It is winter, which means that many chickens have stopped laying eggs. This can be a huge problem for chicken owners because they are missing out on the eggs their hens would normally lay in the spring and summer months. Wondering how to make chickens lay eggs in winter? Fortunately, there are some simple ways to make sure that your chickens keep laying eggs during the cold months!
If you do all this, then I promise you, there’s no reason why your hens won’t start producing eggs during winter time!
First of all, let’s talk about why chickens stop laying eggs in the winter.
Why Do Chickens Stop Laying Eggs in the Winter?
Chickens stop laying eggs in the winter not because the weather turns cold, but because there are fewer daylight hours available in winter than summer. When the number of daylight hours falls below 14, without controlled lighting hens may stop laying until spring.
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It’s not uncommon for chickens to stop laying eggs during the winter months. Chickens need a lot of daylight hours in order to keep their internal body clock on track, and they typically don’t get enough light when it gets dark out by the time most people are done with work or school.
In order to help your chicken lay eggs in the winter, you’ll first need to provide them with artificial light that mimics natural sunlight in their coop.
How to Make Chickens Lay Eggs in Winter?
In the winter, farmers and chicken owners alike have to deal with the unfortunate side effect of chickens laying fewer eggs. This can be frustrating for anyone who likes eating eggs or wants a few more. Luckily, there are some ways that you can encourage your chickens to lay eggs during the winter as well!
1. Use Artificial Light in Their Coop
Using lights to compensate for decreasing amounts of natural daylight tricks them into thinking the season remains right for reproduction.
Start augmenting natural light when day lengths approach 15 hours, which in most parts of the United States occurs in September.
It is important to continue the lighting program throughout the winter until natural daylight reaches 15 hours per day.
This will help your chickens lay eggs in winter.
Some people also have the misconception that natural light is not necessary for egg production, but it’s actually one of their most important needs.
2. Use Protein-Rich Food During Winter Months
In addition to the artificial light, chickens need a healthy diet with plenty of fresh water and food.
A healthy diet will ensure your chickens lay eggs in winter.
When you are feeding them, the best types of food for egg production include high energy foods like grains and protein-rich foods such as meat scraps or whole wheat bread crumbs.
They also need plenty of fresh vegetables to help increase their vitamin intake during cold months of the year.
Avoid anything with a lot of sugar content because that can make it harder for hens to produce eggs successfully. If you’re not sure what is good or bad for egg laying, check the best chicken feed for laying hens we have reviewed recently.
Make sure they have clean water at all times too; if there’s snow outside use heated containers so the water don’t freeze. This one is a great option considering its affordable price.
3. Chickens Need Extra Help to Stay Warm and Keep Laying Eggs in Winter
Chickens are cold-blooded creatures that can’t regulate their own body temperature, so during winter they need extra help to stay warm.
One of the reasons chicken’s egg production slows down during the winter is because it takes more calories for hens to maintain body temperature when outside temps are lower than 45 degrees Fahrenheit.
That is why it is very important to make sure that your coop is well insulated for cold weather because this will help keep the chicken’s body temperature up!
The insulation will also help to keep the chickens warm, and so they are less likely to startle easily.
Heat lamps or heaters for chickens are an excellent way to provide warmth when the temperatures start dipping low outside. They come in all shapes and sizes so whether you have a very large coop or just need something small enough there is likely something out there for everyone.
We have personally used this one, it’s a safe heat source for our chickens in the coop.
4. Proper Bedding for Chickens
Keeping chickens comfortable in winter can be a challenge, especially when they’re not used to it. The cold weather will make them feel less energetic and their feathers won’t keep them as warm as they would in the summer time.
Chickens sleep in a roosting position which exposes their underside to the cold air. They don’t have any fur for protection from the cold ground, so they need some help with bedding.
There are many different types of materials out there including sand, straw, wood shavings, and pine shaving.
You can use anything that can absorb moisture from the chicken droppings which reduces ammonia levels in your coop. This will make sure that there is no mold growth which can be dangerous to both hens and humans who come into contact with it!
5. Free-Range Your Chickens During Daylight Hours in Winter
Unfortunately, many of the chickens that are raised by backyard chicken owners are confined to small coops, where they don’t have enough room to move around or spread their wings. Free-range chickens roam freely on pasture land and live happier lives because they can get plenty of exercise, fresh air and sunshine.
Free-range your chickens during daylight hours in winter so they can be exposed to sunshine. This way you will not need to keep the light turned on all the time.
Free-range hens are more likely to eat green plants and insects which provide them with a higher level of nutrients. Chickens in a cage can’t eat grass or bugs which leads to an unhealthy chicken with a lower protein content and we all know how much important are the proteins for keeping chickens lay eggs in the winter.
So, in conclusion:
Chickens need artificial light so they can continue laying eggs in winter.
They also need a healthy protein rich diet with grains and greens to maintain their protein levels. Free range chickens have an increased chance of accessing these nutrients because they are able to eat grass or bugs which provide them with better nutrition than what is provided by commercial feed.
Provide your flock with plenty of warmth (via chicken coop heaters) and let them roam around outside during the day for some midday sunlight!