Tuesday, November 16, 2010

Tricking Chickens

After getting six to eight eggs a day all summer long I was quite dismayed when in the peak of baking season, the girls cut down to 2-3  a day! My book said that for their first winter, I should put a light in the coop to mimic daylight and encourage them to lay more regularly. Well, it couldn’t hurt to try, right???

chix lite 01 My logic reasoned that since they lay in the morning, the best time to add 6 to 8 hours of daylight was in the morning. Especially since they were retiring at about 4:30 in the afternoon… So the timer was set for the girls’ day to start at 2:00am.

It seemed like a super great idea until 4:38am and they decided to start laying… Our girls make roosters seem quiet when they lay an egg! Needless to say I was not thrilled about going out in my nightgown and rubber boots to keep my neighbors from calling the police.

So we moved to Plan B, which I hate to admit was my husband’s original suggestion. (And no, he didn’t say “I told you so.”) Now the timer turns the “sun” on at 2:00 in the afternoon and we keep one door just open enough for them to get through.

chix lite 02 They seem to be happy about the extra heat, too!

After 5 days it seems to be working! When I go to put them in at about 9:00, they’re still up and around in the coop until the “sun” goes down at 10:00. Yay! Still getting only 2-3 eggs a day, but I heard it may take a few weeks. I’m willing to be patient…

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