Fewer eggs in the fall

Egg productionWhy do chickens lay fewer
eggs in the fall?  As I mentioned in a previous post, one issue is
day length — when there are fewer than 14 hours of light, chickens
lay less.  A solution to this problem is to 
on a light in the chicken coop
, but my data shows that our
lighted coop only boosted egg production slightly.

Another common cause of
lowered egg production in the autumn is
molting.  After eighteen months
in their adult feathers, our hens are starting to look scruffy, so I
wouldn’t be at all surprised to discover that an autumn molt is the
cause of our paucity of eggs.  If so (assuming we keep the coop
light on), we should see egg production increase within a couple of

Chicken eggsWe keep track of how many
eggs we get every day, but I’m starting to think that we need to be a
bit more scientific.  Our laying flock consists of both
and Cuckoo Marans, and it’s pretty easy to
tell their output apart by eggshell color.  Maybe if I can talk
Mark into separating out the data from the two breeds, I’ll be able to
tell you who’s a better fall and winter layer.

I’d be curious to hear
from those of you who also keep track of your laying stats.  What
breeds lay well for you all winter long?  How many eggs per bird
per week do you average?

Our chicken waterer makes sure that the flock
has plenty of clean water to churn out those tasty eggs.

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