As the fall and winter months begin to set in most people notice that their chickens don’t produce as many eggs as they do in the summer months. While there are many different possible causes, we will focus on only a couple important factors that have a large impact on egg production.
The first major factor that causes a reduction in egg production is the amount of light chickens are exposed to in a day. On average chickens require approximately 14 hours of light a day to constantly produce eggs. As fall sets in the amount of sunlight decreases every day which in turn decreases egg production. To help provide more light it is as simple as adding a light bulb to your coop. To save on energy costs we recommend using a timer to turn the light on and off in the morning and evening. The IncubatorWarehouse.com’s Lay Light with its built in timer and energy efficient compact fluorescent bulb makes providing extra light simple and easy.
Another cause of decreased egg production is temperature. As the amount of sunlight in a day decreases so does the temperature. As the temperature decreases more of a chicken’s energy goes to keeping warm instead of egg production. It is recommended that during the colder months that egg laying birds are fed more protein to help with the increased energy required to stay warm. Some people recommend mixing in regular scratch into the food or feeding straight scratch every other day to help provide more protein.
The last major cause of decreased egg production is water supply. Due to the fact that eggs are made mostly out of water it is important to provide a fresh supply of water to egg laying birds. During the fall and winter months it is important to keep the water supply from freezing so your birds have a constant supply of water. If there is not a constantly available water supply egg production will decrease. We recommend using a heated waterer of some kind to keep the water defrosted.
There are other causes that can affect egg production but if chickens have enough light, the right kind of feed, and a fresh supply of water they should keep egg production up during the fall and winter months.