Light to start egg laying

Discussion in 'Chicken Behaviors and Egglaying' started by magjack, Nov 21, 2016.

  1. magjack

    magjack New Egg

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    Sep 25, 2016
    I have four hens -- 2 buff orpington, 1 golden wyandotte and a brahma. They are 27 weeks old and have not started laying eggs. I've been told it might be because of the shorter days and decreased light. I'm in MA. I really don't want to wait until spring for more daylight to start getting eggs (after the expense of buying coop and building a chicken run, my husband wants those chickens to become productive members of the family!). It's been suggested that I should add a light. Do I put it in the coop or keep it in the run. There is not a lot of space in the coop (planning on building a bigger one). Any suggestions on type of light? And finally what hours do I put the light on? They tend to go in the coop around 4:30-5:00. Not sure what time they come out.
     
  2. 5acresandadream

    5acresandadream Out Of The Brooder

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    Oct 31, 2016
    North Eastern USA
    Add light in the morning, inside the coop. Light in the run wont do anything. Don't use a heat lamp, it is a fire hazard, I use a led light. Its 50 watts. You want them to have 12-14 hours of total light per day to encourage egg laying. So add however many you need, mine is on a time(timer was only like 6$ great investment) and it comes on from 3am - 7 am and then kicks off. you dont want to add the light at night, let them have a natural sunset. My hens are 28 weeks, its been a few weeks with the light on but no eggs yet. Some hens take longer, and lighting can take up to a month to work. It will only work if your hens are mature enough to lay. What are you feeding them? A good quality feed will help them lay sooner too.
     
  3. magjack

    magjack New Egg

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    Sep 25, 2016
    I'm giving them a layer feed -- don't remember the exact name of it. I also give them oyster shells.
     
  4. 5acresandadream

    5acresandadream Out Of The Brooder

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    Oct 31, 2016
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    I'd say give the light a try. I run an extension cord out to the coop and I use a heat lamp socket but I don't put a heat bulb in it, just an led bulb. It came with a clap so I clamped it right to a ceiling board.
     
  5. aart

    aart Chicken Juggler! Premium Member

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    My Coop
    How long have they been on layer feed?
    That can actually delay their growth to reproductivity, they need extra protein(and not the extra calcium) until they are actually laying.

    Lighting might help, but it's not going to be 'plug and play',
    like flipping a switch to tun the egg machine on,
    it can take weeks.

    Here's a pretty good article on supplemental lighting.
     
  6. chickens really

    chickens really Overrun With Chickens

    Only layers should be on Layer feed....Organ damage can happen.......Grower till eggs....Then Layer feed and Oyster shell....Granite grit all the time........Two separate bowls for the Shell and Grit......



    Cheers!
     
  7. Vermont Poultry

    Vermont Poultry Out Of The Brooder

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    Sep 22, 2016
    Northern Vermont
    Guy at feed store told us to buy layer pellets when we told him our chicks were 15 weeks old (they are 18 weeks now). When I told him that doesn't sound right he looked at me like I was a bit of a fool. So we bought it for them and they have been eating layer pellets for 3 weeks now. Big mistake. They also told us we can use layer pellets for guineas in the winter which is also incorrect. Not happy!
     
  8. FoodFreedomNow

    FoodFreedomNow Chillin' With My Peeps

    That sounds really frustrating. I've also had some experiences at local feed stores that have led me to conclude that at least some (and more likely, many) of the employees are, at best, marginally knowledgeable about livestock and the related products they sell...one example is when I was looking for hay and two separate employees didn't know the difference between the straw they sold and hay. [​IMG]
     
  9. Vermont Poultry

    Vermont Poultry Out Of The Brooder

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    I recently read about someone who was looking for some type of wound ointment and the feed store employees had him walking out with respiratory medicine. Yeah the straw and hay thing sounds likely, they always give us the wrong types of wood chips and pellets, then get angry at us. When we wanted chick starter we got grower pellets, when we wanted grower pellets they told us we didn't need that and gave us layer pellets instead. Guess I should stop complaining haha, at the end of the day they are the only local feed store.
     
  10. FoodFreedomNow

    FoodFreedomNow Chillin' With My Peeps

    Geez..! :th

    I guess at least you know what you're dealing with...but bummer that they're "the only game in town" for you.
     

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