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Adding light in the middle of the winter *Another question on page 2*

Discussion in 'Chicken Behaviors and Egglaying' started by wordgirl, Dec 24, 2009.

  1. wordgirl

    wordgirl One of the Shire-folk

    Apr 14, 2009
    I should have just listened to what everyone and every book says and given supplemental light starting last fall, but...I didn't. [​IMG] I wasn't sure it'd be needed, as just one month ago we got 11 to 15 a day. And now just recently production dropped and we've been getting only six a day for about the last week. Will they start laying again if we give them more light, or do we have to wait until spring? Please tell me that it would work!!! [​IMG] [​IMG] [​IMG]
    Last edited: Jan 14, 2010

  2. Imp

    Imp All things share the same breath- Chief Seattle

    It should work, probably in a few days to a week. At least 14 hours a day is recommended. You may not go back to 15 a day(depends on the hens), but it should increase. And on a good note we are past the winter solstice.

  3. We were just finishing our first coop this summer/fall/winter, it has been my husband's project all summer really, he keeps adding features.
    Electricity did not reach the coop until after the cold had hit and production numbers had gone down from around 12 a day to around 6 a day. It was also rainy and miserable. We have 17 hens total.

    My husband put in a light, a heat lamp and changed the damp and muddy shavings bedding out for sand, both in the coop and in their run, all in one weekend.

    I'm not sure which change did the trick, but we are now up to 14 eggs a day, even on the shortest day of the year. It took about 24 hours in the light for the change to happen. They love the sand, they love the heat lamp and they love the light. It made such a difference in their happiness as well as egg numbers.
    We have russian orloffs which are supposed to lay in the winter. They actually have been doing phenomenal. One day we got three eggs from our two hens, then two eggs the next day.
  4. phrank

    phrank In the Brooder

    Mar 19, 2008
    My chickens are more finicky about changes. Any type of change, including adding a light could set them back a few weeks or more. This time around it was about 2 months before they got back on track
  5. wordgirl

    wordgirl One of the Shire-folk

    Apr 14, 2009
    All right, I think we'll go for it. Thanks everyone!

    And Merry Christmas! Enjoy your evening!
  6. backyarder717

    backyarder717 In the Brooder

    Nov 15, 2009
    Jamestown, NY
    What kind/type of sand are you using?
  7. sangel4you

    sangel4you Songster

    Apr 11, 2009
    Halifax, Pennsylvania
    I use construction grade sand and LOVE IT

  8. We went to the local place by us where you can buy gravel, bark dust or sand in bulk and bought "river sand." They love it. We live where rain is pretty much a constant thing and our chickens are in a coop and run because we have too many predators to let them free range, so their pen was getting pretty icky. I was adding shavings daily and not really having much effect.

    We have replaced it all with sand and it is working great. Outdoors it isn't getting mucky because the sand drains. Their feet are dryer even when the sand is wet. Indoors, we just rake it with a scooper device we had here for dog poop removal. We are still using shavings but just in the nest boxes. Not only are the chickens cleaner and happier but the eggs are much cleaner too. Instead of being smeared with mud there is just a little sand to brush off. Maybe a shaving.

    We made all our changes at one time however so I don't know which change produced the wonderful jump in production. Personally I think it was probably adding the light in the middle of winter, which is why I joined this thread.

    However, adding the sand in the winter made it nicer for everyone as well especially if your climate is rainy. We have to walk through the muck to open the chicken door so I'd much rather walk through the sand than our previous shavings/mud combo.

    The only drawback with sand is that it is harder to haul in and spread out. But this means it takes longer for the chickens to scratch out! It was plenty cheap.

    Hope that helps!
  9. wordgirl

    wordgirl One of the Shire-folk

    Apr 14, 2009
    Well, I left the light on this evening and plan to turn it off at about 9pm. I got two calls this morning about eggs – one from my regular customer and one from a new one and I only had 23 eggs! Ai! I had to tell my new customer I didn't have any to give her after filling my regular's order. [​IMG] And just a few weeks ago I had SEVEN dozen eggs to sell. I sure hope production goes up soon! [​IMG]
  10. Oopoo

    Oopoo In the Brooder

    Jul 10, 2009
    You should be able to add the light without much trouble. When the sun starts coming up and the girls wake up, turn on the light. Go for about an hour hour and a half after sundown for a day or two and keep adding about an hour. If it's cold where you are they will eat more as they stay up longer. I had to leave a light on for heat one night ( a red one) and 6 hens ate through half a feeder of food and a ton of water.

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