Hows my environment

Discussion in 'Chicken Behaviors and Egglaying' started by Abril1127, Oct 29, 2015.

  1. Abril1127

    Abril1127 Out Of The Brooder

    24
    0
    34
    Aug 20, 2015
    Tx Panhandle
    Hi guys,
    We arn't doing too good at the backyard chicken thing. We went through several roosters and one massacre by our own dog and now have 5 lovely hens...ok 4 lovely hen and one maybe rooster.
    2 of the hens came to us from a friend, they are just a little over a year and already laying. We have had them 3 weeks and still no eggs. The man we got them from said his stopped laying too. He left them alone while he went out of town. They do not appear broody.
    The other 2 that we have had for months were supposed to start laying in Sept & Oct.

    They are starting to act like a flock now. With the biggest 2 still occasionally bickering. They for the most part free range together. I generally let them out around 4pm and they put themselves up atound 7pm.
    Here is the coop. About 4' x 7'.
    What could I do better to get my first egg?[​IMG]
    I also added an extra run on this side[​IMG]
     
  2. ChickenCanoe

    ChickenCanoe Chicken Obsessed

    21,701
    2,656
    466
    Nov 23, 2010
    St. Louis, MO
    Chickens over a year old would normally be molting this time of year.
    The move is stressful because it disrupts their routine. Stress will temporarily stop ovulation.
    Birds at point of lay in Sept, Oct, Nov. will take longer to begin because of day length.
    If you add a light to the coop on a timer to increase day length to around 13+ hours, The ones that aren't molting should start laying in a week or two.
     
  3. Abril1127

    Abril1127 Out Of The Brooder

    24
    0
    34
    Aug 20, 2015
    Tx Panhandle
    Thanks ChickenCanoe!

    I did set up a light about 10 days ago. I put it in the outside area facing up and reflecting off the tin roof. Yesterday I moved it closer to the roost door so it would shine inside a bit more.
    My Hubby thinks we need one inside but I say the sun has never shown inside the cave like coop. What do ya'll think?
     
  4. DanEP

    DanEP Chillin' With My Peeps

    982
    70
    166
    May 15, 2010
    Cadiz Ky
    Hubby's right, you need the light inside to wake them up and to simulate longer hours of daylight. In a coop that small you don't need a lot of light even a 40-60 watt bulb would work fine. I'd also consider cutting in a window above the access doors to let in more light and increase ventilation. As the days get shorter you will need to get your girls up earlier. I'm getting mine up about 4:30 right now but will be getting them up at four within a month.
     
    1 person likes this.
  5. ChickenCanoe

    ChickenCanoe Chicken Obsessed

    21,701
    2,656
    466
    Nov 23, 2010
    St. Louis, MO
    X2
    It isn't about where the sun normally shines. What you're trying to replicate is a longer day. That means the light needs to be bright enough to read a newspaper by at roost height. I doubt you can do that with an outside light.

    The pineal gland behind the eye detects light and day length, increasing day length stimulates hormones to commence lay. Declining day length tells hormones to shut down laying.
     
  6. Abril1127

    Abril1127 Out Of The Brooder

    24
    0
    34
    Aug 20, 2015
    Tx Panhandle
    I have a couple small vent holes, probably 4" diameter. Not much to let the light in. If I make some windows on the coop, wouldn't I be letting more cold in? How do I combat that?
     
  7. ChickenCanoe

    ChickenCanoe Chicken Obsessed

    21,701
    2,656
    466
    Nov 23, 2010
    St. Louis, MO
    With chickens, you never need to be concerned with cold, especially in TX. You need ventilation. Chickens can live in trees. How does one keep cold and wind out of trees?

    It can hit -20 F here and I have 1/3 of both the East and West wall of buildings open. No worries. They go to bed wearing down winter coats, not negligees.
     
    1 person likes this.
  8. ChickenCanoe

    ChickenCanoe Chicken Obsessed

    21,701
    2,656
    466
    Nov 23, 2010
    St. Louis, MO
    At 4 AM in the middle of January, it will be the same temperature inside an unheated building as it is outside regardless of how much ventilation so open it up. You need to get humidity and ammonia out and fresh air in.
     
  9. aart

    aart Chicken Juggler! Premium Member

    33,849
    7,003
    596
    Nov 27, 2012
    SW Michigan
    My Coop
    On top of the already great advice you've gotten....
    That coop and run(s) is way too small for 5 birds, crowding probably also an issue.
     
  10. keesmom

    keesmom Overrun With Chickens

    8,598
    974
    361
    Jul 28, 2008
    MA
    I agree with aart. That coop is far too tiny for 5 large fowl hens.
     

BackYard Chickens is proudly sponsored by