This is a journal of my vegetable gardens. Skippy was my first dog and he thought the garden was his, even though I did all the work. But Skippy always stood by me and was a great friend. Now Suzie and Charley follow in his footsteps and garden with me. We're located near Boston (USDA zone 6A). I have a community plot, a backyard vegetable garden, fruit trees and berry bushes, chickens and bees. I use sustainable organic methods and do my best to grow all of my family's vegetables myself.

Thursday, October 30, 2014

adjusting my chicken's lighting

My chickens still aren't laying any eggs. I came across this article: Why Aren't My Chickens Laying, from McMurray Hatcheries. I will follow their advice and set my light timer to come on early in the morning, before dawn, to give the chickens 14 hours of sunlight.

Near Boston, we're getting 10.5 hours of sunlight now (and decreasing fast!). Sunrise today was 7:15 MA, so I should the light to come on at 3:45 AM!! That's early!

I had my light coming on at 6:15 AM and after dusk until 6:45 PM. That was only giving them 12.5 hours, and most of the extra in the evening. McMurray suggests its better to have the extra light in the morning. So 3:45 AM it is. I just went out and adjusted the timer.

I sure would like at least one of the four hens to lay me some eggs.

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4 Comments:

Blogger Karen Anne said...

I thought chickens laid fewer eggs in the fall and winter. I know my neighbor down the street hardly has any for sale then compared to the summer.

October 31, 2014 2:52 PM

 
Blogger kathy said...

Last winter, my hens laid pretty well all winter. One egg at least every other day for the two good layers (Auracana and Australorp). They had good light and were stress-free.

This year, I'm getting my lighting adjusted. And, probably more importantly, the hens have been very stressed. They were stressed by loosing Penny (Australorp), by adding the two new pullets to the flock, by setting up and getting used to their new pecking order, and by getting used to their new enlarged run. Also, they are eating more now and their feeding schedule has been irregular. A LOT of stresses.

Their stress level is getting better. They are less flighty, less chasing around in the new circular run, and they often sit more quietly near to each other as a flock of four. The alpha (Auracana, "Ginger") and bottom (Barred Rock, "Roxy") hen will sit at opposite sides still. They are probably the most stressed hens. Ginger tends to chase Roxy away from newly added food.

I'll stop by our nearby community farm and buy a dozen fresh eggs today.

November 02, 2014 11:44 AM

 
Blogger Melody Monzon said...

If they are molting they will also lay less. I was told to add extra protein to their diet. If you haven't found it yet, try looking at Fresh Eggs Daily online. She has a lot of great suggestions.

November 03, 2014 2:03 AM

 
Anonymous Anonymous said...

My hens are molting right now and taking a break from laying eggs. (They really do need the extra protein this time of the year) If they are molting, bump up their protein- oyster shells, ground up egg shells (their own), meal worms, or even some tuna or sardines for a treat! The added light should help them with the laying over the winter, although some say that this really disrupts their natural cycle, and they need the winter to rest their reproductive cycle. Best of luck with your pretty girls!

November 05, 2014 10:25 PM

 

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