Christmas week cold snap affecting small egg farms production

Cold Chickens: Christmas week cold snap affecting small egg farms production
Published: Dec. 30, 2022 at 3:52 PM CST|Updated: Dec. 30, 2022 at 10:37 PM CST
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CAMP COUNTY, Texas (KLTV) - The aftermath of the hard-freeze that just hit East Texas is stretching beyond broken pipes. for some it effected chickens.

The brutal icy temperatures of Christmas week knocked out power and froze pipes in east Texas but it also effected particular producers.

Egg farmers.

“Definitely those extreme weather temperatures that we had in the last couple of weeks for sure affected them,” says Camp county Texas A&M Agri-life extension agent Kaycee Davis.

There are numerous variables that will stop hens from laying. Extremes in weather is one of them.

“Weather can definitely affect their laying. It’s more about the time of year being that the days are shorter, so they are not getting enough sunlight. This is also the time of year when chickens tend to molt. Which is to lose their feathers,” Davis says.

All of the variables that can stop hens from laying boil down to one thing. Stress.

“Anytime any animal is stressed, they’re going to decrease production. For our laying hens, it means not producing as many eggs,” Kaycee says.

Businesses that buy eggs from small producers now have little or none on their shelves.

The answer is to keep a chicken’s environment constant.

“Clean fresh water, dry warm place, dry cool place if it’s summer. Basically just ensuring access to water and that clean dry place,” the Ag agent says.

Davis says chickens will normally return to their laying pattern after a ‘stress’ event such as extreme weather.