The long, warm days of summer are coming to a swift end Just as quickly, you may have noticed a sudden drop in your flock’s egg production!
Chickens will slow down laying during the fall for two reasons; less sunlight and the molt
In the world of chickens, less daylight equals less prolactin
Prolactin exists in most creatures and is a reproductive regulating hormone Prolactin is responsible for stimulating the ovulation cycle in a hen No one really knows why, but in our domestic chickens, prolactin levels decrease when days begin to have less than 12 hours of sunlight
Without a normal ovulation
All of today’s hundreds of chicken breeds originated from wild birds stalking the jungles of Southeast Asia Their distant ancestors were adapted to a hot, humid climate close to the equator where day length doesn’t vary much throughout the year
It’s a wonder these formerly tropical animals can survive cold dark winters, but the plucky birds do just fine when the temperature drops and days shorten as winter grips the north There is a problem Decreasing daylight as fall progresses causes egg production to drop off It doesn’t cease but slows just as the winter baking season starts
Fortunately, hens can