Hurricane Sandy vs Chickens

CowgirlHC

Chirping
7 Years
Oct 12, 2012
186
3
83
West Virginia
So we got HAMMERED by Hurricane Sandy meeting with that cold front. I can't even go into how bad it got here, but the power was out for almost 13 days and we had 3-4 feet of snow and that wasn't even in drifts! So needless to say, Duke and his 24 girls were stuck in their house for all those days without any light :-( I know it sounds so horrible, but there was absolutely nothing we could do or we would have in every way. As soon as the power was restored, we got the heat lamps on during the night and the regular light on during the day and we cleaned out all of their boxes (for some reason my boxes do NOT prevent them from roosting on them so I need to change that a bit, and we even shoveled out the heaviest snow ever to where they could get out in the lot. Well out of 24 egg laying aged, only 3 over 1 yr old and all breeds known for heavy, regular laying all year around, we're getting 1 egg a day! We finally got 3 tonight, but it's usually been being 1! I didn't think much of it being there was no light for so long, but they always had water and feed and shelter/safety. I figured that was more important than eggs. But now, what is the issue? Why are they not back to laying more regularly? Am I correct that the reason the laying stopped is because lack of light and being cold? But I was told Ambers, Red stars, Orpingtons, and Australorps were all god winter layers so it shouldn't all be from the cold, right? They are eating a TON, like way WAY more than you would think, especially for not getting any eggs. Any suggestions? We really need some help. Thanks!
 

sallihennipenni

In the Brooder
8 Years
Jun 6, 2011
61
1
43
Central Illinois
How many eggs did you average per day before the storm?? My guess is stress. Sounds like a very stressful time for you AND your chickens! My hens have only been through one winter here in Central Illinois. At that time, we had 14 hens and I was amazed at how many eggs we got all winter long.....averaging about 9 a day. And we didn't supplement their light. Daylight hours only and what came in their window. I figured our egg production would decrease sharply based on what I'd been reading here at BYC. Go figure. Hey, we're glad you came through the storm ok. Must have been something!!
 

bargain

Love God, Hubby & farm
11 Years
Apr 13, 2008
8,372
425
326
Bowdon, GA
So we got HAMMERED by Hurricane Sandy meeting with that cold front. I can't even go into how bad it got here, but the power was out for almost 13 days and we had 3-4 feet of snow and that wasn't even in drifts! So needless to say, Duke and his 24 girls were stuck in their house for all those days without any light :-( I know it sounds so horrible, but there was absolutely nothing we could do or we would have in every way. As soon as the power was restored, we got the heat lamps on during the night and the regular light on during the day and we cleaned out all of their boxes (for some reason my boxes do NOT prevent them from roosting on them so I need to change that a bit, and we even shoveled out the heaviest snow ever to where they could get out in the lot. Well out of 24 egg laying aged, only 3 over 1 yr old and all breeds known for heavy, regular laying all year around, we're getting 1 egg a day! We finally got 3 tonight, but it's usually been being 1! I didn't think much of it being there was no light for so long, but they always had water and feed and shelter/safety. I figured that was more important than eggs. But now, what is the issue? Why are they not back to laying more regularly? Am I correct that the reason the laying stopped is because lack of light and being cold? But I was told Ambers, Red stars, Orpingtons, and Australorps were all god winter layers so it shouldn't all be from the cold, right? They are eating a TON, like way WAY more than you would think, especially for not getting any eggs. Any suggestions? We really need some help. Thanks!

First I am glad you are okay.. And Chickens are truly creatures of habit. They were probably in a shocked pattern not to be able to get out and in the dark - again no fault of yours, but just the circumtances. The poor things. Anyway, we do keep lights adjusted to simulate natural light in our chicken tractor. But, we have found out on ocassion that a light bulb went out, or an extension cord came unfastened. I can take 4 or 6 week to get them back on track if it has been a while. The other thing that may be going on is the beginning of a moult. Have you noticed any extra feathers about?
 

CowgirlHC

Chirping
7 Years
Oct 12, 2012
186
3
83
West Virginia
Thank you for your concern, yes we did come through OK! Never lost a single person, pet, cow, horse, or chicken! Lost a LOT of food! I could go my whole lift w/o doing that again! I didn't realize just 2 weeks of stress like that could take 4-6 weeks to get back into regular mode. We got like 10-14 a day. Mind you 3 were molting and irregular and 4 or 5 were just coming of laying age when we were getting the 10-14 but they ALL should be laying now (minus Duke and 2 of the 3 molters lol). No, no extra feathers, just a TON of food being eaten! I mean a TTOONN!!
 

CowgirlHC

Chirping
7 Years
Oct 12, 2012
186
3
83
West Virginia
Here's another random question. We have 6 Amber hens, all about the same age. 3 we raised from peepers 3 we bought. The ones we raised have beautiful yellow/orange feet and legs. When we brought the other 3 home, their legs were very pale and almost a milky white color. Now they seem to be becoming more yellowish, but not quite to the extent (yet) of ours we raised. Is this something that reflects their nutrition and the environment they are in? Like dirt lot w/ nothing to peck vs free range?
 

sallihennipenni

In the Brooder
8 Years
Jun 6, 2011
61
1
43
Central Illinois
Sorry, I don't have a clue about the different leg colors. Is there a more seasoned chicken person out there who knows??? I just wanted to say I'm sure glad that "Duke" isn't laying!
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Den in Penn

Songster
8 Years
Dec 15, 2011
3,418
217
216
SE Pa.
Didn't have snow here with Sandy just a lot of trees to pick up after. The pigments in the skin and legs are affected by diet and the amount of eggs they lay. The more raw materials for pigments in the diet the less they have to pull on their reserves when making their eggs. The one of reservoirs of pigment is mainly in the skin. So yes their diet, and the environment they are in can affect their skin color.
 

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