Help! Supplemental light didn't come on for 2 days... no eggs for over a week?!

Discussion in 'Chicken Behaviors and Egglaying' started by Tioram, Oct 27, 2015.

  1. Tioram

    Tioram In the Brooder

    Jul 11, 2014
    I have about a dozen layers. They range from Black Australorps, Buffs, Reds, EE's, Wellies, Golden Laced, and Barred rocks. We have used an incandescent rope light above the roost that is on a timer and it worked great last winter. We are in Central PA. We had 8 eggs and the next day we had zero. I looked all over the coop, the run, everywhere and nothing. The next morning as I got the kids ready for school, I noticed that the timer in the coop hadn't flipped the lights on. Come to find out that the timer had died. I immediately turned on the lights and then went and replaced the timer that very same day.

    I have now been without eggs for over a week but I don't see an signs of a hard molt or anything. How long will it be until they start laying again? I'm not used to this and I miss having my eggs supplied every day! We save a lot of money on cereal and milk and of course it's better for my family to have eggs for breakfast.

    They are getting a minimum of 14 hours of sunlight a day, with the exception of 2, maybe 3 days that the timer was out.

  2. BantamLover21

    BantamLover21 Crowing

    Jul 24, 2013
    How old are the hens? Have they ever molted before? In my experience, chicken often stop laying a few weeks before going into a hard molt. That may be what some of your hens are doing (simply because of age, seasonal changes, etc.), although I doubt they would all stop laying at once if that were the case. Still, I've never had birds stop laying just because their supplemental light didn't work for a few days--if it hadn't worked for longer, maybe, but not two days.

    I would make sure the light keeps working and consider adjusting its timer so that they get around 15 hours of light. A increase in light should help trigger laying (this occurs naturally in the springtime). Also, check the birds for mites/lice, injuries, or other stressors and be sure that a predator hasn't been trying to get in. Stress from a wide range of factors, not just light, can easily cause birds to stop egg production.

    If your hens aren't beginning to molt, I would expect egg production to start back up again within 2-3 weeks. Good luck!
    Last edited: Oct 27, 2015

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