Extending Winter Days - Discussion - Opinions Wanted (with poll)

Discussion in 'Coop & Run - Design, Construction, & Maintenance' started by fieroboom, Oct 12, 2012.

  1. It's friggin AWESOME!! No side effects!

    0 vote(s)
  2. It's ok, but only AFTER molting...

    0 vote(s)
  3. I wouldn't do it...

    1 vote(s)
  4. Absolutely NOT!! This is my soapbox and I say NO, NO, NO!! It'll kill them!!! ;o)

    0 vote(s)
  1. fieroboom

    fieroboom Out Of The Brooder

    Oct 2, 2012
    Hey all, I know this subject may have been beaten to death at random in different threads, but everything I've read has been a quick comment with a little bit of reason, but no background or personal experience to explain one's position on the matter.
    I realize that our hens have a natural cycle of laying, resting, molting, etc etc, but can anyone provide the pros & cons of rousting your hens up @ 4am for a 14-16 hour day? Basic opinions are welcome, of course, but I'd like to hear from some people that maybe did it for a while, then noticed undesirable trends and stopped, or vice-versa.

    I currently have a small ~20W light in my tiny coop with my 5 Red Star hens. At 4am I turn the light on, shake their feeder to get their interest & make sure they have plenty of food, and I make sure they have fresh water. Then, sometime between dawn & sunrise, I let them out to range (usually around 6-6:30). I only did this because they already completely stopped laying. Since I got them about a week ago, we got 1-2 eggs a day (total), but no eggs at all for the last 3 days. I understand that there are several factors that have probably influenced their lack of production:
    - I took them from their home with other chickens and put them in a new, smaller home with only the 5 of them
    - I've essentially changed EVERYTHING about their daily habits... Different food, different coop, different laying boxes, they free range now (and didn't before)
    - I'm sure I've changed their schedule, even before adding the light

    In other words, my best analogy of me getting my hens would be a policeman coming to my home, putting a hood over my head, and taking me to an unknown location in another house with another family... Chickens are generally very habitual, so I'm sure it's pretty much traumatic from their point of view.

    So, I'm attempting to encourage them to produce, but at the same time, I'd like to make them as comfortable as possible.

    Whew, now... Thoughts? :eek:)

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