Newsflash… laying hens need to be comfortable and productive to maintain profitability at any scale of operation. Click this fact sheet from UMaine Extension: Bulletin #2217, Winter Care of Your Laying Hens
Some of the most important management factors to keep your winter flock laying include:
- Making the transition to supplemental lighting to maintain 15-16 hours of light per day (1 60 watt incandescent/13 watt compact fluorescent will cover 200 square feet). If have not done this by December, you are behind schedule. Specialists advise to increase light by 15-20 min each week to phase light back in slowly.
- Keeping birds warm. Production declines below 55 d F. Managers should consider supplemental heat and also make sure the ration supplies enough energy and nutrition to compensate for the birds biological transitions with colder conditions.
- Never forget clean (NOT FROZEN) water, draft reductions, proper ventilation and sanitation.
Click this fact sheet from UMaine Extension: Bulletin #2217, Winter Care of Your Laying Hens