As I talk with chicken keeping friends, I’m surprised that some don’t know that most chickens will cease to lay eggs when day lengths fall below 14 hours in the fall. As we move further into fall and shorter days, chickens will naturally reduce egg production. They lay eggs based on day length; long days and increasing day length mean spring to a chicken – time when they should be producing many eggs and raising chicks. The declining day length and harsher environment in fall and winter aren’t optimal for raising chicks; so chickens will naturally stop egg production, molt, renew their egg laying resources, and [...]
Continue reading Maintain Winter Egg Production – Add Artificial Light
Fall is the time of year when chickens molt and ours are doing just that; so egg production is way down and it’s a good time to make decisions on which chickens (if any) should be culled.
Molting is a natural occurrence for chickens triggered by shortening day length in fall. It can take from 2 to 6 months for a chicken to complete molting; and egg production generally stops during molting for pure breed birds or significantly slows down for egg
production breeds. This egg production slowdown occurs because it takes the same nutrients to grow feathers that it does to
Continue reading Molting Chickens
With a little knowledge and planning, the number of eggs produced by chickens can be controlled to be somewhat consistent throughout the year. Although the number of eggs a chicken produces each week depends on many things; it’s most dependent upon day length. Increasing day length in the springtime signals a chicken to start producing more eggs; and if she has the natural instinct for it, to go broody and raise chicks. Conversely, shortening day length in the fall signals the chicken to slow down on egg laying, molt, renew nutritional stores (depleted by egg-laying, setting, and chick raising), and grow new feathers. This natural cycle favors the [...]
Continue reading Controlling Chicken Egg Production