Hormones definitely play an important role in raising chickens. But not in the way that most of the people usually think about. Hormones are not used in poultry industry for increasing egg production. Hormones of chickens control almost all activities. Normally, chickens of your own backyard are affected by their own hormones. And their hormones affect everything from growth or laying eggs to molting feathers.
Functions of Hormones in Raising Chickens
Read more about the functions of hormones in raising chickens.
A hormonal change occur in the hens when the days get warmer and longer. It’s known as broodiness. The brain of your hen is triggered to sit upon eggs in a nest until the eggs are fully hatched and baby chicks emerge. Broodiness also results stop in laying eggs after the hens become broody. The eggs will not be fertile and hatch without a rooster in your flock. For preventing broodiness, collect eggs from the nesting boxes inside the chicken coop twice a day. Thus you can prevent broodiness on your hens.
Another hormone released by your hens is responsible for laying eggs. Through the amount of light your hens are exposed to this hormone control the egg production. Usually hens require about 14 to 16 hours of light each day for beginning egg production. This is the reason of why hens lay more eggs during the spring and summer season. These hormones also causes some visible changes in your hens. Wattles and combs of your hens become redder and their abdomens become soft and enlarged. And this results in egg production.
The hormones which control the egg production, dwindle laying eggs of your hens when the days shorten. They can stop laying eggs for a certain period of time. Generally this happen when most of your hens molt their old feathers until new feathers grow in. They will start laying eggs again regularly after growing their feathers. During this period the energy of your hens is devoted to grow new feathers and they can’t use the energy for producing and laying eggs. They will continue laying eggs again after growing new feathers.
Hormonal signals are not always the reason of stopping laying eggs or molting. Sometimes other factors also influence the egg production or molting. For example, your hens may lay less eggs, stop laying or molt if they don’t get sufficient amount of nutritious food or clean water. Egg production from your hens can also be interrupted if their regular diet become too low in calcium or protein. So, it will be better if you can prepare a special feed mixture for your laying hens that will contain all types of necessary nutrient elements and vitamins. Thus you can get fresh eggs throughout the year.