Our chickens are holding out on us.
No farm-fresh eggs for us. The hens just aren’t laying.
Blame the shorter days. As www.backyardchickens.com explains, “Chickens are ‘told’ to produce eggs by their endocrine system, a system of different glands and organs that produce hormones. As the daylight hours shorten in winter, changes in these hormones shut down egg production.”
There is a solution if we really want eggs during the winter: Install a light. A red heat lamp is recommended, though you have to be careful to put the light where a chicken can’t knock it down and potentially start a fire. Our problem is we already have one extension cord running out to the chickens for their heated water bucket so that they can have water to drink and not a block of ice. We don’t have a place to plug in another cord and we don’t want to overload that cord with a splitter. So it looks like store-bought eggs for the time being.