Friday, February 12, 2010

My Opinion on Winter Eggs........

I sell eggs to a few people in the neighborhood.  One of the librarians at the library also sells eggs.  They actually have a U-Pick type farm and The Youngun and I go there to help pick strawberries every year, in exchange for berries.  It's a purty good deal ;).  Anyway, ever since it got cold outside my egg customers have been calling.  The conversation usually goes like this:

EC (egg customer): Is this the egg lady?
Me: Yup, shore is!
EC: Well I know your chickens probably aren't laying right now, but ya got any eggs to spare?
Me: Uh, yeah my chickens are laying like gangbusters, between 9 and a dozen eggs a day, how many ya need?
EC: Well do you have 6 dozen?
Me: Yup, come on over

I was in the library recently and J (the librarian) said to me, are your chickens laying?  I said, yup, between 9 and a dozen a day.  She said her hens had completely stopped laying and wondered why mine still were.  I don't keep my hens under lights and I don't feed them any super egg producing secret formula, but I do know what my opinion on the matter is..........would you like to hear it?  If not...........stop reading :P

Eggs are made up of lots and lots of WATER.  In the winter, water freezes, therefore the hens can't drink as much as they need to produce eggs.  Folks go out to do chores twice a day, break the ice, let their hens drink and that's that.  The hens are getting enough water to live, but not enough to produce eggs.  In the winter my hens are watered out of a metal hog pan.  I then hang a heat lamp right over top of that water, about 6 inches above the top of the pan.  This means that my chickens not only have access to un-frozen water, but they have access to WARM water.  When it's cold outside, all animals will drink more if they have access to warm water, as opposed to only un-frozen water.  It is my belief that my hens never stop laying in winter because they are still drinking lots of water.  The only time my hens stop laying is when they moult, which is natural because their bodies are working too hard growing new feathers to be worried about making eggs.  The first question I asked J was, Can they get to water?  She said, well I water them in the morning and at night so they have water until it freezes again..........therefore the answer to my question was NO.

So there you have it.........the unsolicited opinion of why my hens lay like gangbusters all winter long, no matter how cold it gets outside!  Aren't you glad you read this today?  LOL!  And if you think I'm wrong, or simply psychotic, don't be afraid to tell me!  :)

Ps...........I've got a new project in the works, that I'll be talking about next week, plus The Man is on vacation, so I may have some kitchen updates to share!

Till next time..............GOD BLESS FROM GOODWIFE FARM!


  1. I know nothing about chickens so I'll take your word for it. Sounds like a good theory though.

  2. I also don't know anything about chickens... but I do know that the person who told me many years ago that a horse doesn't need water in the winter because they eat the snow was full of baloney! -- Your theory sounds good to me.

  3. LOL! Good grief, some of the ideas that people have!! Thanks for commenting :)

  4. Great theory! I need to warm my hen's water, I suppose.

  5. Hi Kristin! If you try it be sure to let me know if it makes a difference. I'd like to know if I'm on to something, or just blowing hot air! ;)

  6. Hi there! I've been hanging around your blog a bit, as we're exploring breeding Kinders...but to keep on topic, I live in Alaska, and our chickens are giving us almost a dozen eggs a day, too! We have a heated base for our chicken waterer to keep it from freezing. But, we do have a light on a timer, as well. We did notice a drop in production until we started using the be truly scientific, I suppose you would have to try heating your water without using the heat lamp, perhaps? Let us know what you come up with!
    (And if you can offer me any comparisons on Kinders vs. Nigerian Dwarf goats-which we have now-regarding milk production and ease of milking, I'd be grateful)!

  7. Ok, I gotta ask - where does your tiny egg in the pic come from? Do you have banties? I don't have any banties ('cept one or two really small hens that I'm suspicious of) and occasionally I'll get a super tiny egg. The Husbdand's grandma told me that means the hen will stop laying altogether - which sounds kinda crazy to me since they're only two years old. I'd always read that hens who are allowed to live a natural lifespan don't really "stop" laying, they just lay fewer eggs as they get older.


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