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Are Your Hens Laying Egg-stra This Spring?

5-10 chicken

Having access to fresh eggs is a true treat for those who are able to enjoy. But how come there tends to be an overage of farm fresh eggs in springtime?

Chickens are influenced heavily by sunlight. With springtime, the amount of daylight increases, which improves egg laying production. The ideal amount of light for a chicken is around 14 hours, the longer days in trigger the pineal gland to help with the laying process. The pineal gland is able to “sense” sunlight, and is responsive to it. Melatonin is produced when the pineal gland senses darkening, which helps the hen relax and roost for the night. The longer the days, the less melatonin is released, which means more opportunity for laying.

Temperatures and diet are also a factor. Warmer weather allows chickens to be outside for longer periods of time. They are also able to seek out seeds and insects on their own, creating a more palatable diet for themselves.

If people want chickens to lay through all seasons, artificial light on a timer can be used to mimic sunlight and keep their production at a more even pace. Incandescent bulbs are found to work better than florescent because they emulate sunlight better.

 

Sources:

 “Effects of Light on Laying Hens.” Roys Farm

Harlow, Ivory. “Spring Egg Surplus: Why Chickens Lay More Eggs in Spring.” Farmand dairy.com

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