Keep hens laying in fall and winter | Living the Country Life

Keep hens laying in fall and winter

Radio interview source: Jesse Lyons, Extension Poultry Specialist, University of Missouri

Listen here: How to keep hens laying in winter

As the hours of daylight decrease in the fall, hens tend to stop laying eggs. However, if you keep the chickens comfy with light and warmth, they'll reward you with more eggs.

Many hens stop or slow down egg production during the fall and winter. The lack of daylight and cooler temperatures tell their bodies to rest.

Extension Poultry Specialist Jesse Lyons at the University of Missouri says if you want to convince your hens to keep laying, they'll need supplemental daylight.

"It takes about 12 hours of day length to get the birds stimulated to where they start laying," Lyons says. "Up to about 16 to 17 hours or so, somewhere in there, is the probably the maximum day length that will stimulate the birds."

The light has to be constant, and if you have a timer set for say, 14 hours of light and the egg production slows down, Lyons adding another half-hour so the hens think springtime is coming.

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