The Main Causes For Which Chickens Do Not Make Eggs In The Winter

Discussion in 'Herbalism - Medicinal, Practical, and other Uses' started by Preppersgab, Nov 16, 2017.

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  1. Preppersgab

    Preppersgab Active Member

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    If you are looking into becoming more self-sufficient, one of the first places you can begin to impact your reliance on our modern systems is in how you get the food you eat. Most of us get our daily bread from the grocery store which as we have pointed out before, works pretty darn well if the grocery store is full of food, you can afford to pay for that food and you can get to the store. Fortunately for us, that is usually the case.

    Chickens are a bit fickle about cold weather, but the last thing that you want them to do is stop laying eggs. In a survival situation, that could be catastrophic. Fortunately, with just a few modifications, you can keep those hens clucking right along no matter how cold it gets!

    If your chickens have already stopped laying eggs, don’t worry – it’s fixable and luckily you’re learning these tips now instead of in a SHTF situation that makes eggs crucial to survival. If you’re still getting eggs but would like to increase your production, following these tips will help.

    Let’s get crackin’.

    Why Do Chickens Stop Laying in Winter?
    In order to understand why your chickens stop laying eggs in the winter, you need to remember why they lay eggs to begin with. Regardless of how it may seem, it’s not so that you can have omelets and bake cakes! Chickens lay eggs to reproduce and in the winter, the chicken’s body, specifically its endocrine system, shuts down egg production because winter isn’t the ideal time for chicks to be born.

    Shed Some Light on Your Chickens
    But how does the endocrine system know that it’s winter? Because the days get shorter. It’s not daylight for as many hours as it is in the summer and that, friends, is the answer. If you want your chickens to keep producing eggs, adding lights is a good place to start.

    In a SHTF scenario, this may not be feasible, but it’s the best way to boost egg production and keep your egg factories from shutting down.

    Use common sense if you decide to install lights. They are fire hazards so keep them where your chickens can’t knock them over.

    Also, you only need to add a couple of hours to the day, though you can leave them on 24/7 for light and heat if you’d like. At the minimum, make sure that they’re getting 14 hours of light per day. When you add those few hours isn’t nearly as important as just doing it, though many people prefer to add it in the morning.

    Weird fact: Red light seems to reduce cannibalism and pecking and have a calming effect on chickens.

    Increase Protein
    Chickens need plenty of protein in order to lay regularly. In the winter, they burn more calories trying to stay warm so they need more food just to survive.

    If you notice a drop in production, add in some soybeans, wheat, corn, oats, sunflower seeds, alfalfa, or your protein of choice.

    Keep Your Chickens Warm and Toasty
    Chickens don’t deal well with drafts or dampness so sealing your coop up so that it’s warm and dry will help boost egg production, or keep them from quitting on you.

    Also, building the coop up off the ground will keep it drier, too.

    Keep Them Feeling Safe and Healthy
    Stressed chickens don’t lay eggs. If you have predators coming and going in the coop, lots of noise outside of the coop or other stressors that disturb your chickens, you’re not going to get eggs.

    Cold is also a stressor so keeping your coop warm is important.

    In the winter, predators are looking for warm places to hide, too. If you happen to be offering chicken nuggets as well as a warm place, your coop is going to be a hit. Secure it so that nothing can get in.

    Finally, lice and other pests can irritate your chickens and even cause disease. This, of course, causes stress. Keep them bug-free and healthy.

    Plan for Molting
    Don’t forget that chickens molt about a year or so after they begin laying eggs, then repeat the process annually.

    The molting process takes anywhere from 2-6 weeks. They’re probably not going to lay eggs while they’re molting so unless you just want to go that long without eggs, buy your chicks in batches so that they are a few months apart in age and won’t be molting at all once. Your overall production will still drop but at least you’ll still be getting eggs through the winter.

    Keeping your chickens laying eggs through the winter requires a bit of finessing and tweaking the system but it can be done. The most important thing to remember is, as always, keep them happy because happy chickens lay eggs!

    If you think I forgot something please write in the section below
    Keith H. and Ystranc like this.
  2. Ystranc

    Ystranc Master Survivalist

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    It also helps if you have the right breed for your purposes. Egg layers or meat birds, multipurpose birds are usually a disappointment. Rare breeds are usually a complete waste of time unless you're breeding them for profit (there is usually a reason for them being rare)

    Nice post Preppersgab
  3. TexDanm

    TexDanm Shadow Dancer

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    For most animals the length of the day plays a big part in their metabolism and such. An uncle raised Arabian show horses. During the winter he kept them in the barn for the evening and night and used sun lights to make them think that it wasn't winter. Without this their hair would grow and make them shaggy.

    We even notice a slowdown of egg production in the deep south where winter is mostly a calendar thing with very few really cold days. Green houses run night lights to fool the plants into setting fruit and growing just as if it were spring. You can keep them warm but without the extra lighting they don't grow nearly as fast and don't set fruit as well.
    Keith H. likes this.
  4. lonewolf

    lonewolf Legendary Survivalist Staff Member

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    I have been told that chickens work on more hours than the average day, that's why when their laying you get 6 eggs a week not 7.
  5. Oldguy

    Oldguy Master Survivalist

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    Raised chooks most of my life

    Keep them clean
    Keep them safe
    Keep then entertained
    Keep them warm
    Keep them well fed

    Crush egg shells to a fine powder and add to feed

    Chooks go well with veggie gardens as weeds, trimmings and anything not suitable to eat by humans can be recycled through chooks into aggs and they can be free ranged in areas of the garden to clean up insect pests and fertalize in one!
    We always fenced our garden into eight sections in a circle and had the chook run fully around the garden! with a gate into each section. Awesome pest controllers and chasing down bugs kept them fit!
    TMT Tactical and Ystranc like this.
  6. Ystranc

    Ystranc Master Survivalist

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    Yes, they call that technique a chicken moat. They're even effective for suppressing rodents so the slugs and bugs stand no chance.
    TMT Tactical likes this.
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