How long for supplemental light to work

Discussion in 'Chicken Behaviors and Egglaying' started by City Chicken, Nov 28, 2014.

  1. City Chicken

    City Chicken Chillin' With My Peeps

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    I have black australorps, which aren't supposed to break for winter, but alas they are, in their first year!!
    Some are even molting.
    I have given them a break for over a month and now am adding light. I don't remember how long it takes to get them going again. Anyone know?
     
  2. ChickenCanoe

    ChickenCanoe Chicken Obsessed

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    They won't lay eggs while molting.
    Go back to basics. Make sure there are no other stressors. With no eggs being produced, switch to a grower feed about 18% protein till they're back in production.
    Gradually increase light (enough to be able to read a newspaper at roost height) till you're at 13-14 hours a day with sunlight. It is the gradual increase in day length that is the stimulant.
    For those that have completely recovered from molt, it could be a week or two. For those still building feathers it could be much longer.
     
    Last edited: Nov 28, 2014
  3. aart

    aart Chicken Juggler! Premium Member

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    Ditto on the other stressors.
    I use winter lights, but several of my pullets have stopped laying since the snow fell and they are more confined than before snow cover happened.......and some of my older birds have resumed laying after molt so I think there is some nest possession dynamics going on.....so light won't automatically/instantly get them laying again. Plus it takes time to get the light up to 14 hours(without creating another stressor) and then more time for it to have an effect.

    My notes on winter laying:
    Sometimes first year layers will lay all winter without supplemental lighting, sometimes they won't.
    Older layers need 14-16 hours of light to lay regularly thru winter. Last winter I used a 40 watt incandescent light(this year I am using a CFL) that comes on early in the morning to provide 14-15 hours of light and they go to roost with the natural sundown. Last year I started the lighting increase a bit late(mid October), the light should be increased slowly, and the pullets didn't start laying until late December. Here's a pretty good article on supplemental lighting. Some folks think that using lighting shortens the years a hen will lay, I don't agree with that theory but I also plan to cull my older hens for soup at about 3 years old.
     
  4. City Chicken

    City Chicken Chillin' With My Peeps

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    Well it took about 10 days for them to start popping out eggs again. I'm not getting 8 day which is how many hens I have but I am getting 2 to 3 which means it's starting, which is nice.
     
  5. ChickenCanoe

    ChickenCanoe Chicken Obsessed

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    Good. It's important to remember that they aren't food replicators from star trek but live animals that occasionally feed us breakfast.
     
  6. silkymom

    silkymom Chillin' With My Peeps

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    if mine stop and need to rest i let them, eggs are cheep, i wont force my birds
     
  7. aart

    aart Chicken Juggler! Premium Member

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    Did you go from no lights to 14(?) hours all at once?
     
  8. City Chicken

    City Chicken Chillin' With My Peeps

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    No, im not really that organized and cant find my timer, so i just turned on and off as i remembered.
    We just moved and i cant find all my stuff.
    Anyway, they aren't ALL laying, only two, so this is just the beginning. Im guessing that the ones in molt will have to finish and may yet be another month.
    But some eggs, some eggs are nice.
    Also, i did let them rest, at least a month, they stopped laying unseasonably early. I did not start the light as soon as they stopped, but waited a bit.

    I don't let my chickens rest all season, (no haters please). i need to hatch and i need to have eggs for eating. We are running a small farm here and while the birds are well treated, they are working, just like the rest of us!
     
  9. lazy gardener

    lazy gardener True BYC Addict

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    City, you should not have to defend your reason for giving your girls a light. Some folks keep their chickens as pets, and others keep a working flock... and banish the thought... even eat them when their days of productivity are over. My flock are outside pets. I enjoy them immensely, even giving some of them names, give them a light, sell eggs, raise meat birds, and cull the roosters and old hens for the table. While I respect the opinion of those who would not supplement light, or cull old birds, I also expect those folks to respect those of us who do. Regarding light supplementation, I think your flock would do best if they were on a timer for their light. IMO, having the hours of light vary from day to day might be hard on their systems, although, I have nothing to base this thought on, and it is only opinion.
     
  10. City Chicken

    City Chicken Chillin' With My Peeps

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    Lazy gardener,
    I agree with you! A timer would be better (and less work for me!!). Hopefully we can find it soon!
    I also agree that i shouldnt have to defend myself. i am surprised to see the the "no supplemental light" chicken keepers continue to hop on threads like mine, clearly in favor of supplemental light to comment. I just don't understand this:/ usage of time! Ha!:rolleyes:
     

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