Winter Layers

Most livestock are only productive during specific cycles. In general, goats and cows produce milk only after birthing, hogs are suitable for processing only after months of growth, and sheep are relieved of their wool only once a year. Laying hens are no exception. Most chicken breeds shut down egg production during the annual fall molt, with nary an egg to be discovered until just before spring arrives. While this break from the stress of egg production is of great benefit to the hens, most of us humans want to enjoy omelets and other egg-based dishes year-round. And we can, with careful breed selection, attention to timing, and refreshing the flock as needed — all without the use of supplemental lighting.

Time to Rejuvenate

It’s true that laying hens can easily produce eggs year-round through the use of supplemental lighting during the short

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