lighting and egg laying

Discussion in 'Chicken Behaviors and Egglaying' started by jimmy trees, Oct 9, 2012.

  1. jimmy trees

    jimmy trees Out Of The Brooder

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    Aug 27, 2012
    As the days are getting shorter I wonder about lighting. We are enjoying our 5 eggs a day from our 7 hens. There is one or two holdouts but they are only about 30 weeks old now. As I understand it a hen may lay 1,000 eggs in a lifetime and leaving the lights on to ensure 13 or 14 hrs of light per day will help egg production as the days get shorter. The lights are on a timer and come on at 3 am then go off at 10 am which is about the time I let them out to free range. They go in on their own at about 5:30 now.

    So here is my question:

    If I let them get only the natural daylight then how many eggs can I reasonably expect per week per chicken?

    Thanks
    Jim

    Ps
    We would be happy with about 15 to 18 eggs per week.
     
  2. Den in Penn

    Den in Penn Chillin' With My Peeps

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    Depends on the breed or hybrid. A production hybrid will likely lay around 5-6 a week. Other breeds will lay less. At this point with the amount of light your giving them now if you cut them off you will likely throw them for a loop.
     
  3. jimmy trees

    jimmy trees Out Of The Brooder

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    Our gals are Rhode Island Reds. There are seven. We usually get 4 or 5 eggs per day. we would be happy with 2 or 3 per day with natural daylight. I don't want to burn them out. But I also don't want to be buying eggs now that we are used to our free range eggs.
     
  4. Den in Penn

    Den in Penn Chillin' With My Peeps

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    RIRs are good layers they should provide want you want.
     
  5. jimmy trees

    jimmy trees Out Of The Brooder

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    So if I decrease the light by 1 hour per day this week and 2 hrs next week I can eventually turn off the timer and let them have daylight. So from 7 hens I can reasonably expect two or three eggs per day?
    Thanks again
     
  6. mickey328

    mickey328 Chillin' With My Peeps

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    We only have 6 chooks and before the shorter days, we averaged about 5 per day. I've noticed that the size has reduced somewhat...from Xlarge/Jumbo, to large/xlarge, and production has gone to about 3 a day. It's still plenty for our needs...we just don't have as many extra to sell or give away. We did supplement their light for a couple weeks and then after thinking about it, we decided to just let nature take its course. They have as many eggs as they have (just as humans do) and when they're gone, they're gone. So, I'm not really worried about using them up faster, really...all it would do is make them go from laying for 3 years to 2 and a half or so. But, I'm thinking they'll need more resources to deal with the cold weather, so I'd rather they stay healthy through the winter than spend all that energy still pumping out eggs. It seems more the way nature intended, and Mother Nature seems to know what she's doing ;)
     
  7. Den in Penn

    Den in Penn Chillin' With My Peeps

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    I think a slower decrease would be better. Say a half hour ever other day for about twenty days. I don;t know what the light is like in your coop at sunrise but, from 3am to sunrise (natural light) is the amount you are cutting it to. Here, just above the 40th parallel the sun is coming up a little after 7am. From 3am to sunrise here is about 5 hours or 10 half hours. If you are doing chicken chores about that time it won't hurt them to have a light on at sun rise and the coop is a still little dark.
     

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