Make chickens lay eggs during the winter - The Happy Chicken Coop (2023)


When autumn comes, the seedlings are not far away. Breeding chickens have probably already skinned.

Those that have finished moulting now sport new, shiny, taut feathers, red crests and dewlaps,but without eggs.

The number of eggs that hens lay is greatly affected by the time of year and the seasonnumber of hours of the day.

In today's article, we'll take a detailed look at why chickens don't lay eggs all year round and what you can do about it.

When do chickens stop laying eggs in winter?

Hens' laying cycles are strongly influenced by the amount of daylight and the time of year.
Make chickens lay eggs during the winter - The Happy Chicken Coop (2)
As soon as daylight fades, she signals the hen that it's time to molt by exchanging her old feathers for new ones.a time of repair and restoration.

As the days get shorter, the eyes and endocrine glands send unique signals to the brain. The two glands involved in this message are the pineal gland and the hypothalamus, both of which are located in the chicken brain.

The hypothalamus regulates growth and reproduction, and the pineal gland controls the circadian rhythm (day and night).

These glands can "sense" daylight through the skull and regulate the chickens' response to dim light.

The pineal gland regulates the circadian rhythm of all living things. Because of this tiny gland, even a blind hen can sense the changing of the seasons.

We have to take that into account hereChickens "see" light differently than humans. They can see beyond the human visible spectrum.

(Video) How to Encourage Your Chickens to Lay in The Winter

With at least 12 hours of daylight in the summer, the pineal gland does not produce as much melatonin. That is why the hen lays her egg every day.

And when motivated, it will father offspring if allowed - courtesy of hypothalamic signals.
With dimmed lighting, more melatonin is produced in winter, signaling the bird that it's time to rest and recharge.

The natural rhythm tells the bird that it is time to gather energy and resources to get through the cold months ahead.

Now we know what causes egg drop andthe annual moult, what are we going to do about it?

It stays that way through the winter

If you prefer to keep your birds on a natural dormant cycle during the winter, prepare to run out of amazingly fresh eggs!

Not all your birds stop laying, but the daily output will be significantly lower.
If you have enough space with the aviary, you can invest in a few new pullets/chicks every year.
Make chickens lay eggs during the winter - The Happy Chicken Coop (3)
Chickens don't molt until around fifteen to eighteen months, but they should be laying eggs for you!

Be sure to choose a breed that isknown as good shift.

Hopefully you've frozen some for this time of year if you have a surplus of eggs during the summer months. While frozen eggs don't have that amazingly fresh taste, they're still acceptable for baking.

There are benefits (to the chicken) in allowing them to be natural.
In a wild environment, birds would stop laying eggs in winter because there is little food and water.

All available energy is used to search, find shelter and avoid being eaten or frozen to death! Mother nature is not a kind mother.

Our domestic hens also use this time to rest and recharge their batteries for another busy laying and chick-rearing season.

I think it's important to keep the birds as "natural" as possible.
This recovery gives the postural department a much-needed break and gives tired muscles time to recover.

Hens that are forced to lay eggs non-stop throughout the year (apart from moulting) tend to have problems such as:Vent prolapse, yolk peritonitis and ovarian cancerif allowed to live beyond a few years.

I never turned on the light to get my daughters to sleep. I think they got a well deserved break!

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Getting them through the winter in inclement weather is stressful enough for all of us.

I've always been lucky enough to have some of the old diehards supplying enough eggs for us to get through the winter and I try to get a few hatchlings in the spring that lay in the winter.

Keep the chickens posted during the winter

The needs of chickens everywhere dependtwelve to sixteen hours of daylightlays an egg and must be constant.

If you start with light and then decide you don't want to do it, lie down– wait until next season.

Playing with the light can throw them into another seedling.
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Throwing them into a seedling in the middle of winter could be dangerous for your birds.

To provide constant light, you need to put your lights on a timer and adjust it every few weeks to keep it constant. A few minutes won't make much of a difference anyway, but try to keep it consistent.

It is best to add light early in the morning. This way they experience natural twilight at night and are ready to hop onto the perch at bedtime.

If your area experiences power outages, make sure you have a backup generator.

If the lights suddenly go out and stay that way for a few days, it could result in a moult - something you need to doNOwants to happen.

Adding light to your chicken coop will also increase the ambient temperature inside the chicken coop.

A 40 watt light bulbshould be enough for a small chicken coopabout eight by four feet, six feet tall.

The chickens themselves heat up about ten watts per bird, so the chicken coop is very comfortable for them.

Make sure the light is hung securely and out of the reach of birds and litter.
Chicken coop fires can start within minutes, so be very careful. reserved.

This short video shows how easy it is to start a fire.

If you light the chicken coop for another twelve hours, make sure that this is the caseenough to keep them busy. When they get bored and restless, younger chickens are likely to suffer from pecking and pecking.

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If you have the space, try itsmall, dark areaswhere shy birds can hide from bullies.

It doesn't have to be anything special - a piece of cardboard leaning against the chicken coop, even a cardboard box. It gives the bird the opportunity to rest peacefully.

If the chicken coop is outside with a runway, clear the runway if possible so they can venture out during the day.

Windbreaks can be made from a variety of materials.– I like to use tarps. They are strong, versatile and inexpensive. Placing tarps over the roof and on the weather side of the coop will help keep the run clear.

If you ask them to lay during the winter months, it's also important that they get enough protein to get the job done. If you switched to 20% feed during moult, stick with it.

Eighteen percent feed is acceptable, as is wild bird feed (typically 20 to 22 percent).

The extra protein is converted into energy and increases laying capacity in winter. You can return to sixteen percent in the spring.

An important thing to note here is thisHealth problems are common in older chickenswho are constantly 'in lay'.

For example, lung prolapse and egg-laying problems.

Industrial chickens are usually thrown between 18 and 24 months, so the problem does not arise for them.

But for those of us who keep our chickens "till death do us part," we'll likely see these types of problems more often when they're forced to lay eggs over the winter.

In addition to the lighting problem:

Your chickens need to conserve energy to stay warm, especially in cold weather. It's important to understand that while shorter days directly affect egg production, so do temperatures.

In fact, these two factors are intertwined and there is arguably a good reason chickens don't lay eggs in the winter.

They need to be able to survive the winter, and keeping them warm takes a lot of that can't be "wasted" laying eggs.

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However, if your chickens are reasonably warm, have the protein they need, and have enough daylight, they can safely lay eggs through the winter without sacrificing their energy, and therefore their health.

There is some controversy surrounding the decision to heat a chicken coop...mainly due to the risk of fire and power outages.

Chickens used to the warm coop would cool down and die if their heat source was suddenly lost.

Some swear by heating their chicken coops to ensure their chickens are warm, others believe that chickens are pretty good at self-regulating their body temperature as long as they have the necessary shelter.

What you decide is up to you. But the point is, cold temperatures require more energy to survive, which means less energy is expended on eggs.

Let the chickens lay eggs in the winter Summary

In short, your ladies need light, warmth, food and a nest to get them in the mood to lay eggs this winter!

However, remember that these are not machines and while egg production will increase, it will not be able to match summer production.

Whatever you decideThey also need fresh water.

Freezing winter temperatures tend to freeze available water! You must check water availability every few hours unless you have a heated water source.

Don't forget to add vitamins and minerals to the water weekly. If you're a big fan of ACV, once a week should be enough.

To wear or not to wear is a personal choice, there is no right or wrong, just different perspectives.

I choose to let them rest and suffer the consequences of a "seasonal product".

I also don't run a business, so my income doesn't depend on working with the chickens 12 months a year.

Let us know in the comments below:lie or not lie!?

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