Why Chickens Lay Less In The Winter
You might have seen that our farm eggs are out of stock and wondering why that might be when the grocery store never seems to be out of stock.
Contrary to popular belief, eggs are seasonal just like fruits and vegetables. Chickens lay less frequently in the winter for a few reasons.
- Chickens are going through a molt. Molting happens every year when the days get shorter. When a chicken goes through a molt, it begins to lose a lot of its feathers. Just like a snake shedding its skin and dogs lose their “winter” coat in the spring, chickens lose their feathers and grow new, bright and beautiful ones in its place. During this process, chickens lay less because all of their energy goes towards growing new feathers.
- The days are shorter allowing less sunlight. Chickens are naturally attracted to light and it takes about 16 hours of daylight for a chicken to produce an egg. When the days get shorter, the sun isn’t present as long leaving little daylight for the hens.
- The weather is colder. When temperatures begin to drop, chickens use their most of their energy to keep warm leaving little energy to produce an egg.
There are other reasons why chickens might not lay as frequently throughout the year, but these are the most common reasons during the winter.
All of these reasons are normal and occur naturally. So why is there always eggs in the grocery store? Factory farm eggs are always available because these specific producers interfere with nature. One example is that chickens never see darkness which forces them to continue to lay. Another example is that factory farm producers harvest chickens before they go through a molt - meaning these chickens have a very short (and unfulfilling) life. Chickens can live 8-10 years however, the older a hen gets, the less she lays. We usually keep our hens for 3-4 years. Chickens who live in factory farms live to about a year old.
On our farm, we do not interfere with nature. We allow our hens to do what is best for their bodies and provide them with everything they need to make it through the winter.
If our eggs are out of stock, but you would like to purchase some when they are back in stock, send us an email and we will get you on the spring contact list!
As always, thank you for supporting our farm!