I am so excited to share my December egg report with you! All December long, I have kept track of how many eggs my chickens were laying. We’ve all read the articles that during the winter, chickens tend to lay less eggs. They may even stop laying eggs. That’s why I decided to keep track of the number of eggs being laid and I’m going to share that with you today!
My Chickens are Still Laying Eggs, Even in December!
I have had several people, who live in the same geographical area as me, tell me that their chickens have stopped laying eggs. That blew my mind. My chickens have continuously been laying eggs and they don’t look like they are going to stop anytime soon. That’s good for my husband and I, because we’ve been eating eggs nonstop for breakfast lately and I like having my free supply of eggs.
My dad works for a local dairy farm, Fair Oaks Farms, which if you haven’t been there, it’s a blast to go and visit. I highly recommend taking the trip! He delivers and picks up milk from the local dairy farmers. While speaking with some of the farmers, my dad mentioned that I raise chickens and that he gets his eggs from me. The farmers, who raise hundreds of chickens (as opposed to my measly 19), asked what my secret was! Their chickens had stopped laying too!
The Egg Report:
In the event you don’t want to read anymore, but are just interested in the egg report, HERE IT IS! I’ll be honest…I have no secret to getting my chickens to keep laying eggs during the winter. There is no magic answer. One method works, while others don’t. It depends on your chickens. But if you want to know what I do, keep reading. Otherwise, the report is here and it’s awesome:
Theoretically, if I had been selling my eggs at only $2.50 per dozen, I would have made $64. That’s great news, because I don’t want my chickens to be free-loaders. They need to be paying for their keep. This more than covers the cost of their feed. I think that the chickens are keeping their end of the bargain and for that I’m very happy. 🙂
Right now, I am not selling my eggs mainly because my household eats most of them. The overstock is given away to family members for their eating enjoyment. The plan for this year (yay 2019!) is to start selling eggs to make a little profit.
What I Do to Keep Chickens Laying:
Again, I’ll reiterate that there is no secret to getting chickens to keep laying throughout the winter. My factors may be completely different from yours.
To start, my chicken coop is in the middle of a field and is not surrounded by any trees or shade. That means that my chickens get plenty of sunshine and vitamin D. Chickens need 14-hours of daylight for optimal egg production. In addition, as you can see from the photo, I have two windows and a door with windows. So even if the chickens are inside the coop, they are still getting the benefits of sunlight.
Normally, I let the chickens out of the coop when I leave for work, which is around 7:15 a.m. Dusk falls at 4:30 p.m. now, which means only 9 hours of direct sunlight. Since I can’t change the amount of sunlight per day, the chickens have been making do. I don’t feel like it is affecting their egg production.
How to Transfer Chickens to Their New Coop
Further, I do not use artificial light inside of the coop to extend egg production time. The wintertime and less sunlight should be used to let the chickens rest their bodies (if needed). If the chickens are up to laying eggs, then they will lay eggs! Otherwise, let them regenerate and get ready for the spring (and babies, hopefully!).
I also let my chickens freerange. To see why, go here. The benefits are amazing and the chickens are super happy when they get out of the run. Plus, they’ve completely scratched up the run and there is no grass for the chickens left. Letting them freerange enables them to eat all the grass and bugs they want, which lowers my feed bill. Win win for me.
Types of Chickens:
In case you are wondering, these are the types and numbers of chickens that I have:
2 Barred Rock
3 White Rock
3 Rhode Island Red
2 Silver Laced Wyandotte
3 White Wyandotte
3 Buff Orpington
1 Barred Rock
1 Light Brahma
1 Egyptian Fayoumis
If you are worried about chickens laying throughout the winter, there are several breeds which are cold-hardy, such as the Light Brahma, Barred Rock, White Rocks, Silver Laced Wyandotte, White Wyandotte, and Buff Orpingtons, which apparently are all of the breeds that I ended up purchasing. It was an accident, but a happy one!
That’s all that I do to get chickens to lay through the winter. See, no amazing secrets here. Hopefully, just good chicken-keeping tips.
What about you? Are your chickens laying now that it’s winter?