10 Simple Ways to Increase Egg Production

chicken eggs in a wooden bowl on a table

When I moved to the farm, one of the first things I wanted were chickens. Nothing tastes better than farm fresh eggs. Since I have just a few layers, I wanted to know how to increase egg production.

There are a few ways you can guarantee to maximize your hens laying potential. Let me teach you 10 simple ways you can increase your chickens egg production.  

1. It's All About Light

For one thing, chickens egg production slows in the colder and shorter days of winter.  It’s been noted that chickens need 14 hours of light to optimize their egg production. Evidently, longer periods of light, trigger the hens internal clock to lay eggs.

Therefore, to trick your hens into increasing or maintaining their egg laying productivity, add lighting to your coop. This could be as simple as a single bulb.

With that said, make sure you still provide your hens with at least 6-8 hours of dark to allow for adequate rest.

rooster with some hens free range in a grass field

2. Increase Protein

Your common chicken feed is usually around 16% protein. During the winter months, chickens struggle to keep warm, thus using a lot of calories. 

Consequently, increasing your chickens protein intake to 18-20% during cooler temperatures will help increase your hens core temperature and maximize their egg production

You can do this through feeding meal worms, or through a supplement like sea kelp to help enhance your current feeding regime.

Recently, I started doing this winter was to feed Meatbird Poultry Feed, every other day or so, to increase caloric intake. I will say, it worked!

3. Fresh Pelleted Food

Most of your chicken feed these days is fully fortified with an excellent nutrition profile. However, freshness can still be in question. If you order your feed, make sure you’re ordering it every two weeks or so to ensure it’s freshness. 

Also, pelleted or crumble food is easier for your chickens to pick up if they knock it out of the feeder. This means less waste and increased consumption – win, win.

Personally, I try to buy from local a local source – like a farmers co-op – for my poultry feed. Not only does it support local agricultural professionals, it also ensures freshness of the product as it is not mass produced like name brand products.

4. Should You Give Scratch Grains?

Be careful when offering your chickens scratch grains. While chickens need this form of starch for egg production, offering too much may actually have the opposite effect. 

Chickens tend to prefer scratch grains, thus neglecting their more balanced pelleted feed. Consequently, this will decreasing their overall nutrition and effect their overall egg production.

If you choose to offer scratch, only an amount they can consume in 10-15 minutes. Additionally, only feed in the evenings to encourage hens to return to the coop, and when increased body warmth is needed.

5. Provide Fresh Water

Like all animals, access to fresh water is very important for overall health. 

In the winter months, chickens can survive on snow consumption, it isn’t optimal for egg laying.

Subsequently, offering warm water multiple times a day will allow your hens to stay hydrated enough for egg production.

6. Try Offering Alfalfa

Greens are important to chicken health. If your chickens don’t have access to fresh greens, it would be beneficial to throw a flake or two of alfalfa to your chickens daily. However, if you don’t have access to fresh alfalfa, forage cubes will also work.

Alfalfa is not only known to help with fertility, it is also know to increase egg production and help maintain good yoke color. Foraging various types of grasses also gives your chickens enrichment during the cold winter months.

7. Vitamin + Mineral Supplement

Just like humans, stress can effect productivity. During times of stress such as: illness, excessive heat or cold, molting, and possible animal attacks, it is important to provide supplemental nutrients.

Adding some Boost to your chickens water is a quick and easy way to help maintain overall health. This simple additive will also support their nutrition enough to continue laying during cooler temperatures.

8. Breeding

Not all chickens are created equal. Purchasing chicken breeds and knowing their laying capabilities will allow you to set your expectations for production.

For instance, breeds such as White Leghorns, Rhode Island Reds, Plymouth Rocks, Sussexs, and Ameraucanas typically lay 200-250 eggs a year.

While your colorful egg laying breeds, such as Olive Eggers, Easter Eggers, Cream Legbars, and Copper Marans will typically lay 150-200 eggs per year.

Keep this in mind when you’re purchasing your chickens. Make sure your flock is evenly distributed in age and laying quantity to meet your needs.

9. Check for Illness + Parasites

Chickens that are ill or fighting a parasite infestation will not perform optimally. Evidently, chickens are known for being a good host to a range of internal and external parasites.  

I recommend performing weekly screens of your hens to catch any illness or infestation early. This will prevent further spreading, and allow you to treat your hens quickly.

Also, it is important to provide chickens with a clean environment. Make sure you’re cleaning your coop regularly, removing waste and provide new bedding, to minimize risk of parasite infestation. 

Lastly, you should provide your chickens and area to take regular dust baths (part sand, wood ash and diatomaceous earth.)  Dust baths allow your chickens to maintain a natural immunity and pest repellent.

10. Prevent Over Crowding

Overcrowding your chickens will lead to pecking, feather plucking, increased stress and increased risk of illness. As we know, all of these things can lead to a decline in egg production.

With this in mind, you should have adequate space for your chickens to exercise, roost, and nest. In your coop, there should be a single nesting box for ever 2-3 hens. 

The more comfortable and safe your hens feel, the more they will lay. Simple as that.

Hope this helps some of you survive the colder months with happy laying hens.




Leave a Comment

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *

Like What You See?

Join the newsletter and stay updated on all the DIYs, recipes, crafts, renovations and much more!