Can adult chickens still lay eggs in Winter with Infrared light?

Discussion in 'Raising Baby Chicks' started by ThePetParent, Dec 31, 2013.

  1. ThePetParent

    ThePetParent New Egg

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    Dec 31, 2013
    I have 4 Rhode Island Red Chickens 7 months old in November.
    I live in the Mountains of Colorado and it gets to -25-35 degrees below zero.
    I put an Infrared heat bulb 150 watt in their small coop and it keeps the coop warm at 36-45 degrees as the coop is not insulated.
    I am new at this and have read that if you want them to produce more eggs to have the coop lit with light for 14- 16 hours a day.

    I have the Infrared light on, they can't see red from what I have read....so.....should I change the heat lamp to a clear heat lamp of 125 watts? Or should I just keep the red heat lamp on?

    They lay about 3-4 eggs per day so that's about one egg per bird.
     
  2. WYNot

    WYNot Chillin' With My Peeps

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    Mar 19, 2013
    Casstown, OH
    If you are still getting 3-4 eggs a day from your 4 hens, I wouldn't worry about changing the bulb. You are getting about all you can get from them already.

    Our 5 hens (RIR from TSC) did 4-5 eggs a day during warmer weather. Now that winter has moved in, they've dropped to 2-3 a day. Still more than enough for us. We don't use any additional lighting. I'm working on getting the coop wired for electric but that is so I can see when I am in there cleaning. It hasn't gotten cold enough for a long enough period here to worry about any heating. The hens don't seem to mind the cold but they REALLY hate the white stuff.
     
  3. drayzchickens

    drayzchickens New Egg

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    Apr 13, 2013
    Yes, I have 8 hens and have a Infared light on them throughout the Winter. During the summer I usually get 6-8 eggs and I still get 6-8 eggs now.
     
  4. ThePetParent

    ThePetParent New Egg

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    Dec 31, 2013
    https://www.backyardchickens.com/

    Thanks Everyone! I read that when chickens see light it triggers something in their brain to lay eggs but that they need 14 hours of light otherwise they will go dormant and molt

    Anyone experience this?.
     
  5. drayzchickens

    drayzchickens New Egg

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    Apr 13, 2013
    No I haven't experienced that..I've just always tried to let them have 14-16 hours of light!
     
  6. WYNot

    WYNot Chillin' With My Peeps

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    Mar 19, 2013
    Casstown, OH
    As mentioned above ours slowed down as winter moved in and the days got shorter but they never did really stop. They have no artificial lighting in the coop. They are let out into the run first thing in the morning then after noon they are let out of the run to free range the yard and woods for the rest of the day. Like I said in previous post, changing bulbs isn't going to give you any bump in egg production.

    As for the molting... we haven't had anyone with naked patches but when the days started getting shorter I have been noticing more feathers on the ground in the coop and in the run. Not sure if that is a molt or just normal feather replacement. Much of this is still new for me as well. I grew up raising beef cattle so, chickens are a new experience for me.
     
  7. ThePetParent

    ThePetParent New Egg

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    Dec 31, 2013
    Thanks for the info!

    I have a very small coop and run the run is only about 5 feet long by a yard wide and the coop has 2 nesting boxes and a perch, so about big enough for 4-5 birds.
    The feeder and small heated dog bowl are in the run also. The birds only come out when the ground has no snow on it as they don't like the snow so on warm days I let them out to roam.
    In the spring early summer I am going to convert half of my big shed into a coop and include a large fenced predator safe run. I have an acre but I want to have a larger run.
    I will let them out to roam the property but we have foxes and mountain lions and bears in the area and they come to visit at night. When I have time I am out in the yard with them.
    I have to secure my dogs though in the house as the Husky already killed one of them so that is why I now only have 4. My Brittney can unlock and slide open my sliding glass door and that is when all the dogs got out and my Husky went after the birds and I was with them. I had to give the dead one to a neighbor for her dinner that day...sad...
    NOw that Brittney is in a closed bedroom by himself only when I have the birds out and the other dogs are in the house, sliding glass door locked and a heavy chair infront of the door just in case the Brittney opens my bedroom door. He is a smart dog and figures ways to get out to jump the fence and roam around in the forest next to my home.
    I need to stay one step ahead of him. The sliding glass door has a lock on it that you have to press down hard on it to open and only my index finger can open it and he can open in with his nose!
    Next he will probably figure out how to turn the knob on the bedroom door to open it too!
    Don't think he is locked up either, as he roams the house all day has a huge dog run that is completely enclosed to keep him from running and jumping the fence.

    Whew!!
     
  8. Stewarts

    Stewarts Chillin' With My Peeps

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    PEI, Canada
    First, I would not let them out into an uncovered run where they can be exposed to winter conditions of any kind - especially snow, wind, rain, drafts etc. for fear of their developing frostbite.

    I have 14 hens, a roo, an adult male wild turkey, two turkey hens {one wild, one a mixed domestic} and a meat hen in my coop and hutch. The coop is an insulated 10x6 and the hutch is a tarp covered, wire 12x8. I let them out into the hutch daily just so they have more room to roam and because its their routine, but both hutch and coop are strawed and both have food, the water being in the coop so it won't freeze. Six nest boxes are on the wall above the bottom roost and a 2x4 roost high above for the turkeys. In summer, once they got into their main egg laying routine, I got 12 eggs per day from my hens. Once the turkeys were added, the hens gave me 2 turkey eggs per day and Henny, the meat chicken is also laying. Now its winter and I have a regular bulb in the coop for light and a little heat and I'm getting 14 chicken eggs a day from all my hens, plus 2 turkey eggs and I egg from my meat hen. A lot of eggs on a daily basis!

    [​IMG]
    Half tarped hutch attached to the coop in front.
    [​IMG]
    Setup inside the coop
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    Fully tarped hutch with a flap to open on good days.
    [​IMG]
    Amber demonstrates the high roost
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    Six nest boxes above the little door into the hutch
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    Mr. T and the wild turkey hen in the hutch
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    My domestic mix turkey, Amber and a white meat turkey hen in the hutch
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    Sweetpea, the rescue turkey hen and Henny, my meat hen

    I sell some of the eggs I get and try to use up quite a few in recipes. We eat lots of eggs round here!
     

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