Raising chickens can be very rewarding. But during the colder and shorter winter days, egg production can often dwindle, leaving you without the eggs you need for baking and other goodies. With a few suggestions from Scoop from the Coop from Nutrena®, we’ve put together some easy ways to ensure your hens keep laying one of nature’s culinary wonders.
Feed them Right
The right food and proper nutrients are essential for a healthy brood. Most chickens will consume 1 ½ times as much as they eat in the spring and summer. At Coastal we can show you several types of feed to have on hand, including options from NatureWise from Nutrena® designed for good digestion, proper nutrition, and improved egg quality.
Watering is Important
Your chickens might eat more in the winter, but they’ll drink less water. Considering the difficulty in keeping waterers filled in freezing conditions, it’s a good thing. However, it is worth your time to keep the water flowing. That’s because water consumption is a vital component in egg laying.
If your hens don’t get enough water every day, it can throw off egg production. That, mingled with a lack of daylight hours, can cause a serious disruption in your egg collecting.
Lighten the Mood
Winter months are great for chrefing up in front of the wood stove with a good book. But it’s also your chicken’s favorite time to sleep up to 16 hours a day and save their energy for something other than eggs.
For proper egg laying, chickens need up to 16 hours of light per day. Since our Northwest winter days start late and end early, artificial light is the answer. To trick your hens into thinking it’s May instead of January, suspend a brooder lamp near the coop ceiling and replace the heat bulb with a 12-watt LED.
Now, add a timer to the light so that it turns on several hours before sunrise and stays on well past dawn. You want to achieve a combination of 15 to 16 hours of real and artificial daylight.
Coastal Cares about Your Chickens
Stop by and tell us about your flock. Your Northwest owned and operated Coastal has a huge selection of chicken feeders, scratch, waterers, coops, fencing, and feed to keep your chickens happy all winter long.