What are the ways to make your chickens lay more eggs? I have always believed that the only secret to the production of more eggs is the selection of the right breeds of layers. The rest follows suit to enhance egg productivity. These underlying factors provide a better platform for hens to lay more eggs. And that’s what we are going to discuss in detail.
The astounding answer to this question lies in several factors that influence egg production. From choosing the right breeds to checking their health status these factors play a role in making your chickens lay more eggs.
As it seems, chickens go by seasons when it comes to laying eggs. Sometimes they lay frequently and other times their production slows down. Just like other animals, chickens have their natural biological rhythms that dictate their reproduction.
For instance, during the autumn, several factors trigger layers’ bodies to slow down their productivity. Once you understand such seasonal changes, you can always find ways that will make your birds more productive.
The following ideas will help you achieve this feat regardless of the time of the year. Below are ways to make your chickens lay more eggs.
1. Choose the Best Layers
The first step to achieving higher egg production on your farm is the selection of the right breeds. So you need to take your time assessing different breeds of layers before choosing the best one for your project.
- These birds come in different sizes, colors, and behavior. Most importantly, each breed has its own characteristics in relation to laying eggs. Some are excellent layers while others lay only a few eggs in a week.
- In your case, you must consider choosing those that lay almost daily. This is a good way of starting your egg production project in your backyard.
- Some chicken breeds are likely to go broody more often than others. As such you need to consider this behavior when choosing your layers. Chickens that go broody lay fewer eggs and that should not be in line with your project. This because broodiness lasts for several months thus slowing down egg production.
- Here are top egg-laying chicken breeds that you should consider raising:
- Production Red
- Rhode Island Red
- Golden Comet
- Plymouth Rock
- You may choose any of the above breeds if you want to increase egg production on your farm.
2. Assist Your Layers Through their Molt
- During certain seasons of the year, all chickens undergo a process known as molting. This physical change takes place mostly in autumn. It involves the release of older feathers to pave way for new ones.
- Molting is a tough process for the chickens, especially layers. The process is usually painful and can take away more energy from your birds to grow new fathers. When molting, your birds stop laying eggs.
- This is because the energy their bodies need to produce eggs is channeled towards growing new feathers. The entire process is frustrating but there is nothing else you can do to make your birds lay again.
- However, you may help them throughout their molting in the best way you can. In this case, you should provide them with a dust bath to quickly dispose of older feathers. Chickens love rolling and playing in the dust bath thus getting rid of their older feathers in the process. This way, your birds will speed up molting and start laying again.
- Besides, you may supply them with enough protein to help them grow their new feathers as they molt. Supplements that contain high protein treats will play a crucial role in speeding up the molting. Ensure that your birds get plenty of grubs and dried mealworms so they can bounce back to their normal life.
3. Provide Your Birds with Supplemental Light
Supplemental light is one of the ways to make your chickens lay more eggs. One thing you need to know is that the hens’ laying cycle is influenced directly by daylight. Most chickens lay eggs consistently when they get an uninterrupted 14 hours of light per day. That’s why there is always an increase in egg production in summer compared to winter or autumn.
- In winter daylight exists in only a couple of hours thus affecting the laying cycle of chickens. However, you may overcome this situation by adding more light to your chicken coops. With more hours of light, your birds will lay more eggs regardless of the time of the year.
- But there are downsides of providing your birds with supplemental light. Typically, layers have a fixed number of eggs they can lay at a given period. Once they have laid them all there’s nothing you can do to make them lay again.
- Anyway, introducing supplemental light to your chickens will compel them to lay their eggs quickly. As a result, they will exhaust their egg reserves, making them have a short egg production period.
- That explains why most chicken owners allow their birds to have a laying break in winter. This makes hens follow their biological rhythms in a more natural way rather than being forced into laying eggs.
4. Learn how to Handle Broody Hens
- Broodiness affects egg production among chickens. If your birds are fond of going broody, then you might experience low production of eggs. This is attributed to the fact that these chickens spend time sitting on their eggs rather than laying. After hatching they will spend more time looking after their chicks.
- Some breeds of hens go broody many times in one year, affecting their laying cycle. Such hens will take between 4 to 6 months hatching and taking care of their chicks. This will affect you the most if you are raising chickens for commercial egg production.
- The only way to avoid this problem is to discourage broodiness among your flock. In this regard, you may break broodiness by removing the nests or removing the hens from the nests.
5. Check Your Hens’ Health Status
- Checking your hens’ health status is also one of the ways to make your chickens lay more eggs. Healthy birds are productive in many different ways. One of these ways is egg production.
- When your flock is unhealthy you will see a drop in their productivity. Sick hens cannot lay more eggs because their body system is already compromised. To know if your birds are healthy, you should look at their physical features. Healthy layers will have neat, orderly feathers, red wattles and combs, bright eyes and more energy.
- On the other hand, sickly layers will stop laying eggs, Instead, they will have the following signs:
- Pale wattles and combs
- Feather loss around the vent and other parts of the body
- Droopy tail
- Discharge from their vents
- Isolating themselves
- Excessive preening and scratching
- When you see any of these signs, contact your local vet for the solution.
6. Improve the Quality of Your Chicken’s Feed
Your layers deserve a well-balanced diet to make them lay healthy and nutritious eggs. Also, a good diet will help your birds improve their egg production. If your layers are not laying as much as they used to check their diet.
- You should consider spending a little more on the commercial layer’s feed to help your birds produce more eggs. In addition, you may supplement their diet with healthy treats such as kitchen scraps, garden weeds, and mealworms. These treats will provide them with a well-balanced diet.
7. Reduce Stress Among Your Layers
- Stress plays a critical role in egg production. If your layers are stressed, they won’t lay more eggs compared to when they are comfortable. Reducing stress in your hens is part of the top ways to make your chickens lay more eggs.
- What are the common chicken stressors? Let’s find out from the following list:
- If you overcome all these problems, your birds will feel comfortable and lay more eggs.
Which broody chicken breeds should you avoid when raising hens for egg production? Breeds such as Brahmas, Cochin, Sussex, Silkes, Marans, Orpington and Snetecler are broody hens that you should avoid. Even though some of these breeds are excellent layers, they will not lay consistently as you would expect. Instead, they will stop to hatch their eggs and this will affect their productivity.
How many eggs should a good layer produce in a week? A good layer should produce at least 6 eggs per week if conditions are favorable for her.
For your hens to lay more eggs, you need to consider certain factors. These factors will improve egg production and keep your birds healthy and comfortable. Take full advantage of the aforementioned ways to make your chickens lay more eggs for your own benefits.
Below is a Pinterest friendly photo…. so you can pin it to your Chicken Board!!