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Anyone not using light to up egg production?

post #1 of 41
Thread Starter 

I am kinda on the fence about using a light to keep my egg production up during the winter.  My thoughts (and I have to facts behind this) is that using a light to help them lay is not natural to me.  Can anyone offer me advice here?  Is that crazy of me to think that?

post #2 of 41

I feel the same way I think winter is the time nature set aside for the hens to rest from all their hard work during the spring and summer. So I do not use a light either.

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Flock of Cuckoo Marans, Several Old English bantams,Buff Brahma Bantams and building a flock of Rosecomb Nankins!!!!!!!!!!!
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post #3 of 41

I have chicks divided off in another area of coop with a white heat lamp and it must be just enough light that my hens are laying everyday.  You don't have to run a heat lamp but I'm thinking about in the future running a 60 watt on a timer to come on in the evening for a while to keep up egg production.  A 60 running for a little while in the evening wouldn't run up your electric bill.  A timer at walmart is like $5.

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Mommy to a 8 yr. old girl, 4 yr. old boy, one fat cat,  one dinky dog, polish, buttercups, hamburgs, waydonettes, and cochins, 10 silkies, a sizzle, Barred Rock and 2 d'uccles.
Need a chicken,duck, goose, parrot diaper or chicken saddle?  I also make harnesses for leashes.  Check in the Everything else for sale. Lovemychix.
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post #4 of 41

It might not be "natural" but, they are still being fed.  They are not only pets, but they are an investment and most of us expect that investment to "pay".

I have a light on in the coop from 6AM until 8PM.  My girls go into the coop at dark and get on their roosts as soon as the sun goes down.  A few will linger on the coop floor and eat out of the feeder, drink from the water but most get their spot on the roost set and start sleeping before the light goes off.  The light goes on at 6AM and it's morning for them.  Many fly down, to the coop floor eat, drink and then some of them start jockeying for nest boxes to lay in.  Usually by 1PM my 18 girls have delivered 12 eggs.

My feeling is this we are the providers/directors of our flocks, we can do what will help them to produce naturally.

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Former keeper of hens, life isn't much fun without chickens... but

 

"With God, ALL things are possible."

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post #5 of 41

Anything that makes your chickens hardier, healthier, and reduces stress is good right. I don't use lights for production 1. because I'm cheap 2. because I sell hens not eggs.  I have used the blue grow lights on chicks and they grow alot faster. By far they get a jump start on growing with the light. I did not use it this year and the hens are far behind on starting to lay by 1-3 months. There weren't as many worms either because it was so dry.

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WPR,BPR,BO,RIR,Am,BJJ,BAu,Ar,Yellow-golden pheasant,Coturnix quail,Muscovey,Khaki Campbell,goats,rabbits,dog,cats,fish,turtle,frog,snake,too many kittens that we love!
"the Biggest Backyard in the World"
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post #6 of 41

Well.........I so agree with the no light route...until this year. We wired the hen house so that the girls will get quality light (25 watt bulb) so they can get time enough to drink, eat and hopefully lay eggs for the family(only 5 layers). Its been a few weeks, but no eggs yet! So perhaps its not going to be the payment for their kibble! ha ha ha.

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Northern New England Bird Fanciers Association      http://northernnewenglandbirdfanciers.webs.com/
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post #7 of 41

Last winter was the first time I had chickens and I did use a light and it worked.I haven't this year mainly because I have so many that have been molting since late October and are not laying very much anyway.I figured it would be a waste so i'm just letting nature take of things right now and the last few days I have been getting a couple extra eggs so hopefully some are starting to pick up on their own.I know one of my Buff Orpingtons has started laying again cause I recognize her egg.

9 That if thou shalt confess with thy mouth the Lord Jesus, and shalt believe in thine heart that God hath raised him from the dead, thou shalt be saved.

10 For with the heart man believeth unto righteousness; and with the mouth confession is made unto salvation. 
Romans 10
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9 That if thou shalt confess with thy mouth the Lord Jesus, and shalt believe in thine heart that God hath raised him from the dead, thou shalt be saved.

10 For with the heart man believeth unto righteousness; and with the mouth confession is made unto salvation. 
Romans 10
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post #8 of 41

I dont. Five of my hatchery, high-production hens have suffered from internal laying and four are dead already. Then I have several molting in this very cold weather. THeir bodies are already taxed trying to keep warm and I dont want them to suffer needlessly. As it is, I have eight dozen eggs in the fridge and just gave away four dozen yesterday, so I have plenty of eggs. The trick is to have them in several different age groups and breeds. The younger ones are more likely to lay through winter, at least more consistently.

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~A dog on its owner's property is a pet; A dog on someone else's property is a predator~

Blue Roo Creations Etsy is BACK! See us on Facebook!

"You don't breed stupid" & "Hens are not vending machines" ~speckledhen

My YouTube Channel-Chickens, Quilts & Homesteading

 

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post #9 of 41

I don't have a light, but my cochins haven't slowed down so I don't mind that the EEs have.  We still get enough eggs, and there's no pressure on the girls big_smile

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10 chickens (RIP OliveOil), 3 fish tanks, 2 cats, 2 rabbits.

"We can see a thousand miracles around us every day. What is more supernatural than an egg yolk turning into a chicken?"

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post #10 of 41
Quote:
Originally Posted by speckledhen 

The trick is to have them in several different age groups and breeds. The younger ones are more likely to lay through winter, at least more consistently.


Cyn is 100% right.  The natural way to have birds laying all winter is to have shifts of young pullets "coming on" all winter.   That's the way I do it too, and that's the way my grandmother did it.  I have my older hens, who are molting, some pullets that've been laying since summer, some starting to lay now, and some that will start to lay around New Years.

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