laying hens in January

Our average temperature over the last few weeks has been about ten degrees – that’s Fahrenheit, for our friends in Canada – and the impact of such low temperatures reaches into every aspect of our days and nights.  Life becomes a response to the weather, maybe like being on a tall ship in a big storm, where there is some overall plan but also constant adjustment to event.  This morning at five the thermometer said it was 31 degrees, and we are relaxing into the lull.  The chickens, after dropping way down for the cold spell, are picking up again – today thirty-four hens gave us seven eggs, about twenty percent lay.

 

4 thoughts on “laying hens in January

  1. Your hens are doing better than ours. We have gotten two eggs the last two weeks. It probably doesn’t help that we stopped buying store feed and just have old whole grains and kitchen/pig butchering scraps for them. We got two eggs yesterday though so brighter days are coming!

    1. Your chicken diet sounds pretty much like ours. We aren’t taking credit for the laying rate of our chickens, but the last couple of years we’ve found that it is the birds in the low tunnels (or in tractors covered with plastic) that lay the most eggs. Combination, we speculate, of warmer air and unfrozen soil — for what it’s worth —

  2. The first year we had layers through the winter, every really cold day was a battle to keep them hydrated. Heated waterer really helped my winter production the past two years. Prior to that, I had a heat lamp in the coop that wasn’t keeping the ice away when it dropped below 20 degrees. Didn’t heat the coop at all this year because it’s tight, they have water and they roost together for warmth. Thanks for sharing your story.

    1. Sounds good. We deliver hot water in the morning; it mostly stays thawed under plastic during the day, but freezes overnight. We feed hot mash in the mornings, but when it drops below zero whatever they don’t eat freezes and is unavailable until the weather warm up.

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