Avian Aqua Miser: Automatic, poop-free chicken waterers

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Fewer eggs in the fall

Egg productionWhy do chickens lay fewer eggs in the fall?  As I mentioned in a previous post, one issue is day length --- when there are fewer than 14 hours of light, chickens lay less.  A solution to this problem is to turn on a light in the chicken coop, but my data shows that our lighted coop only boosted egg production slightly.

Another common cause of lowered egg production in the autumn is molting.  After eighteen months in their adult feathers, our hens are starting to look scruffy, so I wouldn't be at all surprised to discover that an autumn molt is the cause of our paucity of eggs.  If so (assuming we keep the coop light on), we should see egg production increase within a couple of months.

Chicken eggsWe keep track of how many eggs we get every day, but I'm starting to think that we need to be a bit more scientific.  Our laying flock consists of both Black Australorps and Cuckoo Marans, and it's pretty easy to tell their output apart by eggshell color.  Maybe if I can talk Mark into separating out the data from the two breeds, I'll be able to tell you who's a better fall and winter layer.

I'd be curious to hear from those of you who also keep track of your laying stats.  What breeds lay well for you all winter long?  How many eggs per bird per week do you average?

Our chicken waterer makes sure that the flock has plenty of clean water to churn out those tasty eggs.

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