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Discussion in 'General Chicken Discussion' started by Josephkirk, Oct 24, 2012.
What is the best thing to do to keep them laying in the winter time?
Keep a light on in the coop.
Actually, if you have peeps from this year, they will lay through the winter for the first winter, and depending on how many you have, some may lay through the winter next year. Years ago I used to get a few new peeps every Spring, and so I always had some eggs through the winter. However, I haven't had peeps in a while, so I now am lucky to get one or two in a day from 24 hens. Also, mine are older, so even if I had a light in the winter, they still wouldn't lay.
After that first winter they will settle into a rhythm, hitting heavy between Groundhog Day and Valentines Day, tapering off by Easter to May. Medium production through the heat of the summer, with the heat in August all but stopping the laying. Picking back up by the Autumn Equinox with a fall push and tapering back down by Halloween with a few through the winter back around to Groundhog Day.
The light has been working for me! It's on a timer that comes on at 4:00AM and goes off at 8:00AM. I'll add a hour after day-light savings time. Jen
I also have a timer and the lights are on from6AM to 8AM and from 6PM to 9PM. That gives them 10 hours of darkness and It seems to be working fine They are only 7-8 months old and from 15 hens we get between 12 and 15 eggs per day so all is good for now. Also they have food 24 hours a day at their disposal. If that is not enough, one of them cuaght a mouse this morning but I took it away from her.
Josephkirk... I do all my extra light hours in the morning because if the lights all go out at 9PM they won't be all settled on their perches for the night. Right? Tell me if I'm wrong?! Jen
They all come in as soon as it gets dark and normally if I go out thereafter about 8:00 or so they will be on the perches and just set there and look at me. As soon as it gets dusk we close the walk in door and at dark we make sure they are all in and close the run door. We live ion the woods so have to keep a close watch on the doors.