New Egg Layers… During Winter?

cookie's first egg
Egg laid by my Cuckoo Maren, buy yours from My Pet Chicken or Meyer Hatchery

Many of you bought some cute fluffy chicks this spring, I know, and by now you’re probably enjoying their first eggs just in time for your older hens to stop laying for the winter. But, I know there’s some of you who bought chicks earlier this summer, and who are supposed to start laying during the prime time of winter. As we know, hens stop laying during the winter because of less daylight hours, but what about the new chicks?

No matter what the weather conditions may be in winter where you live, your new summer chicks will lay right through the winter without a problem, so now you’ll have fresh eggs all winter while your hens take some winter vacation hours.

cookie's first egg yolk.JPG

Why Pullets Lay Through Winter and Hens Don’t

As soon as the shorter days and cooler temps roll in, a hen’s survival instincts kick in, telling her to stop laying. Chickens lay eggs for offspring, and they know chicks won’t be able to survive during winter, so their natural instincts kick in. The hen’s body stops sending eggs, and now she gets a break. Chickens need 14 hours or more of daylight per day to lay an egg, so as soon as the shorter days come around, egg production slows to a halt.

I believe that pullets lay through the winter because of their hormones. Their bodies are telling them to lay as they are on the prime age of laying, the age where they will lay the most eggs in a year. Out of all my flocks, they have all layed straight through the year until they were older than one year, which is when they would begin their yearly fall molt and winter break, then going into the swing of things again come spring.

If you’re concerned about your chickens getting to cold or any other wonderings about winter, read here for some of my favorite winter tips in keeping your chickens safe and warm all winter. if you have any more questions, follow me on Instagram for some more tips, and check out these articles on winter egg laying.

Dancing with Chickens

© Dancing with Chickens, 2018.



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