Friday, February 15, 2013

Bringing Chickens Back Into Lay

We were having a problem with our chickens.  Namely they all stopped laying.  I was getting one measly egg a day from 9 chickens!  This was highly annoying since they still ate as much as usual.  So what I essentially had was some smelly ornamental pets.  I was seriously considering putting them all into the pot rather than keep feeding them.  But first I tried some different ways to bring them back into lay.

First is to put a light in their coop as winter has come.  Chickens lay based on the hours of sunlight they get so by supplement their light in winter you get more eggs.  However this went on for two weeks and nothin.  No change.

I also increased their scratch and scraps in the hopes the extra food would help.  Generally the more food a chicken eats the more it lays.  Still nothing, nada, zip.

That pot was looking better and better.

In a last ditch effort I did something I had read about but never tried.  I gave them Cod Liver Oil in their water.  Fish oil is rich in Vitamin D.  Which is what our bodies make from sunlight.

The next day I had 4 lovely eggs in the box, and every day after that too.  Now we are up to 6 to 8 eggs a day, which is very decent for how old our chickens are and the time of year. 

So lesson learned.  Fish oil works!  Logically it makes sense.  If chickens lay based on the hours of sunlight they get then that could be based on how much vitamin D they are producing sending signals to their brain that it is time to start or stop laying.


  1. Hi Chloris,

    Great idea! I never even thought that my 14 chickens, who were also turning out an average of 1 egg a day, needed some Vitamin D. I don't have Cod Liver Oil but I do have lots of 1000mg Vit D gel caps which I assume might work as well if I just poke a hole in one of them and squirted out the contents into their scraps. More research is required but for now, here is a good article I just found:

    God Bless,
    Janet in MA

  2. How much should be given? I have 20 laying hens ZERO eggs. I have Cod liver oil per hen? or just one in a gallon of water? thanks for the advice.

    If you think about it would you be able to post info at my blog? I'd see it faster. ;-)

  3. I add about 3 to 4 1000 mg cod liver oil tablets to 4 gallons water. I break them open and squirt the oil right into the feeder area because the oil floats so if you add it to the resivoir I dont know how well it will distribute to the chickens.

  4. Excellent idea. I have fish oil... and hens who aren't laying...even with a light bulb in the coop.
    Come visit my Vermont herd and flock when you have a chance:

  5. Thank you for sharing with the Clever Chicks Blog Hop this week; I hope you’ll join us again!

    Kathy Shea Mormino

    The Chicken Chick


I love to hear from my readers!