Indoor lighting to aid a cessation but outdoors, help!

Discussion in 'Chicken Behaviors and Egglaying' started by purosaviparos, Nov 23, 2011.

  1. purosaviparos

    purosaviparos Out Of The Brooder

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    May 18, 2011
    Heres the deal, I have about 50 or so hens and normally I collect about 20 or so eggs on a daily average. They never have a shortage of food or water and are in and outdoor area that is fenced in (with an exception of the top) the space size is about 40' long by about 20' wide. Where I live it is normally really hot 90+ and they have shade, good water, the works. THis is my first year and now we are in the winter months. Here however winter temps only get down to about 60 but there definitely is a shortage of daylight. I have recently gone from a 20+ daily harvest to today I only gathered 1!!!!! I read a few different articles on here and have gained some new insight, mostly aimed toward the fact that hens ovaries are stimulated by daylight and they need some 14 hours a day to produce an egg. Well right now we have only about 11 or 12, from what i have read, this seems to be the most probable cause. I have read up on things like salt intake, feed, water, molting, flock conditions and the list goes on, none of this seems to add up, it must be the light. My question is; Can lighting work outdoors the same as it does indoors? I have read that the illuminicty level needs to be somewhere in the ball park of being able to read a newspaper or other comparisons but who has the scoop on this? I have included a picture, and the plan is to string a line of regular bulbs along the fence (of course strategically placing the lights near roosting areas), i will use some regular 100 watters, has anybody done anything like this? I have heard about a lot of testimonies on ones indoor coop practices but it is the outdoor part that has me wondering. Before going to all the effort of what is entailed in this project i figured i'd try to get the scoop beforehand, my egg selling business provides a good source of income and lacking that through the winter months just isn't too appealing to me. Let me know what you have heard / experienced, thanks.

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    Last edited: Nov 23, 2011
  2. WoodlandWoman

    WoodlandWoman Overrun With Chickens

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    Adding light to an outdoor pen would work the same way that it would adding it to a coop. I think you just need it in the main living area of the pen, where the chickens spend most of their time and do their roosting.
     
  3. purosaviparos

    purosaviparos Out Of The Brooder

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    May 18, 2011
    Well its been a week since i put up outdoor lighting to imitate daylight and with 20 chickens i have only seen 2 eggs! I know i did it right! I put 20 chickens in a smaller corralled area, they have a run and at one end there is a couple of tarps, under the tarps are their roosting spots and in the middle of all that there is a 100 W light bulb, i know it is suffiecient lighting, it comes on at about 3:30 in the morning and dayligh is gone by 6:30 pm, 15 hours of daylight in total. Maybe i need to wait more time? Also we have gone from 100 degree weather to low 60's at night, highs of 75 in the day, i think this is the main reason for the cessation. Diet is good, flock is young and was laying strongly when there was more heat. Im stumped it must be the weather! Input???
     
  4. Dutchess

    Dutchess Chillin' With My Peeps

    That's quite a drop in production. Here in Maine I wouldn't be thinking about the heat affecting laying, but where you are I would. Maybe the heat is too much for them right now, with temps in the 90s?
    They can't handle heat as well as they can cold weather.
    I can see they are shaded, maybe you could use one of the methods for cooling off chickens on the forum here somewhere. I have read that one method is to freeze milk jugs filled with water and stand them up or bury them in the chicken's run. Or maybe a sprinkler system? I dunno, there are lots of ways, just use the keyword "heat or hot chickens". [​IMG]
    oops, I just read your temps have gone down. I guess that shoots my theory in the foot! Oh well...Good luck anyway!
     
    Last edited: Nov 29, 2011
  5. WoodlandWoman

    WoodlandWoman Overrun With Chickens

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    I think maybe it's just going to take longer than a week. I've never added lights after they already stopped laying, so I'm not sure how long it normally takes for them to start laying again. I always add the light before they stop laying.
     
  6. purosaviparos

    purosaviparos Out Of The Brooder

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    May 18, 2011
    Quote:What i was trying to say was that with the heat, they lay tons of eggs, its always hot, theres no prob there, they must have gotten used to it. But 85% of the year its that hot (90 - 100) and then winter 55 - 65, i think this is a drastic drop in temp, there sytems goes a little out of whack im thinking, and on top of it all the lack of daylight. Good advice however about the cooling methods but in times of heat there is no cessation.

    The tarp deal in the photo is where they normally are, but i have moved a select 16 to a more restricted area where they have light and all that, ill get up pick up here in the evening when i get back to my house. Thanks for the input
     
  7. purosaviparos

    purosaviparos Out Of The Brooder

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    Quote:Im hoping that this is the case, for sure for the next round i will already have the lights ready to stimulate ovarial action, but like you said, its happening after the fact, hopefully with a bit more time ill see some delicious ovals in their nests. I wasn't ready / didn't know. I post the update as it happens, thanks.
     
  8. Bantam Username

    Bantam Username Chillin' With My Peeps

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    Have you tried daylight bulbs instead, they stimulate all the chemicals in your brain that the sun does. They are commonly reccommended for people with Seasonal Affective Disorder, so they should do the trick for your chickens too. [​IMG]
     
  9. purosaviparos

    purosaviparos Out Of The Brooder

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    Quote:Im not familiar with "Daylight bulbs", i live out of the US and my supply is limited, what would be the technical descirption of what a daylight bulb is?
     
  10. Chic-n-farmer

    Chic-n-farmer Showers of Blessings

    I think any light source will work. You just need to give it a little more time. [​IMG]
     

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