We may be biased, but at Freedom Ranger Hatchery, we believe owning chickens is one of the most rewarding pastimes you can have. Whether you have a few backyard chickens as pets or rely on your chicken egg production as a means of income, these birds always seem to have a way of making a day brighter. This is why it’s so important that your birds stay happy and healthy!
You could have one or several dozen egg-laying chickens in your flock, but you likely want your birds at optimum egg-laying capacity. Having your hens lay eggs regularly may not be a requirement depending on your situation, but we want to share a few tips that have helped our birds. From our chickens to yours, here’s the rundown on maximizing chicken egg production in your coop.
Understand Your Chicken’s Diet
Have you noticed your hen not producing her usual amount of eggs? It may be due to dietary changes. As much as we love our birds, overfeeding them or giving them too many treats can dilute the nutrients in their regular feed.
Most commercial-grade chicken feed is optimized to give your backyard chickens the right amount of nutrients. So, if your birds get too many fruits, veggies, mealworms, or other treats—no matter how healthy they are—it may be negatively impacting your chicken’s egg production. Most birds have similar dietary needs, but try to find the best and most nutritional feed balance to keep your chickens happy.
Tip: If you notice your hen is molting, try increasing the protein in her diet. The extra protein will help give her the energy to regrow feathers, as well as lay more eggs!
Time of Year Differences
While winter usually means us humans stay pretty cooped up, that doesn’t mean your birds need or want to. Here at Freedom Ranger, we believe chickens should be allowed to do what comes naturally to them—which is be chickens!
Even in the winter, you’ll find that most birds will still want to head outdoors to get some sun. As the days get shorter, your backyard chickens will likely want to soak up as much daylight as possible. But just like in nature, all of your bird’s internal clocks and instincts will be telling her to not lay eggs as the days get shorter. It’s why you’ll notice a reduction in chicken egg production over the winter since chickens naturally will lay fewer eggs due to the energy they need to stay warm and healthy.
Tip: If you want to keep your chicken egg production up during the winter, we suggest adding supplemental lighting into their enclosure. The increased “daylight” will help them burn less energy to stay warm, so your hens can lay more eggs. Plus, they’ll start naturally coming into production earlier and reach peak production in spring when the days get longer and warmer.
Parasites and Other Health Problems
We talk about chicken diseases and health problems a lot here on our blog, but did you know that a decrease in chicken egg production can often be one of the first signs of a health issue? In fact, a reduction in egg production with no other symptoms can often mean that your bird has parasites.
While not necessarily deadly, parasites and other health problems can mostly be avoided by providing basic needs—keep their coop clean, don’t overfeed them, don’t overcrowd your birds, etc. Just remember that your hens lay eggs naturally, so if it’s not happening as often, it’s time to figure out what’s wrong.
Want to Learn More About Chicken Egg Production or What Birds Are Best for You? Ask Freedom Ranger!
At our hatchery, we’re proud to be able to offer our customers high-quality broiler and egg-laying chickens. Whether you want to add to your flock of backyard chickens or improve your business with higher-quality eggs and meat, we’re here to help.