Without supplemental light, the birds will have greatly reduced egg production and may go into a molt.
But don't worry — they will start laying again as natural day length increases in the spring! Most chickens will begin molting around 18 weeks of age. Molting typically begins in the early fall and lasts usually between 12-16 weeks. Generally, hens will quit laying completely when day length slips below 12 to 14 hours. If she is in peak lay, she should be laying an egg every 25 to 28 hours.
I made a round roost and it seems like they are doing better. This was a great change for your birds, a rounded edge is much more ideal. They handle both warm weather and cold weather very well.
I have around 30 hens and haven't gotten an egg in three weeks.
I know they slow down in the colder weather, but I usually get a few. I have a nice house for them but can't have heat and a light in it.
Make sure to keep drafts out, and they have plenty of clean, dry bedding and you should be good to go. I know they won't really be fertile until around March in Michigan.
We hatch not only layers, but bantams, ducks, and turkeys.
They don't need bright light, but they do need low light intensity of a duration of 16-18 hours.
I would provide supplemental light during the first winter and then molt the hens each subsequent winter.
Recently TSC Facebook hosted an opportunity for folks to chat live with Purina Poultry Expert Mikelle Roeder, Ph D, Animal Nutritionist and Poultry Expert.
Here are some of the questions and answers that came out of that chat. It is very difficult to sex chickens until their primary feathers begin coming in.
If you are supplying supplemental light and you want them to quit laying, just stop the additional lighting and they will likely stop. Do you recommend supplemental light or should you let your hens naturally take a break from the tough egg laying schedule of the warmer months? If you would like your hens to continue producing eggs through the shorter days, supplemental light is necessary.