Did you know, when the daylight hours lessen in the winter, chickens can start to molt! It will look like they've been slowly plucked, some dropping feathers quickly and others taking a bit more time. Over a couple months they will begin to regrow them, and during this time they need to be fed a higher quality layer pellet with more protein. You may get no eggs during this time, or you may get a few, depending on the chicken. It wont be long before they have shiny new feathers!
The nights during winter can get chilly, and your chickens need to stay warm so they don't get stressed! To help keep chickens warm during the night, toss them a handful of whole or gristed Maize just before they go to bed. Their bodies will work hard to digest these during the night and stay warm in the process. Plus they love maize so it's always great to have a little bag for a treat! Chickens eat more in the winter to stay warm, so make sure you give them plenty of scraps and more layer pellets than you feed them in the summer.
If you want to add some extra protein, get them a yummy little bag of meat meal--delicious! Feeding them a tin of tuna (in water not oil) or sardines is also a favourite! On a particularily blustery day, some warm cooked oatmeal is pretty tasty as well and they will be happy chickens.
Don't forget to worm your chickens--treatments are easy but a necessary part of keeping your flock healthy!
Happy well fed chickens = Yummy eggs!