My chickens have stopped laying.

toddntraciMarch 9, 2009

I have 7 hens and 2 roosters...a variety of bantam types. (RIR, Frizzle, brahma, buff cochin, 2 black ones (don't know)& 2 white ones (don't know).They are all 10 months old and have been laying since the fall. As the nights started getting colder, I put a warming light in the coop over the roosting area. As it got even colder, I put another warming light on the water to keep it from freezing. But in the last couple of weeks, I turned off the water light. That didn't affect the chickens. But later, I turned off the other warming light, because we have had some really warm days! They stopped laying. I did some research on the internet and decided that I did a BAD thing, so the light has been back on for about a week. Still no eggs. When can I expect to start getting some, and when they do start laying again, can I change the bulb to a 60W? It is currently a 220W. Also, can I use one of those flourecent bulbs? (trying to save on money and electricity) Is it okay to leave it on all the time or should I have it on a timer...if timer, what time should it come on and shut off...I have only read lengths of time, but would like to know more specifically what times. There are 2 windows close to the coop area of the barn. (one West and one South)

Thank you for your help.

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It sounds like you may have tricked your chickens into molting. They usually molt in the fall when the days get shorter but because you had the light on they didn't molt then. When you stopped using the light it probably triggered their bodies to molt. If you're noticing more feather loss then that would confirm it. If you increase their protein intake to about 18-19% it should help them grow new feathers and hopefully lay eggs at the same time.

I can't remember the ideal amount of time for the light to be on. I think it is either 14 or 16 hours of light a day for optimal laying. Maybe someone else can chime in here. But lets say it's 14... If the current length of the day from sunrise to sunset is 11 hours you need to have the light on for 3 hours. The best time to do this is the morning. So get a timer and set the light to go on 3 hours before sunrise and to go off a little after sunrise.

A fluorescent bulb works fine, that's what I use in my coop.

Good Luck!

    Bookmark   March 9, 2009 at 6:48PM
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