I set up some lighting in the coop and my girls are acting strange!

Discussion in 'Chicken Behaviors and Egglaying' started by msgenie516, Nov 10, 2009.

  1. msgenie516

    msgenie516 The Happy Hen

    May 16, 2008
    Nesconset, LI, NY

    My girls have drastically slowed down laying and I don't expect them to lay at "full speed", but I would like a few more eggs! I definately don't want to be forced to buy those "yucky" grocery store eggs.

    I understand that the girls need about 14 hours of light a day to produce eggs. I was watching them and it looked like they were starting to "call it a day" at about 4:00 PM, going into the coop and perching on their roosts and so on. So I decided to add some light and set up a timer to make the light go on at 2:00 AM to 7:00 AM, at which time it is naturally pretty light out. I figured 2:00 AM to 4:00 PM comes to 14 hours, so that should work.

    I have only been doing this for two days, so I don't expect any results yet. But when I went out to check on them today at 3:00 PM (when it is still quite light out), some of them had gone in to roost already! Why are they doing this? Maybe they're tired from getting up so early? [​IMG] I have never heard of such a thing!

    Should I leave the lighting set up the way I have it and see what happens or should I make some changes? I thought I was doing the right thing by adding the extra hours of light in the morning. Thanks for any help! [​IMG] Genie
  2. BeardedLadyFarm

    BeardedLadyFarm Chillin' With My Peeps

    May 31, 2009
    Cobleskill NY
    I imagine it will take a week or so for them to adjust. The were probably used to a 9-10 hour day, and now they have to stay awake for an extra 4-5 hours. They probably have a bit of "jet-lag" from the sudden change in awake hours. Just keep it constant, and they will adjust.

    I put my lights on in the evening so they won't wake the neighbors before 7am (when the construction noise starts across the street). The lights are on until 9pm, and they all seem to be on their roosts by then. It would be easier to have them go to sleep with the sun, but that's not an option for mine, and they don't seem to mind. I'm getting a new layer every week.
  3. msgenie516

    msgenie516 The Happy Hen

    May 16, 2008
    Nesconset, LI, NY
    Quote:Thanks for your reply! I will just leave everything alone and see how it goes. Thanks again! [​IMG] Genie
  4. Mac in Wisco

    Mac in Wisco Antagonist

    May 25, 2007
    SW Wisconsin
    They're probably a little confused jumping straight to a 14 hour day. If you want to stimulate them to lay you should increase the amount of light slowly by adding 30 minutes a week until you get to the length of time you are after. They need to see the day length increasing, like it would in the spring, not just long days.
  5. Mahonri

    Mahonri Urban Desert Chicken Enthusiast Premium Member

    May 14, 2008
    North Phoenix
    My Coop
    My light goes on year round at 6 AM and off at 8PM. Granted now that daylight has changed a bit they are in the coop on their roosts by 5:30 now.... but the light doesn't go off until 8PM
  6. PandoraTaylor

    PandoraTaylor RT Poultry n Things

    Jun 29, 2009
    where I am, I adjust daylight due to losing all light in the winter. My Light comes on at 6:30 and I shut it off when I am ready to go in for the night @ about 8-9 pm.
    I have 36 Chickens and I am getting 18-24 eggs a day. I already have 2 red heat lamps installed as our nights are already below zero.

    the lighting starts as the days start shortening. Mid August. and continues until mid spring or early summer when the daylight = 14 hours per day.
  7. theFox

    theFox Chillin' With My Peeps

    Sep 21, 2009
    Standish, Maine
    mac nailed it, you slowly increase the amount of lighting.

    Best to add it in the morning as well, so the birds have a normal roosting time triggered by the loss of natural light.
  8. duckidaho

    duckidaho Out Of The Brooder

    Jan 30, 2009
    even with lights I am getting way less than half the eggs. What's up with that? Also, no Auracana eggs. We've had the lights on for several weeks now. Do I need a higher wattage?
  9. mags2009

    mags2009 Chillin' With My Peeps

    Aug 8, 2009
    We hve also added lights, but they still go in to roost when it starts to get dark (4:30) We leave the light on until about 7:30-8:00, then it comes back on via timer at 4 am until 8 am or so. I have 3/7 girls that have started to lay, but wish the other 4 would start!
  10. rocmoc

    rocmoc Out Of The Brooder

    Mar 21, 2009
    Tucson, AZ
    We found with our girls the light at the beginning of the day did not help. We still have the light come on in the AM for warmth but add some hours of light at the end of the day. The light at the end of the day comes on BEFORE it starts to get dark and stays lit until 10 PM. At 4 AM the light comes back on for warmth. After two days ALL for the girls were laying again and we were down to only half laying. 11 eggs out of 11 hens yesterday. This is what worked for us. We did try other combos without success. Good luck in finding the combo for you.

    rocmoc n AZ

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