Force laying?

Discussion in 'Chicken Behaviors and Egglaying' started by LizGled628, Oct 25, 2010.

  1. LizGled628

    LizGled628 Chillin' With My Peeps

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    I have five 22 week old babies (2 RIR, 2 BR, 1 EE...just lost one last night [​IMG] ). None of them have started laying yet. The babies have an enclosed run, but free range on afternoons and weekends. I have the coop wired for electricity and a light inside, but I am reluctant to turn it on. My parents, who raised chickens for many years, left a light on in the coop all winter long (day and night). I've read on here that leaving a light on can stress the chickens out. My parents chickens lay all year long, but are not nearly as spoiled and pet-like as mine.

    I just want some tasty eggs, and happy chickens! It's getting chilly here in RI, and I'm wondering if maybe I shouldn't expect eggs till spring. Any opinions?
     
  2. Mrs. K

    Mrs. K Overrun With Chickens

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    I think you will get eggs before spring, are their combs getting red? are they squatting.

    I have been reading her that first year hens will lay through the winter with out additional light. Mine did last year, but this fall they have really fallen off on the number of eggs I am getting. However, they are molting.

    turn the light on for a couple of hours each day and see if it helps, I don't think it hurts. But time will be the big one,
     
  3. LizGled628

    LizGled628 Chillin' With My Peeps

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    They are definitely sitting on the golf balls I put in, and doing the "squat". I just talked it over with the DH and I think we'll start turning the light on at 5am, when we get up, and turn it off when they go in for the night, around six. Their combs are a little small, but getting redder... Here is a pic of them on the tenth:
    [​IMG]
    [​IMG]
     
  4. MimiChick

    MimiChick Chillin' With My Peeps

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    Your girls look like they might be close to laying, but the shorter days could delay them a bit. My first chickens started laying in January (just about 6 mos old) and laid through the winter with no additional light and an uninsulated (but draft free) coop. Hang in there. I'll bet you get eggs soon and will get them right through the winter. Good luck.
     
  5. ranchhand

    ranchhand Rest in Peace 1956-2011

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    They'll probably start soon, try to be patient. (I know, it's impossible.... [​IMG] )

    I've had hens start laying as early as 16 weeks and as late at 32 weeks.
     
  6. elmo

    elmo Chillin' With My Peeps

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    If they're free ranging, they may be laying when they're outside the coop. Lock them in for a few days and see what you find.
     
  7. LizGled628

    LizGled628 Chillin' With My Peeps

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    Thanks for the advice everyone! I don't think they are laying in the yard, because they stay in the coop/run for a few days a week (when I'm not home to supervise them free ranging) and no sigs of eggs. Hopefully I will be getting them soon! I'm a baker, and you can't put a price on fresh eggs [​IMG]
     

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