Light effects on laying too much, not enough, etc?

newbyduckmom

Songster
8 Years
Jul 18, 2011
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Snohomish County, WA
My Magpie hen has missed laying 4 of the last 10 days. (I know Magpie can lay 220 eggs a year, so not sure if this is normal or likely due to fall etc. No molting in site). She has only been laying since Aug 13th, and this is my first hen to start laying. I am assuming (???) that the shortening days may be affecting her laying? They are still getting 12 hours of light. My question is, if we start supplementing the light in the duck house so they have 14-16 hours of light at this point, will it do any good? Or have we already set in motion thou shall not lay for the winter since the number of eggs has declined? Can providing light for 24 hours be detrimental as well?
 

CrestedGirl

Polish Obsessed
8 Years
Mar 7, 2011
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Fort Worth, Tx
Last fall we put in heat lamps in all of our coops to keep them warm. As soon as it got dark outside we turned on the lights and would leave them on until the morning. The lights increased their egg production by a lot and also kept them warm!!! i have found that if you keep their nesting boxes clean all the time it will also increase the egg production.
 
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duckyfromoz

Quackaholic
10 Years
Jan 11, 2010
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Australia
Just something to consider about supplementing with extra light- It can actually throw out the birds natural molting cycle, I have supplemented light throughout the last few months and found that many of my birds are now molting at a time they shouldnt be. 15 - 17 hours of light each day should keep them laying longer, but just remember it can throw our their own seasonal rhythm so giving them a break at some point as well may be a good idea.
 

Miss Lydia

~Gift of God ~ Eternal Life ~John 3:16
Premium Feather Member
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Oct 3, 2009
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Maybe I'm just old fashioned or maybe just old, lol but I like to give my ducks and chickens a break over winter. give their bodies a break from the laying and just let them have sometime off for blessing us with all the eggs we got while they were laying. after all how would we like to be pregnant 12 months out of the year?
 

newbyduckmom

Songster
8 Years
Jul 18, 2011
1,015
18
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Snohomish County, WA
Thanks for the input. I am aware that they need a break to molt and give their bodies a break from egg laying. However, since:

*we only have one hen laying,
* she started laying less than a month ago,
* the other two are not going to be old enough to lay until November (and I am assuming they will not likely start laying in the winter?),
* we are feeding 6 ducks without any "benefit". (Including three drakes that will not lay, and that spouse thinks should be culled).

We will likely supplement their light for this winter.

Keep in mind, folks, I just spent two hours on an Sunday morning watching them forage, cavot, and do their odd little duck things. My peaceful time for the week. I am well aware of the other "benefits".
 

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