Hi everyone! I'm not sure if this question is in the right place but here goes. I put a tarp on my chicken run a couple weeks ago to keep my 5 barred rock girls dryer during our wet season. It had been raining for days on end and my pullets, now 19 weeks old, were getting muddy and just generally looked a little unhappy about all the damp. I am new to chickens and am eagerly awaiting our first eggs but I'm starting to worry that the tarp is making them think the days are getting shorter. They have been going to roost about an hour to an hour and a half before sunset. I read on here that chickens don't produce as well during the winter months but I had hoped that since I live in a warm climate (Hawaii) that we would be less affected. If I remove the tarp the chickens will probably get rained on occasionally, although the weather has been okay the last week, but will it encourage them to start laying because it will be brighter? I built the coop and run using materials that I got for free and built it up by our house because we didn't have any flat areas in our smaller yard, so the shape is a little peculiar. With the triangular shape I was able to give the chickens as much walking room as possible while not having to go out for more materials. The downside is the tarp is making it seem a little like a cave. I really appreciate any help or advice from more seasoned chicken-people. Thanks
I built the coop right outside our laundry room so I can feed and water them without having to go into the rain. I'm also hoping to be able to harvest eggs this way.
This is the outside of the run with the tarp.
This sort of gives you an idea of how dark it is in there with the tarp on. I took the picture in late afternoon but it was still fully light out. My chickies always run over to say hi
So what do you think? If I take off the tarp will it encourage them to start laying and is it worth them maybe getting a little rained on every once in a while?