Feathered Freeloaders

My hens have not been producing much lately.  Egg production can go down in winter, and I think that may be what is going on, but it’s really down.  I’ve kept track of the eggs we receive from them since we first started getting eggs.  Last December (2014) we got 195 eggs, this December we got 170.  We have more hens this year than last year – last year we had 9 at this time, and right now we have 15.  I know one hen for sure isn’t laying, our “escape artist” hen – she lays white eggs, and is the only one that does.  She’s one of our newer hens from this year. We have not gotten a white egg in at least 3 weeks.  The chickens all seem healthy, and I have a heat lamp on them, but maybe the heat lamp isn’t enough to keep them producing with the cold.  We’re down by 70 eggs from November  – In November we got 239.   Our temperatures are down from November, but not as cold as last winter, luckily.  We’ve only gotten down into the teens at the coldest, maybe 17 degrees Fahrenheit.  I think last year I may have had a white heat lamp in the coop, this year it’s red.  Either way, it’s kind of depressing.  I’ll just keep an eye on them, I guess, and hope for spring.

Some of the freeloaders. They don’t come out into the snow much. We open the coop door for them in the daytime.

4 thoughts on “Feathered Freeloaders

  1. Erica Mary Eleanor February 26, 2016 / 7:12 pm

    Have you made sure none of the girls are eating the eggs?


    • jenpowell1976 February 27, 2016 / 11:09 am

      I’m pretty sure they aren’t. I used to have a rooster that would eat eggs, but I would find evidence – the straw in their nest boxes would have some yolk residue left. I haven’t found anything like that now. They have started laying more now that the days are getting longer, luckily.

      Liked by 1 person

      • Erica Mary Eleanor February 27, 2016 / 11:12 am

        Thats great! 🙂 we have 4 chickens.. they roam around our yard during the day and have found a spot in one of my little gardens they like to lay but lately I habent got any eggs. I am hoping to get some soon. At first I thought maybe they were eating the eggs but now Im wondering if its just the weather.. weirdly, 2 of them just molted too. We just got our chickens last spring so they are still pretty new! 🙂

        Liked by 1 person

  2. jenpowell1976 February 27, 2016 / 11:51 am

    Erica, I wish I could reply directly to your reply, but wordpress won’t let me, so i’ll just reply here. I think the weather (the lack of light in winter probably more than the weather) makes them slow down. When they are molting they will also stop laying for awhile, or slow down. They will start laying more again soon. 🙂


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