Many of you welcomed your hens for reasons other than their phenomenal egg production. All the same, we're thankful for the two or three eggs we gather each morning. Whether it's to improve your hens' production or just to better understand them, here are some tips.
Factors that impact hens’ egg production
Six factors have an effect on the hens’ egg production: lack of light, time of year, age of the hen, moulting period, stress, and finally, food and water.
Lack of light
Most hens stop laying in late fall and begin again once the days start getting longer in March. Actually, a hen needs between 14 and 16 hours of continuous daylight. She needs enough vitamin D to produce and lay an egg.
Tips! Let your hens walk around outside the enclosure. They will be more exposed to sunshine and therefore better able to lay. You can add a source of light with a special bulb (like those used to grow plants!). Maybe your hens don't want to lay in the same place all the time. If so, you can procure a Nesting Box to add to your chicken coop.
Time of year
Like all living beings, our energy differs throughout the year - hens too. They take a pause between laying cycles. These cycles can differ from one hen to another, but there's no need for alarm if they take a break 2 or 3 times a year - see it as their vacation period!Age
The hens in your Starter Kit were raised on our certified farms until the age of 19 weeks when they are considered ready to begin laying, although some hens are a little slower to mature. Nature being what it is, 5% of hens lay irregularly or are infertile.
Did you know? A hen reaches the height of her productivity at around one and a half years, after which her rhythm begins to slow until she stops producing between 5 and 7 years old.
The moulting period is very stressful and tiring for a hen. She'll lose her feathers in large amounts and replace them with brand new plumage. During this period, it is important to add trace elements and vitamins to the feed like with green vegetables, vegetable peels, beans, peas, salad leaves or overripe fruit.Stress
Stress caused by such things as a psychological shock, difficult living conditions or even the presence of predators can be investigated if your hens have stopped laying.
Tip! Make sure the coop is clean and well ventilated. See our article on 5 Tips for a Chicken Coop Ready for Winter.
Food and water
We know you love your hens but be careful not to feed them too much. Feeding should be balanced or the hen may stop producing. Don't forget to add a little calcium in the form of oyster shells to their feed. They also need a lot of water, even in winter. Even though they don't eat or drink at night (why it's important to place the food and water troughs outside the nesting box), water plays an important role in the creation of an egg as it is 75% water.
Finally, if in spite of these tips, your hens still don't lay, it's important to respect their rest period. Yes, we don't like the idea of having to return to store-bought eggs during the winter, but with a dozen eggs per week for 80% of the year, why not take an eggless break? With the popularity of veganism, there are plenty of ideas available online to replace your recipes.