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Do chickens stop laying in drought?

 
Dayna Williams
Posts: 79
Location: Zone 8, Western Oregon
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So, for those of you with lots of wisdom and experience:

Does anyone have experience with chickens not laying because of dry weather? My 4 14-month hens are down to about an egg a day between them all (they were all laying daily a month ago), and I wondered if it's possibly because it's the dry season? In Western Oregon, it's rainy all winter/spring, then it just stops and is bone dry 'til October. Much of the grass is brown, bugs are probably rarer. Would the dry season make chickens stop laying if they still have access to plenty of food, water, etc.?

I don't think extreme heat is the problem; we usually have highs of between 70 and 85 degrees, which seems to be within the comfortable range for chickens (from what I've read). They have been scratching and running around like normal, not panting or lethargic or constantly seeking shade.

Sorry if this is a dumb question - this is my first mature flock to keep through an Oregon summer, so I'm still trying to figure out what's normal here.
 
John Polk
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Location: Currently in Lake Stevens, WA. Home in Spokane
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The dry weather shouldn't bother them as long as you provide them with cool water.
Keep the water in the shade. If the water warms up too much, they quit drinking it.
And by all means, provide them with shade. An overheated hen will quit laying.

If the grass is brown, and bugs are scarce, they may need a higher protein feed.
If they lack protein, they quit laying.

Are they showing any signs of molting yet?
It seems a bit early to molt, but once they start, they quit laying.

 
Consider Paul's rocket stove mass heater.
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