Wondering how you can get your chickens to lay more eggs naturally? I have had this question myself, and more than once I have found myself researching how to improve the production of my hens. There are several factors that can affect egg-laying. Some common reasons include too much protein in the diet, too little calcium, and stress from confinement.
If you are looking for natural ways for your chickens to lay more eggs, read on! I will share with you everything that I investigated and it worked for me.
Know the breeds of laying hens
First of all, if you want to achieve higher egg production you have to take the time to get to know the breeds of laying hens. Therefore, you should evaluate different breeds before choosing the best one for your backyard farm or hatchery. Whether you are a novice or an experienced breeder, it is essential to know the breeds that lay the most eggs to make a better decision. This will ensure a good production ahead.
Here are the main laying hen breeds you should consider raising:
- White leghorns
- Golden Comet
- Rhode Island network
- New Hampshire
- Plymouth rock
You can find these breeds in different sizes, varieties, and behaviors. The most important thing is that each breed has its own characteristics in relation to laying eggs. You can choose any of the above breeds if you want to increase egg production on your farm.
You will get your hens to lay more eggs when they are happy
Stress is one of the main factors affecting egg production. If your hens are stressed, it could affect laying. Reducing stress in chickens is one of the best ways to get chickens to lay more eggs.
One way to combat stress is to let them scratch. Put hay, wood shavings, or scraps of paper inside your chicken coop. Scratching will help them improve their metabolism, and it will keep them active and happy, especially during cold winter days.
Another way to keep them from getting bored is to give them scraps of vegetables or herbs plucked from your garden. As a result, your chickens will have something to peck around in your chicken coops.
Keep the chicken coop clean and well ventilated
A clean and well-ventilated coop is one of the main factors to consider if you want your hens to lay more eggs. Dirt build-up and high temperatures can make laying hens feel stressed and uncomfortable inside their coops.
It is important that you keep your chicken coop as clean as possible. This will ensure that your hens’ eggs are kept free of dirt and impurities.
Give your chickens some space!
In addition to ensuring you have a clean, well-ventilated house, it is very important to provide an open area where your birds can roam freely and find a comfortable place to rest at night. If your chickens feel confined, they are much more likely to lay fewer eggs.
Give them the right nutrition
Chickens need to be well fed to produce healthy, strong-shelled eggs. If your chickens have started to stop laying eggs, it might be time to review their daily diet. Purchasing premium layer feed may be what your hens need to return to regular egg production.
Another important factor to consider for your hens to lay more eggs is to make sure your birds have access to a calcium supplement. This can be mixed directly into your feed and will encourage hens not only to lay more eggs but also to lay healthier eggs with strong shells.
Inspect your birds regularly
Checking the health of the birds is also one of the ways to get your hens to lay more eggs. When your hen is sick, you will see a drop in her egg production. Sick birds do not lay eggs because their body system is compromised with some virus or bacteria. To find out if your hens are healthy, you should inspect their physical characteristics regularly.
Laying hens in good health show clean and firm feathers (when loaded you will notice that the feathers do not fall out), bright eyes (no puffiness or bubbles), red combs and whiskers (not pale or with black spots), and a lot of energy ( they will not be easily grabbed by their breeders). Be vigilant and inspect your birds daily, any health problem can affect egg production.
Change the water daily
Changing the water daily will help your hens lay more healthy, strong-shelled eggs. Be sure to refill and clean the waterers every day and, like your feeders, check that your birds always have water available. It may seem like a daunting task to keep your birds fresh water all the time, but it will be worth it when it comes to your hens laying more eggs.
Help to overcome the shedding of your chickens
All chickens undergo a process known as molting. This change in the body of the hens takes place mainly in the fall season and involves the release of older feathers to clear the way for new ones.
Molting is a difficult and painful process for chickens and can take more energy out of them than we think. When they molt, their birds stop laying eggs, because the energy their bodies need to produce eggs is channeled into the growth of new feathers.
The whole process is really frustrating for your birds. If you want to help your chickens through this physical change, you must provide them with a powder bath to quickly get rid of older feathers. Chickens love to roll and play in the dust bath, shedding their older feathers in the process. In this way, your birds will speed up the molt and start laying again.
This method of getting your hens to lay more eggs is not recommended, but if you are producing eggs to sell, you may want to give it a try. Most chickens will lay eggs consistently when there is 14 hours or more of daylight in a day.
When autumn begins and daylight hours decrease, chicken egg production drops considerably. To skip this natural trend, many people choose to put lighting in the chicken coop. This can add extra hours of sunlight to a short, dark day.
However, as mentioned above, many breeders, including the writer of this post, believe that chickens deserve a break from laying, during cold winter days, to allow them to follow their laying cycle more naturally when they are ready.
Take care that your chickens do not eat their eggs
One of the most common reasons why egg production is decreasing or appears to be decreasing is because one of our feathered friends is eating the eggs. Your chickens are likely to lay more eggs than you think, but a member of the hen house is stealing them!
Chickens generally start eating their own eggs due to calcium deficiency. Stress and a dirty chicken coop are other factors why your chickens adopt this bad habit. Make sure you give your chickens the freedom to roam and entertain themselves and keep the coop clean at all times.
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