Added a light...should expect eggs in...?

Discussion in 'Managing Your Flock' started by riftnreef, Jan 20, 2011.

  1. riftnreef

    riftnreef Chillin' With My Peeps

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    Oct 27, 2009
    Mechanicsburg, Ohio
    Heading into winter I had 3 SLW pullets on the brink of laying...I also had 3 RIR pullets from a May hatch that had to be getting close. My lack of patience has got the better of me, and with 10 hens in the coop one egg a day just wasn't cutting it! I added a twin tube 4' flourescent shop light to my coop. How long after doing so do you think I can expect eggs since many of the birds have never laid before?

    The birds get natural daylight until about 4:00 when the sun starts to head behind the garage. I turn the light on at 4:00 and leave it on until about 9:00 or 9:30. I figure it's probably about 10am when the sun hits the coop window, so that is around 11 hours of light. Not excessive I think, but should be enough to spur laying right? They have access to the run daily, but so far they don't seem to want to play in the snow!..so it has been a little cramped, but I still have enough space that it should not stop them from laying.

    So...how long after putting the girls under a light should I expect to see the results?

    Thanks!
     
  2. ryanhodapp

    ryanhodapp Chillin' With My Peeps

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    only the chickens know.
    I added light too in early Dec. I was getting about 24 eggs from 6 hens (this is their first winter) but now they have slowed down to about 15.
    MY RIR was by far the oldest. Born in March, laid her first in early Dec. (9 months.) 2 others started the week of Christmas.
     
  3. gritsar

    gritsar Cows, Chooks & Impys - OH MY!

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    Quote:The thing is, the days are already getting longer and in general pullets coming into their first season of laying are going to lay when their bodies are ready, regardless of what the weather does.

    So I guess the answer is, when their bodies are ready. From what I've seen, letting them mature at their own pace lends itself to less reproductive issues as they get older.
     
  4. CMV

    CMV Flock Mistress

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    Quote:I couldn't agree more. You took the words right out of my fingers.
     
  5. riftnreef

    riftnreef Chillin' With My Peeps

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    Well, the light is my first effort to get some action. My concern is that with no one laying that there may be another issue. The feed hasn't changed and even my seasoned layers have went on strike so I'm starting to wory a bit. I have a sex link that is almost a year old and was laying steady before the winter hit and my experience with the sex links is that winter or not they have laid for me. I have 3 RIR hatchery birds that were all laying before, and now, just one of them is. The SLW's are almost 10 months old and not an egg one from the, and the show RIR's are 9 months old and nadda! I don't see any obvious signs of illness, but I can't help but wonder if there may be a reason other than mother nature that they are not laying.
     
  6. miss_thenorth

    miss_thenorth Chillin' With My Peeps

    Dec 28, 2007
    SW Ont, Canada
    Unlike some people here, I have my chickens for eggs. Not pets. [​IMG] I had hatched out chicks last year, and by my calculations, they should have been laying by september/October. This has been standard for me. My experience is that if they start laying before the days start getting too short, they will lay all winter. Well, this hatch decided to wait. I had two older hens ( by a few months) who have been laying and I was getting one to two eggs a day. Not enough for my family, and I refuse to buy eggs. So I put the light on. I can't remember exactly when, but I think it was two weeks ago. I'm up to four eggs a day now, give or take.While it might be better for the chickens health not to force them to lay, it doesn't really matter to me, since I am alway replenishing my flock. Afte two years of providing eggs for my family, they provide meat for my family. Leave your light onand don't feel bad about it. You should get some eggs soon. [​IMG]
     
  7. Ohhhdear

    Ohhhdear Chillin' With My Peeps

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    I've read here on BYCF that it takes 14 hours of daylight to stimulate laying. If your girls are only getting 11, then that might not be enough light.
     
  8. miss_thenorth

    miss_thenorth Chillin' With My Peeps

    Dec 28, 2007
    SW Ont, Canada
    Oh yeah--good call. I was gonna mention that but I guess I forgot to. [​IMG]
     
  9. riftnreef

    riftnreef Chillin' With My Peeps

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    Well, let me do the math here...I leave for work at 6:00 so if I turn it on then I can turn it off at 8:00 pm. I guess that is probably a good idea anyway, since some of the early morning daylight is weak for a while before it reaches the coop window. Yep...I will do it that way.

    As for the pet vs. layer subject. I'm on both sides of this fence. I do have "pet" chickens, and they recieve much different accomodations given that they are SQ birds and often my kids' 4-h projects. I normally re-stock my layers after around a year becuase my daughter shows production pullets as well, and she likes to show younger birds, and different breeds every year. So...with that in mind, I want eggs! When she completes her profit/loss pages on her workbook, these months of no production will make it hard for her to show a net gain...so I will do what I have to, to get them moving. Thanks for the info all...got one egg last night, so I'm hoping for maybe 2 tonight!
     
  10. Southerngirl

    Southerngirl Chillin' With My Peeps

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    I use Christmas lights in winter time. It usually takes them about 2 weeks to get used to getting enough light to get the egg cycle going again. I turn the lights on when I get up at 5:00am, off around 8 am. Then in the evening back on around 5pm till 10 pm, then off till morning. This has worked well for many years. I get on average 18-36 eggs per day when I use the lights. Good luck!! [​IMG]
     

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