Forrest Pritchard

Forrest has been farming professionally since 1996. His new book The Face of Our Farms: 18 Extraordinary Farmers and Their 50 Favorite Recipes will be published Summer 2015 by Lyons Press.

12 responses to “Why Don’t Chickens Lay Eggs in the Winter?”

  1. Lynsi Pasutti

    Thanks for the post, Forrest! Great info and well written as always! Very informative for better understanding my own 5 chickens! :) See you in a few weeks!

  2. Gerard Worrell

    Forrest, That’s why I keep my hens separate by age groups. four flocks and I replace the oldest in spring and fall.
    Jerry

  3. sheila4467

    Gosh I love the way you write. You crack me up, but still manage to teach me something that I can understand, and actually use. That’s pretty great, when you consider that I’m old, and forget my name sometimes.

    So, unless I’m ready to make my entire back yard into a Perfect Garden of Eden, year round, even in winter, plan on buying eggs at the store, right?

    Got it! Now why didn’t I think of that?

  4. Catherine Franz

    Forrest, I agree with sheila4467, I love the way you write and I’m a writer as well. I sell at the farmers market with your stand. I’m the blond jewelry lady. This is wonderful information. I wondered why you had less eggs during the winter months. Now I know. Thank you for the education. Haven’t purchased the book but will next Sunday at the market.

  5. sheila4467

    Catherine, You will LOVE Forrest’s book, Gaining Ground. It’s fantastic.

    Forrest, I am getting chickens this year, but I will stick to only a few until I know what I’m doing. It’s bits of information like this, that help so much, and I love it when you share what it really takes to care for your animals. At least then I know what I am actually up against.
    Blessings,
    Sheila

  6. woolfarmgal

    I’m mostly a sheep farmer, but I have chickens and ducks for personal use. I sometimes have a few chicks six or seven months from winter and these young hens often will lay in winter when others don’t. But as you indicated, nutrition is key. Have to give the girls lots if food and water. I still have an outside area for the girls during winter, and I think that helps too, especially for light exposure. But they always have a coop to get into for yucky weather and to be locked up in at night. And the ducks? Love love their eggs, especially for baking, but my favorite dish is a crustless savory quiche with Swiss chard, mushrooms and Swiss cheese. Thanks for your blog post, great to give those off the farm a little country insight.

  7. Bob Haas

    Forrest. Your the man!!!!! It was great seeing you in Lewisburg. I’m so proud of the man you have become. How/How. Bob Haas

  8. Sean

    Mr. Pritchard, just got out today and dropped by your place for a quick look. I am beginning my education/quest/plan to start a farm/ranch and chickens are on the radar as a must, both for eggs and for the benefits of having them around for working garden areas and bug control. I want to work seasonally, and native as possible and had a quick question. As far as eggs go, do you transition to something else as eggs become scarce for winter or just forgo that part of your operation, and I would assume is accounted for in your estimated financials either way? Also, as I spoke to Robert he indicates yall are starting or maybe always have had, turkeys. To me this seems a more “native” option for the area, not that chickens aren’t perse, just wondered how much if any there is to compare the two; or possibly/probably there is no correlation?

  9. Mike

    Hi Pritchard,
    Thanks for this wonderful site, a truly wonderful resource for all of us aspiring farmers. My question is this: if layers should be culled when one year old due to dropping productivity, and they don’t lay in winter, and they arrive as chicks in the spring, then why keep them over the winter? Do the eggs laid the next spring before being culled recoup the feed and labour costs of keeping them all winter?
    Thanks
    Mike

Leave a Reply