Lights on, now what?

Discussion in 'Chicken Behaviors and Egglaying' started by christinea, Dec 9, 2013.

  1. christinea

    christinea Out Of The Brooder

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    So I decided to put a light in the coop because I'm so excited to finally get our first eggs (5 month old hens). I keep the food & water down below in the run to discourage rodents up in the coop where they roost. But now that the light is on, they're milling about with nothing to do! They're scratching aimlessly in pine chips. Should I provide food & water up in the coop, too?
     
  2. Yay Chicks!

    Yay Chicks! Chillin' With My Peeps

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    Hi.
    They don't need supplemental light to lay their first winter, so save yourself some electricity this year [​IMG]

    Also, it's a good idea to lock up the food at night...not just leave it in the run...so as not to attract rodents. It's just a little more effort in the evening that will save you from the grossness of a rodent invasion.
     
  3. christinea

    christinea Out Of The Brooder

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    Apr 17, 2013
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    Wow! Thank you for that. I actually started the light on a recommendation from folks at my grain store. They usually give me tricks of the trade while I buy my feed.
    On that note- So you don't leave anything in the feeder? Do you ration? I just leave it in the hanging feeder & so far so good. No rodents...
     
  4. TXchickmum

    TXchickmum Chillin' With My Peeps

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    I second the notion of putting everything away at night. I leave water in the coop over night (but it is constructed to be rat-proof, and has remained thus far for a year). I do not leave any water in the run - empty and turn over the waterers. I also empty the feed, store the feeders in a metal trashcan with a lid inside the coop, and scoop up any remaining spilled feed from the ground in the run. We've not had rodent issues at all since cleaning the run every night. When we left feeders out, it didn't take long for rats to appear on the scene.
     
  5. Bullitt

    Bullitt Chillin' With My Peeps

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    The pullets don't need light to lay eggs in their first winter, but wouldn't they lay more eggs if they have 14 hours of light per day?

    I would say if you do not care about getting a few more eggs a week out of your chickens then supplemental light is not needed. The cost of the electricity would be more than the few extra eggs are worth.
     
    Last edited: Dec 9, 2013
  6. christinea

    christinea Out Of The Brooder

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    True. I wasn't worried about cost so much because I'm using CFLs, but now I'm reading here on another thread (love this community!!) that incandescents provide the spectrum they need to lay. More expensive.
     
  7. Bullitt

    Bullitt Chillin' With My Peeps

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    You said your pullets are 5 months old. Have they started laying yet?

    Just a word of advice. Next time you get pullets you want to get them early enough in the year so they start laying in the summer and then will lay right through winter.

    Also, what breed or breeds are your pullets?
     
    Last edited: Dec 9, 2013
  8. christinea

    christinea Out Of The Brooder

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    Apr 17, 2013
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    No, haven't started to lay. Yes, I knew they wouldn't start until winter when I got them. We were on a two-week family vacation in late June/early July so I had to wait til July 9 to get them. Couldn't leave my babies in someone else's care. Couldn't wait til next spring, either. This had to be the year. I've waited too long!
     
  9. christinea

    christinea Out Of The Brooder

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    Apr 17, 2013
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    I have 6: Barred Rock, Bantam Brahma, EE, Delaware, Welsummer, SL Wyandotte.
     
  10. 3chickchicks

    3chickchicks Chillin' With My Peeps

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    Can you hang a forage cake? It keeps mine entertained.

    I had to add light to get my pullets to start laying. It took a few weeks. I think the amount of electricity used by adding 3-4 hours of light in the morning from a small light bulb is negligible. The light only needs to be enough that you could read (if you were sitting where they roost).
     

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