Pullet stopped laying, and lighting ?

Discussion in 'Chicken Behaviors and Egglaying' started by groaners, Nov 23, 2010.

  1. groaners

    groaners Out Of The Brooder

    May 19, 2010
    Ferndale, CA
    Hey all!

    I have a flock of 7 "EE" pullets that are about 6 months old. Some look ready to lay soon but I've been waiting a looong time! Darn feathery freeloaders. Any tips how to tell when these EE's are ready?

    Also have an Araucana x EE rooster.They all free range during the day and are locked up in their coop/run for the nite. I started using a light in the coop to extend daylight to 14 hours. at first I used a heat lamp because I was out of regular bulbs, but switched over to a regular white light since.

    On Halloween I got a barred rock pullet (also 6 months old) who laid her first egg on the way home and for the first week laid in the nesting boxes almost every day, then quit. Haven't seen any eggs from her since? she seems healthy otherwise but it's been a couple weeks at least since she's laid any. Since they are free ranging I figured maybe she is just laying somewhere else and locked them all up several times, once two days in a row--nothing. Also I'm pretty sure she was laying when I had the heat lamp, and stopped laying right around when I switched lights. could that be the cause??

    Is a heat lamp safe to have in the coop at all? It is a well ventilated 5x5 coop. day time temp is 45 and nights are about 25--not cold, but if it helps productivity any...

    Any advice would be greatly appreciated!! [​IMG]
  2. JustOneMore

    JustOneMore Chillin' With My Peeps

    Hi Groaners,

    I am no expert as this is our first winter with hens in upstate NY. I did a lot of research in the late summer months and participated in questions on numerous threads on artificial lighting in regards to egg laying. There is a ton of information in the BYC archives!

    After ingesting all I could find, I followed the advice of an experienced lister that lives in my area. We are supplementing light but not heat. The breeds we have are cold weather tolerant according to the My Pet Chicken website.

    I found a 17watt flourescent grow light at Wal-Mart for under $10. I put that on a timer that allows for two settings. The light in the coop goes on at 5am and off at 9am, then on again at 4pm and off at 9pm. This does have it on during some current daylight hours but I won't need to adjust it as the days get shorter.

    Our egg production in our young flock had gone from 5/day to 1 every other day. When I added the light we returned to 5/day within 10 days. I was impatient when we saw no change in the first week but suddenly the girls loaded the nest boxes! We are now at 14/day from 16 hens.

    Our girls still put themselves in the coop at dusk. With the lighting in the coop we can see them preening after dark so they are somewhat more active than they would be without the light. Once it goes out they go into normal night time roosting comas.

    I hope this information helps you!
  3. bills

    bills Chillin' With My Peeps

    Jan 4, 2008
    vancouver island
    I understood that the red type heat lamp,( if that is what you were using), doesn't create the correct light spectrum to act as a daylight hour extender. A regular low wattage incandescent light would work better for this purpose. I use both in my coop, when the temps are in the sub-zero range, but if it's not freezing I wouldn't bother with the heat lamp.
    With temps dipping to minus 10* Celcius the last few days, I need the heat lamp on day and night, or the water freezes. Personally I think a little warmth during this cold snap may actually help in maintaining egg production, as the hens don't need to spend all their energy just to stay warm.
  4. groaners

    groaners Out Of The Brooder

    May 19, 2010
    Ferndale, CA
    Thanks for all the reply's!!! Well I wasn't using the heat lamp for the heat as it's not cold, it was just because that was all I had and seemed to work. I am using the white/clear kind. But a light is a light I guess.
    The EE's are starting to lay, finally, [​IMG]

    Anyway the barred rock I mentioned has stopped laying altogether, her comb is now pink instead of red, and she no longer squats for me. [​IMG]
  5. TigerLilly

    TigerLilly I failed Chicken Math

    Jul 18, 2010
    Central Florida
    Is she going through an adjustment period? I've had mine take more than a month to adjust & start laying again--and that was after getting a couple of eggs the first few days of having them.
    Is she stressed--are othe birds in your flock picking on her?
    That's about all I've got...
  6. BigIslandChicks

    BigIslandChicks Chillin' With My Peeps

    Nov 10, 2010
    i think i need to get a light... 0 eggs today out of 9 that are of age or almost...[​IMG]' now that i think about it though we are only getting about 12 hours of daylight right now [​IMG]

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