Providing Water for Chickens

Water is essential for the health of your chickens. Ensuring a clean, fresh, consistent source of water, no matter what season, is one of the best ways you can care for your birds.

Watch this video for a quick lesson on the importance of water for your flock, from Nutrena Consultant Twain Lockhart:

Thank you for watching, and leave a comment or question below if you have one!

Winter Lighting for Chickens

Keeping your egg cartons full can be achieved in the winter through artificial lighting in your coop.

People and chickens operate on different schedules that sometimes conflict.

As days shorten and the temperature drops people turn on furnaces and electric lights and sleep about as many hours as they do in summer. Not chickens. Their daily schedule is set by daylight. Lacking artificial light they settle into a long night’s sleep as soon as dusk arrives and don’t wake until tomorrow’s dawn. In high latitudes they often sleep 15 or 16 hours a night.

For chickens, winter is a time for rest, not reproduction. Cold temperatures don’t reduce laying, but as fall advances, decreasing daylight causes egg production to dwindle. That can create a problem for their owner.

Long dark nights and winter holidays signal baking season. Cakes, cookies, casseroles, area among the popular winter foods that require lots of eggs at the time of year when hens are taking a break.

Even during December’s darkness a healthy flock of good layers rarely completely stops laying, but production is meager. Natural late December daylight at the latitude of Chicago, New York, or Seattle is around nine hours, but chickens need 14 or 15 hours of light for high egg production. There is an easy answer for owners.

A single light bulb simulating June’s day length will boost production. Often the same light fixture used to brood chicks serves well for winter lighting. Suspend it near the coop ceiling and screw in a nine to 12 watt compact fluorescent or LED bulb. Neither type uses much electricity but LED’s work better in cold weather. The lamp should be controlled by a timer set to come on in early morning darkness and switch off after dawn. Nine hours of natural daylight augmented by several predawn hours of artificial light will keep hens laying during the winter baking season.

Chicken owners sometimes debate the ethics of tricking chickens into artificial production. There is no simple answer, and it is a matter of personal choice for the flock owner. Some prefer to let nature take its course and just plan to collect fewer eggs during the dark months. Others don’t mind tricking January hens into thinking it is May.

Chicken Raising FAQ’s, Part 2

Wondering how many eggs your chickens will lay, why chickens lay different sized eggs, or how to tell if eggs are still good? Check out this video featuring Nutrena Poultry Consultant Twain Lockhart for all your answers!

Have more questions or comments? Leave them here on the blog!

Feeding Scratch Grains to Chickens

Wonder if you should be feeding scratch to your chickens? Listen in as Nutrena Poultry Consultant Twain Lockhart explains how to feed it properly.

Let us know if you have any comments or questions!

Chicken Raising FAQ’s, Part 1

Wondering if you need a rooster to get a hen to lay eggs, how many chickens you should get, if you can have too many chickens, how long chickens live, or what the current Guinness World Record is for the oldest chicken?  Check out this video featuring Nutrena Poultry Consultant Twain Lockhart for all your answers!

Have additional questions or comments?  Leave them in the comments section!

Raising Poultry for Meat

Interested in raising your own poultry for meat on your table? Join Nutrena Poultry Consultant Twain Lockhart for some tips on what to keep in mind when feeding hybrid meat breeds, such as cornish cross.

Questions or comments? Leave them below!