The most common reason that people establish chicken coops, whether in a backyard, or out on a farm, is to get a regular supply of eggs. When the hens stop laying, the investment often feels like a waste of time and resources. While we believe that chickens are great companions and pets, and add more to your life than just a steady supply of eggs, we understand the frustration that comes when your hens stop laying. Here are a few ways you can help your hens keep laying throughout the year.
Manage Their Diets
The key to healthy egg production is often found in your chickens’ diets. Good chicken feed will contain the right amounts of protein, vitamins, fiber, and minerals to keep your flock healthy and laying well. Most chickens who are at a laying age require food that contains about 16 percent protein in order to produce a regular supply of eggs.
Like all animals, chickens can become stressed by a variety of stimuli. While obvious stressors like predators hanging around the coop, or dogs constantly hassling the flock can disrupt your chickens’ laying cycles, less obvious triggers may interrupt your egg supply. Even something as natural as a change in weather can cause your chickens to go off their feed, or stop laying until they feel more relaxed. To reduce stress in your flock, give them plenty of shade and areas to cool down in the summer, keep your other animals away from them, and make sure predators aren’t able to get into your yard. Our automatic chicken coop door is sturdy enough to keep out even the most determined fox or raccoon.
Keep Them Healthy
If your hens are sick, they’ll likely stop laying or will lay eggs more slowly and irregularly. In fact, a decrease in production may serve as an indicator that something is wrong with your hen’s health. Always check your hens for other signs of illness and if they seem off, or are behaving oddly, separate the hen from the rest of the coop and take them to the vet. Your vet will be able to test for any parasites, illnesses, or diseases and will provide treatment for your feathered friend.
Clean The Roost
A dirty coop can disrupt a chicken’s laying cycle just as easily as an illness. Be sure to clean the coop regularly to prevent buildup of poop, feathers, and pests. Remember, insects and pests are often attracted to the smell of a dirty coop. Also provide proper nesting boxes for your hens to lay in. While some chickens will lay eggs wherever they deem appropriate, many prefer a nice, clean bed of straw and shavings. While it can be a challenge, try to keep your hens from sleeping in the nesting boxes. Otherwise, you’ll have to clean the boxes daily.
Hunt for Eggs
While many of your hens will happily lay in the nesting boxes you provide them with, some will leave eggs in unpredictable places. This can give the impression that some of your hens aren’t laying. This is a perfect time to get your kids involved, too. Send them out to the yard to look for eggs that were laid outside the coop.
We hope these tips help you keep your chickens laying and producing happily. Reduce your stress in keeping chickens by installing an automatic chicken coop door from Coop Tender. Our doors are equipped with wi-fi capabilities, letting you control your flock’s access to the coop from your smartphone. Order your door today and take your coop to the next level.