Can new heatlamp be causing them to lay first eggs in Winter?

Discussion in 'Ducks' started by LilDucky85, Dec 22, 2009.

  1. LilDucky85

    LilDucky85 Chillin' With My Peeps

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    Feb 8, 2009
    Northern, Illinois
    I live in Illinois and for the past month it has been anywhere from below zero to 30 degrees. Since it was so cold I added a lamp with a red light bulb to the duck house. The light bulb doesn't give off too much heat, but it prevents the hay and poop from freezing. About 2 weeks after doing this they started to lay eggs for the first time. Could the heat lamp be messing with their cycle? Im worried if it is harming them by using it, but I'm also worried they will get frostbitten if I dont use it? Advice please!!
     
  2. valentinebaby

    valentinebaby Chillin' With My Peeps

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    Mar 23, 2009
    Sherman-Denison, TX
    It's more likely it's the light coming from the lamp that is helping them lay. Hens need at least 14 hours of light to produce an egg and from what I understand, it doesn't take a high wattage for it to work. Gail
     
  3. tia

    tia Chillin' With My Peeps

    Apr 19, 2009
    Valdez, Alaska
    I live in Alaska and my runners are laying too. I have them in an unheated garage, but I leave a light on all day long. I turn it off at night. It is warm enough in the garage that they do not need a heat lamp it is more for giving them some light, although there is also a window in the garage. We are not getting too much daylight this time of the year, in fact yesterday was the shortest day. Sometimes you get up in the morning and it is dark when you go to work. It starts getting dark again around 4 in the afternoon. From what I read, correct me if I am wrong some will lay in the winter. I hope that is right anyway and me leaving the light on is not what is causing them to lay now.
     
  4. I cannot find any research to suggest that infrared rays stimulate egg laying, although the rays of the sun or incandescent bulbs do.
    I suspect that by providing you ducks this extra warmth they need to spend less of their energy keeping warm and have more to use to produce eggs. So I don't think you're harming them at all.
     
  5. Picky Chicky

    Picky Chicky Chillin' With My Peeps

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    Sep 22, 2008
    Holly Grove, VA
    Maybe it's a coinkydink because my girls have always given me their first eggs during the winter when I put the heat lamp in with them. I'm sure the extra light plays a role, and of course the fact that most of my girls are born in the Spring, so it only makes sense that they started laying around the normal time they should have been laying - which happens to coincide with colder weather and their heat lamp. Wow! Can we say runonsentence? [​IMG]
     
  6. LilDucky85

    LilDucky85 Chillin' With My Peeps

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    Feb 8, 2009
    Northern, Illinois
    So you dont think it will harm them? I was told not to put a heat lamp in because it messes with their molting patterns, and they can molt their down feathers in the middle of winter. I did it anyway because Im afraid they will get frost bite. What will I do with a one legged duck if that happens? lol. I also couldnt sleep at night knowing that my babies are freezing outside. I went ahead and did it not thinking anything would change...until I found eggs. My poor girl looked so miserable. When they lay is it like labor pains? If so I am GLAD Im not a duck or chicken! Ouch. She laid 2 eggs while I was out there within a few minutes of eachother. Can you imagine having twins every day. Eek.

    Anyway, so its okay to use the heat lamp??
     
  7. LilDucky85

    LilDucky85 Chillin' With My Peeps

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    Feb 8, 2009
    Northern, Illinois
    Quote:I had no idea they needed 14 hours a day. Thank you for mentioning that. Thank you everyone for sharing! Keep the advice and comments coming!
     
  8. Two eggs within a few minutes of each other!!? Something's up with that!! I might worry anyway, even if there is no research supporting using infrared to stimulate egglaying. ( Now I'm arguing with myself)
    As far as ducks needing heat, if you have provided them a house they have all they need even in the worst weather. In nature they just have each other and they survive. They do have very good protection with their down and waterproof outer feathers. Muscovies are a little more prone to frostbite than other ducks, what breed do you have?
    As long as they haven't gone into a molt I wonder if you shouldn't start weaning them off the lamp in case they really are getting over stimulated.
     
  9. LilDucky85

    LilDucky85 Chillin' With My Peeps

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    Feb 8, 2009
    Northern, Illinois
    Yup, she laid 2 while I was standing there. They are Pekins. I dont think it came from a different girl? Im so torn on what to do?? So frustrating!! If I turn off the light now will it cause them to molt? How can I tell when they do start to molt?
     
  10. It wouldn't cause them to molt if you turned off the light, the molt could happen as a result of the extra heat after they had build up a winter coat. What I am wondering about is if they would now be out of condition for the cold. If it's only been two weeks since you started the lamp I would hope it would be OK. If there would be a way to just throw on a little extra insulation on there house I would feel confidant they would be good. There aren't a bunch of feathers lying around are there?
     

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