Not getting eggs anymore? Want to make your chickens lay more eggs during Winter?
You can definitely make your chickens lay more eggs during Winter. It takes a little bit of manipulation. You have to just be a little bit smarter than the chickens.
I’ve kept laying hens for over 10 years now. During those years, there’s definitely been Winters where I didn’t get a single egg. And with a little bit of tweaking and testing different products and strategies, I figured out a way to get some eggs through the winter.
At the time of writing this, it’s a cold January day. Yesterday, my little girls gathered 10 eggs for me out of our nesting boxes! In fact, we have gotten 10-12 eggs per day every day – even with the shorter days!
Are you frustrated with your hens? Sad that you aren’t getting any eggs for breakfast during the winter? I’m here to help.
In this post, I will:
– Share how to make your chickens lay more eggs during winter,
– Simple tricks and tools you need to make this happen,
– Necessities of chickens to perform their best during the cold months.
Chickens Lay Based Upon Light
Once the lovely Daylight Savings Time hits in November, we start to lose natural daylight minutes. As the days become shorter over the next month, there’s less light for the chickens to lay.
Even the best laying hens require 14 hours of daylight. The shortest days are around 9 hours. Knowing that, you know there’s not enough light for them to lay no matter the weather.
The good news for you is that you can add in a light! Artificial light will help hens lay! This has been the biggest eye opener for us as chicken owners.
One thing to note is this: I’m not talking about a heat lamp light. I’m talking about a regular LED light bulb simply hanging in their coop. You could also use a solar light or lamp like this one or a hanging lamp like this one and have it on all the time.
The light will be the biggest break through and you’ll get a plethora of new eggs because of it. And since the hens are continuing to lay, their nutrition should be up to par.
Laying hens are working hens. This means they need to be cared for and pampered as much as possible. Their nutrition needs to be top notch. We feed our chickens a high protein layer mix we get at our local feed meal.
My friend Maat over at Pampered Chicken Mama has some amazing chicken treats your chickens will love.
In addition to that, they are exerting even more energy with the cold weather. We live in northern Kansas, where the winter weathers can be extreme. We do get blizzards and extremely cold temperatures for many days in a row.
For this reason, your chickens will need extra energy and calories in the way of chicken feed and treats. They need to have a high protein complete chicken feed as well as fresh water in a heated bucket so they have access to it at all times.
Laying hens also need a shelter to protect them. Their shelter needs to be plenty big for your flock. Hens need space as well as boxes to lay in and roosts to be up off the ground.
The truth is that hens don’t have to be in a coop. If you have a livestock shed, your chickens might feel right at home in there. I have a group of chickens who live in our lambing barn. No matter how many times we take them back to the chicken pen, they fly out and end up back in the lambing barn.
Chickens go to where they feel at home. A large number of my laying hens are very happy in a large shelter we built for them inside a large equipment shed. They even have a chicken door where they can go outside to a run on nice days.
Happy chickens will lay more eggs. Happy chickens need to be able to scratch around and be chickens. And they need a safe and dry place to lay their eggs.
Over the years, we have used any containers we can find as boxes for eggs:
– Wooden Boxes,
– Feed Troughs,
– Plastic Containers,
– Rubber Tubs.
Hens need to have a safe location for their eggs. They have to be able to sit comfortably in it as well as be able to get into it.
For example, my large Buff Orphingtons (My kids call them buffalo chickens) are not as athletic as other breeds. They have trouble jumping into a trough or climbing into a tote. We have found that short rubber tubs like this one make great nesting boxes for these chickens.
The types of boxes your chickens need highly depends on the needs of your chickens. Start out with a certain type of box and see how it works for you. Here are some good boxes to start with:
– Covered Nesting Box
– Open Nesting Box
Finally, chickens need to stay warm to lay eggs. As we all are more comfortable when our body temperatures are normal, chickens need to be warm, too.
If you live where the winters are cold like I do, you’ll understand. Anyone and anything needs to stay warm in order to perform at their best. Heat lamps are not the right option, in my opinion.
What they do need is a nice warm shelter that is free of draft and wind. Bedding, such as straw should be added in the boxes and also on the ground for warmth. If the coop or pen has a door to the outside, keep it shut during a cold night.
Again, heat lamps are not needed for chicken coops. As long as it is closed up and out of the wind, your chickens will stay warm and cozy.
Chickens are simple animals
As you can see and as you WILL see, there’s only a few things needed to make chickens lay more eggs during the Winter. This is only for a few months, too – Not long at all.
From November to March, you’ll need to add in light if you want eggs during this time. Chickens WILL lay with added light. My own chickens are proof of this.
But if they are laying during the cold, they will need plenty of good nutrition, water and warmth to keep their energy up. I hope this post has helped you to not only manage your laying hens during the winter, but to find eggs in your laying boxes as well.
~ Much Love ~
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