Ways to increase egg production for laying hens

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Ways to increase egg production for laying hens
Healthy hen and chicks. (chicken image by John Hofboer from Fotolia.com)

Whether you keep a few hens in the back yard, or you have a large coop, egg production is an important part of keeping chickens. Many people wonder why their hens are not laying as many eggs as the breed should. If you feel that your hens are underproducing, you can take several courses of action.

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Artificial Light

To maintain their egg production, hens need roughly 14 hours of light a day. During the fall and the winter, there is a good chance that your hens will not receive the daylight they need, and egg production can grind to a halt. By introducing supplemental light to the coop, you can improve your hens' egg production.

Increasing Protein

When young hens begin laying, they require increased protein. Chickens are unable to synthesise all of the protein that they need. Because of this, they need supplements. This is especially important for laying hens.

Access to Food and Water

Though hens will not die if they go a few hours without food or water, lacking either can affect the number of eggs they lay. Chickens always should have access to a complete feed. Throw away wet feed. Remember that the longer you store your feed, the less potent its vitamins will be.

Heat Regulation

All types of poultry are affected by temperatures that are too high. If your hens are too hot, egg production will suffer. To ensure your chickens are not feeling overly warm, provide shade, good ventilation in their enclosure and plenty of cool water.

Add Calcium

Egg shell is primarily made of calcium. Hens need calcium when they are laying. A lack of calcium in the feed will lead to lower egg production and poor egg shell density. Calcium supplements for chickens are available at feed stores. They usually come in the form of oyster shell or ground limestone.

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