Our thirty-some chickens have been laying almost no eggs for a couple of months now. Sometimes we'll get two eggs, sometimes four, but not much more than that. My husband happened to mention that he'd been using one of the CFL bulbs in the coop and I wondered whether that was having an effect on the birds, because normally at this point even though a lot of the older hens aren't laying much, the spring chicks have started in and we still get a decent amount for ourselves and the people we share them with.
He tried changing the bulb to an incandescent one a few days ago, and so far it looks promising. We've been getting six or more eggs a day since he did that. We shall see if it continues or if it's just a fluke unrelated to the lighting.
I have 11 hens, I don't supply any light for them they have slacked off some, today they laid 8. one day late September, they produced 12. That's more than enough for us. If I had more sales I would think about pushing them a little more, with light and a timer and such. But I'm beginning to think about chicken soup instead of more eggs. lol
I have seen the long fluorescent tubes used before too, but never paid attention weather it helped. So I'm no help there.
If you're getting eight eggs a day from eleven hens you're doing just fine without light! We always provide extra light to make up for the shortening days, but we had used incandescent lights in the past.
I'm happy with their laying, They are supposed to be one of the top layers on the market. Some of the names used are ( red sex-link )( comet) and something else I don't remember.
I take most of my eggs to a non county sponsored meals program at a church. It's a win win deal. some of the eggs are used for the meals and some go to food pantry recipients. Of course I put the fertilizer on the garden during the winter and in the compost in the summer.
So I guess you can say they are working for me. lol
Mine are picking up a bit after a long dry spell. My "overstock" goes to a church program, as well. Does some good, and they take them when I have them but there are no repercussions when I don't. As Rand says, win/win.
Leslie - do you put the lights on a timer or leave them on all night?
Our girls have really slowed down here. I've left a light on in the barn in years past but it looks like some are molting so I'm letting them take a break. But with a dozen hens, we are lucky with 1-2 / day.
Tammy, they're on a timer. DH extends the time as the winter sets in and the days get shorter and then decreases it as the days lengthen. Since he has to do the same thing with the automatic door it's not hard to remember. Leaving the lights on all night doesn't give the chickens a chance to settle down at all and that's not supposed to be good for them. DH says that if it's a very grey day he'll leave the lights on all day, but he always turns them off as dusk approaches so that they get a chance to experience the end of the day naturally and can go to roost.
Have you tried the sunflower seed supplement trick? That seemed to make a huge difference in production for our birds a couple of years ago when I started giving it to them about mid-day. We don't give them much - just a few handsful - and we throw it in the coop so they scratch up the litter and aerate it in their search for goodies.
The sunflower seed supplement sounds great, since I really can't let mine roam free yet. I need more tall poultry wire to fence in more room for them to get more grass. I live in a small residential area and one of the neighbors would complain if one chicken were to cross the line.
I'm still doing alright with the egg production. but just wanted to tell about a new addition. It seems that a couple chickens just happened to arrive in another neighbors yard. their dog got one of them. but he caught the other one and tried to find the owner,Apparently no one else for miles around has any chickens. How they got there is a mystery but he brought the remaining one to me and I tried to find the owner too. But since my girls didn't fight and it seemed ok with the new company, I now have 12 in the coop and got an extra egg today. The new one is also just as tame as all the others and don't mind getting her feathers stroked.
I gave that neighbor some eggs already and I think I will give them more every once in a while.
I don't have much- - - but they have even less.
Good luck on boosting your egg production