Unintentional increase in productivity?

Discussion in 'Chicken Behaviors and Egglaying' started by Hayduke27, Dec 20, 2013.

  1. Hayduke27

    Hayduke27 Songster

    Apr 11, 2013
    Gunnison, CO
    Hey folks,

    So this winter came in cold and hard here in western Colorado, and temps went from being 10 degrees at night to being -20 at night for a couple of weeks. As this hit, my hens went from laying 8-9 eggs/day to 2-3 eggs/day. The snow was deep, things were frigid, and it was their first experience of literally being "cooped up".

    In an effort to fight the freeze, I covered the run to keep the snow out, covered the ground in the run with straw, and added 2 heat lamps in the coop. The heat lamps have red bulbs, and I mounted one on each side of the roost, so that all of the chickens can be under some degree of radiant heat. I took many precautions to be sure that there is no way the heat lamps can be knocked down (they are nailed into place).

    Anyway, the covered run with straw worked wonders, and the chickens suddenly came out to play in the run every day, and just love to scratch through the straw looking for the corn and seeds I toss in there for them. I also notice that they do bundle under the lamps at night, and I think the small boost in heat has raised spirits.

    All of this is to say, I am back up to 7-8 eggs/day. I don't know if it's the heat lamps being on all night, or maybe just the overall happiness level being higher with "Straw Mountain" and all, but they are returning the favor, and I'm happy!

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    Last edited: Dec 20, 2013
  2. countrygirl5

    countrygirl5 Chirping

    Feb 1, 2012
    Eastern IA
    That is very encouraging! This is my 3rd winter w/chickens. The last two winters I had a small flock of 10-12 hens and 1 roo. This year I have two flocks, the one flock has no electricity to it, and the hens are all younger, so I don't expect much production from them. But the ones in the nicer coop have a lamp for 14 hours of light, a heated water bowl, two runs, and pine shavings in the coop (much easier to clean up in the winter), and they have COMPLETELY stopped laying!!!!! [​IMG]
    I may need to try covering the smaller run and re-strawing it. But it just got done freezing raining for the last two days and tomorrow we're supposed to get slammed w/another winter storm. Not sure I'll get it done. [​IMG] But thanks for the encouragement. [​IMG]

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