Tuesday, November 3, 2009

Holiday lighting for chickens

J and I have been talking for a while about how to set up some lighting for the chickens so that they will lay.  For those who don't know, chickens lay eggs depending on the amount of light they get daily.  In the winter they lay very few if any eggs, so many people supplement the lighting to make their bodies think its ok to lay eggs.  The other day I had a lightbulb moment (I know, bad pun) and thought to use the Christmas lights that we no longer put on our house.  So far it seems to be working, the chickens are staying up later and eating and drinking later.  There are no eggs yet, but they are making what appear to be nests in the house.  I'm hoping this is a good sign. 

I'm happy to see the lights get used.  We used to be good little decorators and put them up on the house every year.  Then we got lazy and figured that it was good anyway, since then we weren't using the electricity.  Now we're using electricity for a good cause, not throwing these in the landfill and not buying anything new.  Pretty good option in my book. 

The plan for next year is to get more chickens.  We want to build a bigger, more permanent coop for all of them.  The tractor would still be used for the new chicks, until they're big enough to go into the larger coop.  We can also use the tractor to graze them when it suits our purposes.  The long term goal is to not have to supplement them with light over the long term.  If we let them lay like crazy during summer, then we can preserve the eggs for  the winter.  I have no idea if this will work, but it would be great if it did.  Eggs keep for a long time and can also be frozen if need be.  Has anyone else done this and had it work?


Fairly Odd Mother said...

Rats. For a moment I thought the chicken tractor may be put up for sale. ; )

kitsapFG said...

Festive holiday decorations for the girls! Good thinking to increase production by reusing the old light strings.

The Mom said...

FOM, J would be more than happy to build you one!

Kitsap, hopefully it will work!

Kerry said...

v cxdj,llithHI Heather, We have never preserve our eggs for the winter, I know you can freeze them in ice cube trays, We always supplement with light and get eggs all winter long. I love the idea of using the christmas lights!!!