I do believe the supplemental light is working!

Discussion in 'Chicken Behaviors and Egglaying' started by debid, Dec 2, 2012.

  1. debid

    debid Overrun With Chickens

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    Last August, I added a couple of pullets to my flock and the disturbance caused a drop in production. And then a couple of them showed signs of worms so we went through deworming. And then they all molted. [​IMG] SO, no eggs at all for MONTHS even though there is only one left that appears to be molting.

    I wasn't going to add light to the coop -- thought it would be good to give them the winter off. But that was before I knew that the "winter off" could start in August. So, a couple days before Thanksgiving, we broke down and installed a light fixture in the coop with a timer. I've been making morning come a little earlier every few days and now that they're getting nearly 14 hours from bulb on to sunset, their combs are looking brighter again. Today, two of them were squatting for me! It's almost as nerve-wracking as waiting for the first egg but I'm relieved that we seem to be making progress.
     
  2. stevetone

    stevetone Chicken Advocate

    What do you mean?

    If you are referring to hens lowering themselves to the ground when you touch their back, that is an instinctive reaction to a male's attempt at mating. I am not sure it has anything to do with starting to lay.

    Of course, I still have lots to learn [​IMG]
     
  3. stevetone

    stevetone Chicken Advocate

    I recently asked our local poultry extension guy (Ron Kean, the Answer Guy in Backyard Poultry Magazine) about whether hens need some time off from egg laying each year.

    He said he was not aware of any need to periodically stop laying, and did not feel that it was detrimental to keep them laying through the Winter.

    So, for hens, taking "time off" would appear to be optional.
     
  4. dianehodges

    dianehodges Chillin' With My Peeps

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    I am using the supplemental lighting and my egg production has increased tremendously
     
  5. WalkingOnSunshine

    WalkingOnSunshine Overrun With Chickens

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    We have 65 hens and were down to 3 eggs a day (!) after an exceptionally heavy moult this fall. After two weeks of having the lights come on at 4am, we're up to 18 eggs a day and some of my late-spring pullets are starting to lay. Lights do make a huge difference, especially for EEs and other breeds that aren't really winter layers.
     
  6. aceintoledo

    aceintoledo Out Of The Brooder

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    We are three weeks from the shortest day of the year and my six hens haven't skipped a beat laying with the supplemental lighting. I know some on this site feel it is cruel to make them continue to lay during the winter season with artificial light but the fact remains, for me anyhow, these are not pets. We purchased our chickens for two reasons, 1. we did not like the stories of poor living conditions our eggs/chicken was coming from and 2. by raising our own eggs/chicken we can oversee their diet producing better quality food. We love our chickens and see to it that they have the best quality of life while they are with us.
     
  7. Izzymoon

    Izzymoon Chillin' With My Peeps

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    we ended up using lighting to go on at 4am till sunrise and get a full 6 eggs (one per bird) everyday. It also helps warm them a bit on the colder nights. They seem very frisky and happy and no worse for wear with the lights. On a rare warmer day like today, I let them out and get some well needed sun and let them peck around for any bugs and greens they can find :)
     
  8. stevetone

    stevetone Chicken Advocate

    [​IMG] Eggs are good!
     
  9. stevetone

    stevetone Chicken Advocate

    I don't understand this either.

    They've got 12,000+ ova in their bodies waiting to become an egg. I think they are hoping to get as many out as possible!
     
  10. debid

    debid Overrun With Chickens

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    Oh, but it does! When they were pre-laying pullets, they would jump and let out squeal when a human made any reach toward them. They're simply not lap chickens. That all changed as they reached POL with some of them dropping to a squat when I even walked nearby. So, when molting began, they started acting like pre-laying pullets again -- "don't you even think about touching me!". Seeing a behavioral shift back to submitting (along with the combs returning to red) makes me think laying is going to resume very soon.
     

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