when will chickens start to lay again?

lilmissgreenthumbJanuary 31, 2009

Hi all,

I just put a light in my chicken coop on a timer. It comes on at 4am-8am, then off during the daylight hours, and on again from 4pm-8pm. I'm wondering if this is long enough? Also, how long will it take for the chickens to start laying again?

Thanks in advance,

Jenn

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msjay2u(7)

How old are your chicks? Mines started laying at 6 months old and been churning out one a day since. I do not have a light but I am in the coop pretty early in the morning like 6:10 so I guess I wake them up.

    Bookmark   February 1, 2009 at 4:39PM
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lilmissgreenthumb

the 2 arcannas are a little over a year and a half and the 6 unknown breeds are about 10 months old.

the arcannas would produce about 1 egg every 2 days. The others are newer to us. I think we got them around the end of September early October and have not produced any eggs for us. When we got them they were molting (I think, loosing some of their feathers) as where ours at home. No eggs since then. I chalked it up to decreasing daylight hours and have only resently added the light, hoping that would help the problem. They are locked in their coop during the night, but let out during the day to free range.

Thanks,

Jenn

    Bookmark   February 1, 2009 at 6:10PM
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seramas

It depends a lot on diet (minimum 16% protein), their weight-too thin or too fat=no eggs. Temperature. The amount and length of light. To maintain most layer/meat (dual purpose) birds 14 hours/day (minimum) of light (even from a 60watt bulb) will keep them laying, but birds not laying need no less than 17 hours/day to trigger laying if all other requirements are meet.

The biggest factor is breed of layer. Some are breed for low light levels and some for minimum nutritional requirements. Araucanas usually lay fewer eggs during the winter months, but that can very depending on the Weather Zone you live in. You have not listed your Zone on your post. Go to the below link for photo/name of different breeds.

Here is a link that might be useful: Pictures and Names of Breeds Displayed

    Bookmark   February 1, 2009 at 6:42PM
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msjay2u(7)

I missed an important word in your question...."again"
LOL sorry

    Bookmark   February 1, 2009 at 8:30PM
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lilmissgreenthumb

I live in zone 7b. Also, my husband just informed me that the newer chickens are rode island reds.
We feed them layer pellets. I'm almost positive that they are 16% protien. And they look nice and healthy (to the untrained-non-chicken-expert-eye).

Jenn

    Bookmark   February 1, 2009 at 10:37PM
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seramas

It probably is the light levels-length of day (light). Increase it by 30 minutes/day until you reach 17 hours/day, that should get them to lay. After they have been laying for about two weeks you can drop the time back down to 14 hrs/day. It may take 2 weeks or more to see results. RIRs are good layers.

Winter time it is also common for the eggs to be smaller because most birds don't drink enough water to replace the moisture that they get from eating green vegetation and live insects, one would be surprised by the amount of water that is in these foods. Some feed their birds cooked foods that have a lot of moisture in them-like oatmeal-cornmeal-spaghetti. The lower water intake doesn't effect the quality of the eggs except when it comes to incubation. I usually increase the humidity by 10% when incubating these winter eggs and get good results.

Post some pictures of your birds--everyone here would love to see them.

    Bookmark   February 1, 2009 at 11:15PM
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PaulNS(NS zone 6a)

We had a rare nice day with sun two days ago. We lured the hens outdoors by putting hay on top of the snow just outside their door. Two are 2 1/2 year olds, two are 1 1/2 year olds, none of them had laid an egg in over a month. Voila: yesterday, an egg. Today, an egg. Which leads me to think the intensity of light, and natural light, make a difference.

    Bookmark   February 2, 2009 at 10:27AM
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