My 2 year old hens aren't laying, I had a light on in the coop through the cold months, could they b

southerngirl29

In the Brooder
6 Years
Apr 24, 2013
22
2
34
After reading so much contradicting opinions and facts on wether or not to use a light in the coop, I decided that since my hens had already been completely through the molting process and Since i hated to think of how cold they were, I put a light in the coop and left in on from about December to march. We had a horribly cold winter for arkansas! Anyways, now it's spring and the weather is great but my two americauna hens stopped laying (around the time I took out the light) and they still haven't started laying again. The coop is always full of their white feathers too. I have a rir hen and I also have a roo. They rir hasn't been effected she laid all winter and is still laying almost daily. I let them out some days (when I'm going to be around bc we have major chicken killing dogs that live around here) and the two americaunas won't even get out of the coop anymore. They seem depressed!! Other then that, they seem healthy though. Any ideas??
 

chickgarden

Chirping
7 Years
Apr 1, 2012
98
2
84
I did the same the past two winters, left the light on thru March to keep them laying. What I think happens is once the light is taken out it sends them in to a molt and then they stop laying until they finish molting. 4 of 6 of my chickens are going through this right now. I did see one that has stopped in a nesting box so I'm hoping she's starting to lay again.
I think next year I'm going to stop the light earlier to see if that helps.
Hope yours start laying again soon.
 

foreverlearning

Songster
6 Years
Aug 4, 2013
2,421
326
198
I agree, it tends to send them into a molt from a mini one to a full blown one. They need the break for their body to recoup, they'll get back to laying in no time.
 

allpeepedout

Songster
8 Years
Mar 2, 2011
519
21
131
Southern Indiana
After reading so much contradicting opinions and facts on wether or not to use a light in the coop, I decided that since my hens had already been completely through the molting process and Since i hated to think of how cold they were, I put a light in the coop and left in on from about December to march. We had a horribly cold winter for arkansas! Anyways, now it's spring and the weather is great but my two americauna hens stopped laying (around the time I took out the light) and they still haven't started laying again. The coop is always full of their white feathers too. I have a rir hen and I also have a roo. They rir hasn't been effected she laid all winter and is still laying almost daily. I let them out some days (when I'm going to be around bc we have major chicken killing dogs that live around here) and the two americaunas won't even get out of the coop anymore. They seem depressed!! Other then that, they seem healthy though. Any ideas??
Chickens are a cold-adapted species. They don't experience cold as people do, so no need to add a light for heat in the winter. Since you were not using the light to force laying, next winter perhaps only add heat (or bring to a heated area) only during severe cold and only for chickens with big combs susceptible to frostbite.

Are they getting plenty of daylight and sunshine shut up in the coop most of the time? Any way to add a small run so they can be outside every day? Runs can certainly be made dog-proof, and careless dog owners can be held responsible for keeping their dogs home.

Hope they cheer up for you, start laying... good luck!
 
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