It is indeed a wonderful feeling to raise chickens. It could be messy sometimes and surely requires a lot of effort, but you forget all the stress once you go to your backyard where they are laying their eggs! Your routine must be set from waking up, collecting fresh eggs, feed the chickens, and go to bed. But what if your morning motivation starts losing its essence? What if your backyard flock, your beloved chickens stop laying eggs? Well, in that case, you may need to change specific methods. You may have to motivate your birds to lay eggs again. This article will help you to serve your purpose.
How to Get Chickens to Lay Eggs Again?
Chickens stop laying eggs for various reasons, and there is no way you can force any bird to lay eggs. Some reasons are natural such as age or illness. On the other hand, few other reasons can be fixed after taking a little more care. Experts suggest that hens may stop laying eggs because of stress, poor nutrition, uncomfortable light/atmosphere, or molt. Simple changes can help your chickens to lay eggs again.
1. Appropriate Light
It is said that hens need 12 to 15 hours of daylight to maintain their laying capacity. Firstly observe if your chickens reduce or stop laying eggs when the days are short. They lay best when they get 16 hours of daylight. You can also arrange some artificial lights along with the natural lights during winters to encourage chickens. Try to use one incandescent 25-watt or LED 3- to 9-watt bulb per 100 square feet of coop space.
2. Nutritious Food
How can hens lay eggs if they are unable to get enough nutrition? They need a balanced diet every day, including enough protein and calcium to continue their maximum egg production. Use a diet of high-quality laying mash or pellet, along with seasonal fruits, fresh vegetables, and mealworms. You can also train them and motivate them to lay eggs by using delicious treats.
3. Clean Coops and Healthy Environment
Predators, loud noises, excess heat or cold, over-crowding, etc. affect the egg-laying process in a negative way. You must keep your chicken in a dry and clean living area with good food, sufficient water, and fresh air. Also, comfortable bedding to rest is required to increase egg production. Try to build a four-square foot of indoor space and a four-square foot of the outdoor space per bird. Keep the aggressive hens away to avoid stress.
At a certain time of around 1.5 years of age, chickens start losing their old feathers. It is known as molt – a period of regrowth. It usually occurs in autumn. During this time, some hens reduce egg production to grow their feathers. This session lasts for 8 to 16 weeks, but it may vary from bird to bird. After this process, the birds start producing eggs again. If you want to finish this growing process fast, start feeding your chickens a diet that is high in protein.
5. Aging Factors
Aging is natural, and there is nothing specific you can do about it! Chickens start laying eggs between 18 t 20 weeks of their age and can continue up to 8 or 10 years. Some well-cared and healthy hens can also lay eggs after the determined period, but the majority of these birds tend to slow down once they become old. Such hens can become a good companion and leader of their flock.
I hope now you know how to get your chickens to lay eggs again. Under ideal conditions, chickens will lay an egg once a day. So, be patient and keep your hens safe from pradators and thieves. Also, keep them happy and stressfree by talking and playing with them every day. 🙂