Poultry - Past Entries
10/24/2018 Laying Hens & Light
Well, we are at that time of the year when laying hen production naturally declines. A general rule of thumb is that laying production is effected by the increase or reduction of daily light at a rate of 10% for every hour of daylight. At 16 hours of light a laying hen is at full production, down to 10% of production at 6 hours of light.
Given that, as of this date, we are now at 10 hours and 38 minutes of daylight, which means that, on average, production is off about 50%, and that's what we're seeing. To offset this effect we are keeping lights on in our coop and barn where the hens sleep. This is often done by laying flock owners to offset the affects of waning light that occurs with the onset of winter.
For our eggs customers though, it means that there will not be many days when we will have eggs beyond those needed to meet our egg subscription customer quota.
In some respect, its a bit of numbers game as well ... its thus reasonable to ask that since we know that with the reduction in light the number of eggs per week per hen falls, so, why not add more hens to offset the predictable seasonal decline? And, we are doing this with the addition of 15 new laying pullets last year, and another 15 added this Fall. These birds, Black Sex-Links, are now in their adolescence and are expected to come online in February. For the time being though, we are going to have fewer and fewer eggs in the coming months for our valued customers.
Please let us know if you have questions on this or any other topic and we'll address it as we're able. Thanks.
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