The Winter season is challenging for layer farmers. As this season approaches, egg production drops to a significant number. This is a serious issue as in the consumer market demand for eggs increases in winters but the hens yield low production.
Before we dig out the solution, let us go through the reasons;
Reasons for Low production of eggs in Winters
• Poor conditions of the shed
• Poor feed management
• Poor hygiene condition
• Poor light Management
• Poor Temperature Management
Tips to enhance and maintain egg production in winters
Take the following measures;
Do not let the cold air in the shed causing to increase the humidity level. It can lead to serious sickness and mortality due to cold stress.
Make sure, your shed is in the right direction and has an appropriate spacing as per the number of birds. The right direction of vents is crucial. The right direction of vents allows to let in the sunlight but not too much cold air. Cover the entire shed with curtains and make sure there is no hole or any cause of letting in the cold air.
Feed & Water management:
The daily feed allowance for a laying hen is 110 g per day on normal days. As the winter season comes, the temperature drops, resulting in loss of the body temperature of hens. To overcome this issue, feed management plays a crucial role. Hence, increase the protein percentage to 16 to 17%. Increase the percentage of calcium and carbohydrates in the feed so that hens can maintain their production cycle and get instant energies to maintain their body temperature.
Feed green vegetables to flock but, not all of the vegetables, just those that contain protein, iron, and carbs in a bit higher percentage. It is good to feed them with cabbage, corn, spinach. Also include turmeric on some intervals and vegetable oil. It will help the hens to maintain the body temperature required for their overall health and production cycle.
Do not let them drink cold water or overnight water. Fill your water tanks with fresh and Lukewarm water. Keep replacing the water with Lukewarm the entire day.
Cleanliness & Hygiene:
It is important to rack bedding on daily basis. Keep the shed very clean. Do not let the bedding stay wet or dirty. Try to replace bedding after every week. But also, do not do it at once, start from a specific corner and spread it bit by bit. There should not be even minor contamination in feeders, drinkers, feed, water, and bedding.
Light is another vital component. Light entering the hen’s skull passes to the hypothalamus & pituitary glands through the pineal gland. That’s how the overall growth and production cycle of the hens stimulate. It is necessary to keep the light in the shed for a total of 16 hours. If there is not enough sunlight during the day, switch on the bulbs.
• Take such precautions that help to maintain the humidity level in the shed that is 60 to 75%.
• Do not let the cold air in the shed.
• Use suitable options such as heaters to keep the temperature in the shed to 23ο Celsius.