Do they need more light?

Discussion in 'Chicken Behaviors and Egglaying' started by nuchickontheblock, Jun 11, 2010.

  1. nuchickontheblock

    nuchickontheblock Chillin' With My Peeps

    652
    6
    133
    May 16, 2010
    south portland, maine
    I have had 3 ameraucana pullets for about a 5 weeks now. This is my first experience with chickens. The first week, I got 3 eggs in 4 days from the same girl. She is the bottom of the pecking order and promptly began moulting during the first week. She still is, and I haven't had another egg since.

    The first couple of weeks we kept them in their coop and the enclosed pen that is under their coop. We have an A-frame type structure. Every day they have fresh water and laying pellets and I supplement that with a small amount of scratch, crushed calcium shells, BOSS, and assorted fruits or veggie(they don't seem to like them much. They do eat grass and other weeds when they are in the pen. Today I decided to give them some cooked eggs to boost their protein. And I was going to try some plain yogurt this weekend. When we are home, we do let them out into our fenced back yard (about 1/3 acre) that they can forage around in.

    My question is, do they need additional light in their coop? There is a little bit that comes from the pen below when the ramp is open (usually about 12 hours each day) and a small window in the coop that's 5x7. We also have air vents for more air exchange. Essentially, though, they are in the dark if they are closed in the coop. And even when the ramp is down and they can get into the pen, they tend to stay up in the coop most of the time. Could that be affecting their laying??

    Thanks for any help you can offer. I love this forum! I am getting kind of addicted to reading it!
     
  2. Ridgerunner

    Ridgerunner Chicken Obsessed

    20,270
    3,564
    496
    Feb 2, 2009
    Northwest Arkansas
    From what you describe, they should be getting plenty of light. It does not take much. Are you in the northern or southern hemisphere? If you are in the northern hemisphere, they should be getting all the light they need but if you are in the southern hemisphere, the days may be too short.

    It sounds like the stress of moving may have sent your girl into a molt if you are in the northern hemisphere, although it can be caused by other things. If you are in the southern hemisphere, the shorter days probably triggered it.

    Good luck!
     
  3. nuchickontheblock

    nuchickontheblock Chillin' With My Peeps

    652
    6
    133
    May 16, 2010
    south portland, maine
    I'm in the NOrthern hemisphere - living in Maine.
    Thanks. Hopefully they'll start laying soon.
    [​IMG]
     
  4. NewEnglandChick

    NewEnglandChick Chillin' With My Peeps

    139
    1
    119
    Aug 13, 2009
    Midcoast Maine
    Quote:[​IMG] from Midcoast Maine!!!


    I would agree with Ridgerunner. At this time of year it sounds like they have plenty of light and it may take them a little bit of time to adjust to a schedule. The only artificial light my girls get this time of year is a light on a timer that comes on when it's dusk (about 6:30) and goes off after dark so I have enough time to go out, do a headcount, close them in and leave (about 10pm) The only reason I leave it on that late is sometimes I don't get home until later and who wants to walk through the woods in the dark alone?! Not me!!

    I'd say give them another couple weeks and you should start to see a regular laying pattern.
     
  5. Tamrajh

    Tamrajh Chillin' With My Peeps

    203
    3
    111
    Apr 3, 2010
    West Haven
    As for why you got eggs the first little bit, it could be the eggs were already in production mode before the move so they would have been laid, then the interruption from the move changed her system.
     

BackYard Chickens is proudly sponsored by