Chickens need at least 14 hours of daylight in a day to trigger their internal clocks to lay. By supplementing light, as is done in commercial production houses, you can trick a chicken’s internal clock to think it’s spring so that they keep laying all winter long. Be sure to turn your light off at night when you go to bed to give them rest, but even a few extra hours of light in the evening can make a huge difference in production.
In the winter months, chickens are using a lot of the calories they get from food for warmth. In order to lay eggs and stay warm at the same time, they need more protein than they normally would during the summer. Add in the fact that they don’t have ready access to bugs or grass in the winter, and you’ll need to supplement their food to keep them happy, entertained and productive throughout the winter months.
Generic egg-laying feed generally contains 16 percent protein, while in the winter to increase egg production you’ll want to aim for 18 to 20 percent. A small amount of high protein scratch feed every day or every other day will get the ladies up and moving and provide them extra calories.