Should I even bother with additional light?

Discussion in 'Chicken Behaviors and Egglaying' started by DianeB, Oct 3, 2009.

  1. DianeB

    DianeB Chillin' With My Peeps

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    Mar 12, 2009
    I have two hybrids and one New Hamshire Red or RIR (I am leaning towards NH Red). I decided not to give them extra light this winter so they can take a break. The only on that seems to be doing this is my non-hybrid. She stopped laying as soon as daylight hours dipped below 12 hrs. The other two did slow down for about a month, but now are starting up again since our heat way broke. (It went from near 100 for 3 weeks to around 80 this week.)

    I know they are hybrids, but will they ever slow down or stop laying this winter? I would like them to have a break. If not, should I even bother giving my red extra light?

    Thanks
    DB
     
  2. hinkjc

    hinkjc Overrun With Chickens Premium Member

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    Regardless of if they lay through winter or not, they don't need the light. First year layers will often continue to lay right through winter (unless they go into a moult). It is the 2nd year ones that typically shut down completely, altho not all will. I think you're fine. I like to give my girls a break too, so they can generate new plumage and let their egg system rest for a while. Some will take the break and some won't.
     
  3. DianeB

    DianeB Chillin' With My Peeps

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    Mar 12, 2009
    They are all first year layers and seem to be going through a slow molt. Their feathers are getting long and unkempt lately - they use to have such nice plumage. I am finding feathers here and there. No tail or wing feathers yet.

    Is it the breed difference that causes only one to stop laying?

    DB
     
    Last edited: Oct 3, 2009
  4. Mojo Chick'n

    Mojo Chick'n Empress of Chickenville

    I have been considering the break also. Last year I added extra light, but egg sales are down, anyway, right now and I can't eat all those eggs (some of my girls are second year layers) so I figure to just let the natural light go for them. If they lay, great - if not, great also.

    I do turn on the light during the daytime inside the coop - so they can see better [​IMG] but extra light besides daytime hours I won't be doing.

    it has been getting dark, here, about 6:30 ish (central time) so when I close them in the coop at night I just turn out the lights. Last year I left the lights on until about 9 or so, then went out to turn them off.

    about half of the girls are going through a heavy molt this fall, so I figure they could use the rest and a break from laying anyway.

    but then, I have enough layers that even if only half of them continue to lay all winter, I'll still have plenty of eggs.

    meri
     

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