Research on Chicken Behavior tied to daylight and egg production?

Discussion in 'Chicken Behaviors and Egglaying' started by Arrowheadfarm, Jan 30, 2011.

  1. Arrowheadfarm

    Arrowheadfarm Chillin' With My Peeps

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    My 11 year old daughter would like to study the link between daylight and egg production for her science fair project at school. Any suggestions on where I could find some research on this subject online?

    She was also thinking about looking at why chickens seem to pick the same nesting box to lay eggs in when they have multiple options. Information on this behavior would be of interest as well.

    Please provide links or knowledge if you have something to share.

    Thanks in advance.
     
  2. Lisa202

    Lisa202 Chillin' With My Peeps

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    Definitely post the results when she's finished.

    All I know is that I have 5 pullets and 8 nest boxes and they all use the same one. I think they do this because they copy each other.(like with EVERYTHING else they do) They are only 18 weeks old and have been laying for only 2 weeks, so maybe they'll become more independent, but for now they have to do what the others are doing.
     
  3. crazychickenldy

    crazychickenldy Out Of The Brooder

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    I can tell you that some chickens need 14 hours of light in order to lay well. This doesn't have to be daylight either. A 60 watt light is kept on in the henhouse 24-7 here. Also I have heard that roosters will stimulate egg production. Not sure of the science of it all, but please share what you find out. Thanks! [​IMG]
     
  4. Ohhhdear

    Ohhhdear Chillin' With My Peeps

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    Quote:Same here, except with 6 nest boxes. Sometimes I find all 12 eggs in the "nest box du jour"! Maybe it's because the straw is warmed up, or they're getting a "clutchy" kind of feeling, or maybe if a certain box is the one the alpha hen is using then that's the one for me? I've also noticed there's sometimes an egg or two in the straw directly underneath the preferred nest box for that morning. Perhaps a hen just HAD to lay that MINUTE and the special box for the day was being occupied?

    What about putting a small video camera (the type hunters use) in a coop and do some research about laying habits? You'd have to mark the birds so you could clearly identify them on camera. Leg bands would be too small.

    As to the light influencing egg production, this is a key component for the mass production egg industry and there must already be studies published. Check with the Farm Bureau for your state, or do a Google search on "light influencing egg production". There's also experts on BYCF, so do a search here on BYCF, too. Someone posted that chickens require 14+ hours daylight to lay consistently.
     
  5. mstricer

    mstricer Overrun With Chickens

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    Quote:Why would you want to expose your chickens to so much light, they need to sleep, you won't want a light on while you were sleeping, would you?
     
  6. centrarchid

    centrarchid Chicken Obsessed

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    Quote:Use as key words for search: photoperiod, egg production, ovulation, spectrum, intensity. I like to start with Google Scholar as search engine. Make certain she understands what key words mean before diving into search.
     
  7. crazychickenldy

    crazychickenldy Out Of The Brooder

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    Mstricer, My intent was not to offend anyone, I simply wanted to convey that our birds respond well to what has been provided to them. They aree healthy happy and do not have issues sleeping. If the birds showed any indication that the light was not tolerable, I would certainly be the first one to extinguish the light. We love our birds. Great time and care is taken to ensure they have everything they need. I take offense to the assumption that we are in any way harming our chickens.

    That being said, Arrow, I am very anxious to hear about your daughters findings. Please share!
     
    Last edited: Jan 30, 2011
  8. Kathleen1115

    Kathleen1115 Out Of The Brooder

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    Your daughter might also want to look into whether putting golf balls (or someother type of egg decoy) into nesting boxes helps teach them to lay in the boxes. We did it and I swear it works, but would love to see whether that's consistent. My girls spend a great deal of time making sure the golf balls stay tucked under them while they nest -- it's very funny.
     
  9. BitsyB

    BitsyB Chillin' With My Peeps

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    She was also thinking about looking at why chickens seem to pick the same nesting box to lay eggs in when they have multiple options. Information on this behavior would be of interest as well.

    I always wonder about this myself... Our girls ignore the 5 beautiful, made-to-specs nestboxes and lay their eggs in a wagon in the tool shed. They remind me of teenage girls who follow the popuar girl, and do/wear what she does!

    Good luck on the research!​
     
  10. Fred's Hens

    Fred's Hens Chicken Obsessed Premium Member

    Quote:Why would you want to expose your chickens to so much light, they need to sleep, you won't want a light on while you were sleeping, would you?

    While chickens have been domesticated for thousands of years, their widespread introduction to other latitudes is still relatively recent, as speaking of animal evolution or adaptation. Most biologists place the chicken as an equatorial fowl, meaning daylight was fairly constant. Mankind took the chicken to latitudes where daylight swings between 18 hours of sunlight in the far northern US in summer to less than 6 hours of winter time sunlight.

    Chickens, like all creatures, need sleep, of course, but leveling out the hours daylight, to a more consistent 14 hours, could even be seen as a positive thing. I do believe that 8-10 hours of total darkness is a good thing.
     
    Last edited: Jan 31, 2011

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