Winter Egglaying

Discussion in 'Chicken Behaviors and Egglaying' started by Takemine77, Oct 20, 2016.

  1. Takemine77

    Takemine77 Just Hatched

    Mar 19, 2016
    I have 24 hens. 3 are 18 months old, the rest are 5-7 months old. Daylight hours are decreasing and with the light the egg production has been cut in half. I put a light in the coop. It's timed to turn on at 3 am, giving the hens 16 hours of light. The light has only been in use for the past four days, but so far I haven't been able to tell the difference in a production. Is there a special bulb you use? Do you supplement a special feed in the wintertime? What are some other secrets that could help them keep up their egg production? These are all young hens. Some of them aren't yet laying.
  2. oldhenlikesdogs

    oldhenlikesdogs I Wanna Be A Cowboy Premium Member

    Jul 16, 2015
    central Wisconsin
    Lights don't work the same way on first year hens as it does on more mature hens. It's used mostly to bring hens back into production after a molt. Most hens slow down a bit on production during fall and winter due to shifts in temperatures, and changes in weather. Your hens will produce the most during the spring months. To optimize laying it can help to keep them on enough protein. 18-20% seems to be the best level.
  3. aart

    aart Chicken Juggler! Premium Member

    Nov 27, 2012
    SW Michigan
    My Coop
    It takes longer than a few days to have an effect....
    .....and it's best to ramp it up slowly as drastic changes in light can cause stress and other problems.
    Here's a pretty good article on supplemental lighting.

    If your older birds are already molting, putting light on them will not change that until they are done growing in new feathers.
  4. MeepBeep

    MeepBeep Chillin' With My Peeps

    As said it takes more than a few days to see any changes, more like weeks and any more than about 30 minutes of increase in light a 24 hour period can stress the birds out and have a negative effect, ideally you should really ramp up their supplemental light slowly in 30 minute increments each day...

    With that said the more 'red' light waves are what penetrate the feathers/skins/bone the best and stimulate the birds photosensitive glands, but that isn't to say use a red light as the intensity of a red light is generally far bellow that of a 'white' light that has red wavelengths... Also even though red waves penetrate the best the other colors still penetrate and all combined stimulate the glands...

    From studies it appears that 'warm white' lights are best but by what margin is arguable, meaning using lights in the 2700K to 3000K range would probably be your go to option, and luckily that is the color range of most consumer 'warm white' lights, 'cool white' lights will also work just maybe not as well... Almost all consumer light bulbs have the Kelvin temperature (color) on the package and in many cases on the bulb base as well somewhere, so simply look at the package/bulb in question if you are in doubt...

    I personally use a 50/50 mix of warm and cool lights in my coop, and there is enough light for me to comfortably see (read a book at arms length) in my coop... It's working so well my peafowl are just now starting to drop their train (tail), about 2 months later then normal...
    Last edited: Oct 20, 2016

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