1. If this is your first time on BYC, we suggest you start with one of these three options:
    Raising Chickens Chicken Coops Join BYC
    If you're already a member of our community, click here to login & click here to learn what's new!

Speckled Sussex winter laying

Discussion in 'Chicken Behaviors and Egglaying' started by rfbecker, Dec 10, 2013.

  1. rfbecker

    rfbecker New Egg

    3
    0
    7
    Dec 10, 2013
    I have two speckled sussex hens and one leghorn hen. As the days became shorter, they all molted and stopped laying. As a result, I recently added a light in the coop that runs from 6 pm to 6 am and as a result I have been consistently getting a white egg. However, the speckled sussex are not giving me eggs. Everything I have read indicates they are good winter layers but it doesnt appear to be my experience. They are all about 10 months old. Does anyone have any suggestions?
     
  2. TwoCrows

    TwoCrows Show me the way old friend... Staff Member

    31,929
    4,442
    581
    Mar 21, 2011
    New Mexico, USA
    My Coop
    12 hours of daylight may not be enough to get them to lay. Generally the rule is 14 to 16 hours of light. I personally think 16 hours is a bit much, so you might try keeping on the light 2 hours longer, and see if that helps.

    Oh, and welcome to BYC!
     
    Last edited: Dec 10, 2013
  3. rfbecker

    rfbecker New Egg

    3
    0
    7
    Dec 10, 2013
    The light runs all night so they are getting 22 hours of daylight. 1/2 of it being artificial.
     
  4. TwoCrows

    TwoCrows Show me the way old friend... Staff Member

    31,929
    4,442
    581
    Mar 21, 2011
    New Mexico, USA
    My Coop
    Oh no...you will kill them with that much light. A bird needs at least 8 to 10 hours of sleep. If you keep them at 22 hours of light, they will perish at some point.

    I just reread your first post and noticed that you said it runs from 6 PM to 6 AM. I didn't catch that. You need to turn the light on at 6 AM , turning it off at day light, turn it on at dusk and then off around 8 PM. Light at night is going to kill them.
     
    Last edited: Dec 11, 2013
  5. donrae

    donrae Hopelessly Addicted Premium Member

    31,452
    3,522
    538
    Jun 18, 2010
    Southern Oregon
    [​IMG]

    Just adding my experience with hatchery Speckled Sussex--they're way less than stellar layers. I was hugely disappointed in mine, they didn't lay in the winter hardly at all, and even at peak laying never went over 4 or maybe 5 eggs a week. So, they just may not be the best birds to start with.
     
  6. rfbecker

    rfbecker New Egg

    3
    0
    7
    Dec 10, 2013
    Two Crows,

    I changed my light to turn on at 6 am and off again at 8 pm. Just to note, the light is in the coop portion of a chicken tractor. It is shielded and attached to one of the perches shining down. The chickens have still been going to roost and sleeping above it. I do occasionally see them out pecking though in the middle of the night. Regardless, I have changed it to operate for 14 hours a day allowing them 10 hours of dark. Ill try this for a week and maybe they will start giving me something.

    Don Rae,

    They do not impress me all that much either. They give me about 5 eggs a week in the summer and have little spells where they stop for whatever reason. The eggs are also rather small. I definitely like the leghorn much better. If we dont start getting some winter production, they may become tablefare.
     

BackYard Chickens is proudly sponsored by