cold, light, electricity, etc in Alaska

Discussion in 'Chicken Behaviors and Egglaying' started by pollyshyn, Nov 19, 2011.

  1. pollyshyn

    pollyshyn New Egg

    Nov 19, 2011
    I'm new to the forum and new to chickens. We got them in May, I built a completely insulated coop by September, which is when they started laying. I was getting between 8-11 eggs a day. I have 11 hens and one which turned out to be a rooster (not wanted--oh well) When the weather turned cold, I put in a 40-watt light bulb and a heater stand for the waterer. We run the light 24-7 because of the cold. In the past two weeks we've have two major electrical outages lasting 24 hours each. The last one was accompanied by zero degree temperatures and then two days after the outage, the temperature went down to -20. Since then, we've only gotten one-two eggs a day. What can I do to get more eggs? Do I need a heat-lamp instead of just a light bulb? Did the 24 hours of darkness affect them even for several days after? Should I turn off the light for some hours a day? But then I'd have no heat. I have no idea how cold a chicken can survive. My coop is 4 x 8 x 4 with vents but otherwise good insulation and lots of roost areas. I have opened the coop door during the day, but they wouldn't step foot into the snow even when I shoveled it out for them, so I've just gone ahead and kept it closed.
  2. Imp

    Imp All things share the same breath- Chief Seattle

    Egg laying is dependant much more on light, age & breed than anything else. Since your chickens are still young I'm going to venture that the interuption to the light disrupted them. I believe they will get back to normal soon.
    In the meantime are you sure there are no hidden eggs?
    I swear mine are burying their eggs every other day, just to mess with me.

    Good luck,



    Last edited: Nov 19, 2011
  3. chick007

    chick007 secretagent chickenman

    Sep 25, 2011
    anchorage, alaska
    i live in anchorage, and the cold snap here got to -10 to -12 the last few nights. my pullets are just 13 weeks old and doing quite well. i do run a light 24/7 and built an insulated coop that is 4x5x5. the coop has been staying about 20 degrees warmer than the outside temp. my pullets are doing just fine, they can survive a lot colder. the change in light probably reset there clocks for a day or two, but the should resume laying. i purposely hardened my chickens to do without heat so that they would be prepared for cold snaps like we have been having.

    welcome to byc:welcome:welcome
    Last edited: Nov 19, 2011
  4. Fred's Hens

    Fred's Hens Chicken Obsessed Premium Member

    If you'd care for some friendly guidance, the use of heat then suddenly being plunged to no heat, is not good. Better they just acclimate to whatever comes. Same with the light. Better to have a little supplemental, pre-dawn light on a timer. Trying to light 24/7 and then losing the light totally throws them for a loop. Those girls are all confused.

    Here's a link posted by a fellow Alaskan. I think you'll find it helpful. You might even want to private messag Mrs AK and open a dialogue.

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