about six weeks ago. It's insulated with R13 and has Birch paneling inside(Found a good deal at an auction). I put linoleum on the floor for easy clean up. I wired it and plan to put a thermostatically controlled space heater in it.(out of there reach) But I haven't yet run the electricity to it. I have been feeding them what I think they call Scratch and Feed. Should I feed them anything else? They have run of the yard in the day.

Lynn Ruth! In California    Posted 01-04-2004 at 14:04:05       [Reply]  [Send Email]
Hi Carl!

Scratch or what I call scratch, has cource ground corn and seeds all kinds of yummy stuff that chickens LOVE!!! Lay Crumble and scrach are different, the feed store will set ya up if you are not sure! lay crumble, mash etc.... is the main food i feed in the feeder's, scratch, I give as a treat, and to keep warm in the winter, and oyster shells is a great source of calcium for thick healthy egg shells! i leave the oyster shells out in a bowel, and if they are depleted in calcium, they will eat it, if they are not, they won't, and will come back when they are. Good luck to ya, I love my hens, they are my pets! see ya!!

Lynn Ruth!

bob    Posted 01-04-2004 at 14:44:11       [Reply]  [No Email]
I think part of your problem is letting them run and they are hiding eggs. also be sure if you want eggs give them alayer feed scatch and oyster shells are a supplement not main feed. My son has 20 hens and get one a day most of the time he supplements with cracked corn some but yolks will get darker. he has a light on too and plenty of water. to get them started using nest to lay he put in dumby eggs. don,t know where he got them but never has eggs laying around. good luck

Lynn Ruth in California    Posted 01-04-2004 at 15:58:04       [Reply]  [Send Email]

I agree! They do like to hide eggs! I was letting my little darlings run wild, untill i found that they were hidding eggs from me! You are correct scratch and oyster not enough, they need special lay feed with the right amount of nutrition to keep egg production up! see ya later bye!!!!!!!

Lynn Ruth

week N warrior / MO    Posted 01-04-2004 at 14:58:51       [Reply]  [Send Email]
If they lay thier eggs somewhere else wouldn't they stay with them at night instead of coming back to the chicken house?
Do you have to grind up your oyster shells? Or is that something you can get at the feed store?
I remember reading here a while back about the dummy egg. But I haven't tried that. Guess I should. Would an egg from the frig work?

Sid    Posted 01-04-2004 at 11:20:56       [Reply]  [No Email]
I have had laying hens in the past and they would lay year round but not as many eggs. I remember my grand parents would use warm milk or hot water and mix with the laying mash to help egg production in the winter. That is about all I know about chickens other than I heard a bout a farmer who had a chicken house blow up one time because his roosters ate the feed for the laying hens. The slogan on the feed bag said "guaranteed to lay or bust"

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