lights on for winter and other questions

Discussion in 'Chicken Behaviors and Egglaying' started by chickenscratch, Sep 26, 2007.

  1. chickenscratch

    chickenscratch In the Brooder

    Jun 18, 2007
    Hello. I live in Seattle and I have 1 delaware, 2 rhode islands and a buff orpington. they are alomost 19 weeks old. i haven't seen any eggs yet but am prepared to see some soon. i have a few questions.
    -Is it to stressful on them in their first year and first months of laying to leave a light on so they lay through the winter? They will just start laying as winter sets in.
    -If it is ok to take this route how much light time do they need? someone told me to only turn the light on in the morning so they don't get scared by the light suddenly turning off at night.
    -this same person also told me i need to be very diligent about looking for the first eggs to be layed because if they break the first eggs and get a taste of egg they will continue to break their own eggs and i'll be screwed as far as getting eggs for myself? true?
  2. Blondie

    Blondie Songster

    My chickens have a night light. It also helps me see a little bit out there in the dark [​IMG]

    I think what you are saying is to leave a bulb on all night so they lay eggs. They only need 13-14 hours of light to lay eggs (someone correct me if I'm wrong!). It's not necessary to have a 60 or 100 watt bulb blasting in their face all night. We will put a timer out there for the light to go on when the dark hours get longer.

    As for the first egg - you'll see it! When they first start laying, they will lay in the middle of everything! They will learn to lay in the boxes. Good luck!
  3. AK-Bird-brain

    AK-Bird-brain I gots Duckies!

    May 7, 2007
    Sterling, Alaska
    Thats what we do too. 12-14 hours of light. if you use a heat lamp for warmth i'd recommend a red or green lamp. otherwise just a light on a timer works great.
    I wouldnt worry to much about the egg eating either, as long as your giving them enough protein and collect the eggs daily.
    good luck
  4. schmoo

    schmoo Songster

    May 7, 2007
    West MI.
    My girls are 20 weeks and lucky me they have only laid in their nestboxes so far, they've been laying 2 weeks or so now.

    About the light, mine goes off at 9 p.m. and comes on at 7a.m. its on a timer. Latley it has been getting dark before 9, so the girls come in to roost as soon as it's dark outside and they have never "freaked out" when it goes off. Some of them are actually already sleeping at 8:30pm when I go down to shut their door. Tired chickens I guess:p
  5. DuckLady

    DuckLady Administrator

    Jan 11, 2007
    NE Washington State
    We put our light on a timer 12 hours before dusk and keep adjusting. THe reason?
    I sure would hate to be a chicken in the middle of hopping up to that perfect roost when the light goes off.
    BONK! Thud! [​IMG]
  6. 6chix

    6chix Songster

    Jul 24, 2007
    Western Ma
    I use a timer that goes on at dusk and is adjustable for 2-4 hours, right now its on the 2 hour setting in November I'll change it to 4 hours. I am using a 100w flourescent bulb in the coop,cheap to run and good light output.
  7. FrankBlissett

    FrankBlissett Songster

    Jan 30, 2007
    "...if they break the first eggs and get a taste of egg they will continue to break their own eggs..."

    Factually inaccurate so far as I know, though based on some truth.

    Any chicken, any time, can get in the habit of eating eggs - fortunately it's not too awful common. What happens is an egg breaks naturally (or maybe she pecks at a soft-shelled egg out of curiosity?) and the hen's natural instinct is to eat the egg. This keeps the nest clean and gives her a good meal. However, some hens soon learn that they can get the goodies not by waiting for a broken egg, but by doing it herself.

    Also, if left unchecked, the other hens can learn the habit from her.

    The two preventative measures is to make sure eggs get collected and to give the flock a calcium source (oyster shells or crushed egg shell) on the side if the eggs are getting soft shelled.

    If one of your girls does get in the habit, there are lots of home remedies to condition them out of it (you'll find posts here about it). And if that doesn't work, she needs to be removed from the flock if you want eggs.

  8. KFDiesel

    KFDiesel Hatching

    Jun 23, 2007
    Their motherly instict to raise one of their own will overcome their desire for a meal if you feed them. As for the light I use a 40 wt. bulb which I have set on a timer for 16 hours in order for them to continue to lay. Its not all that bright and will actually put off a small amout of heat. Helps only if the coop is insulated. They roost before it gets pitch black so they dont need the help of a light to live. (They dont stay up late and read like I do).

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