The hens are laying. Today we got three eggs! I don’t think we’ve ever gotten so many eggs. It’s because of the light. We put a light in the coop and now the hens are obviously getting the right amount of light each day to make them lay eggs.
I had given up on having eggs this time of year. Actually when the hens stopped laying their one egg a day at the end of the summer, I gave up on eggs altogether. But then Jon wanted to put a light in the chicken coop for the winter to help warm the coop up. Last year it got so cold for so long and the hens were stuck in the coop, because of the snow, and I had those waking nightmares about them getting cabin fever and turning into Zombie Hens. Well, Jon wasn’t worried about Zombie Hens, he’s just a softie and didn’t want them to have to suffer through another cold winter. So we agreed on getting a light, but couldn’t agree on the type of bulb. First we had one of those small red heat lamp bulbs, but then thought it might be better to have a regular light bulb. So I put in a 100 watt bulb (because I had an extra one in the house) and it was bright!
The chicken coop isn’t that big, about the size of a dog house, and that coop was lit up like those hens had their very own sun. So I stopped worrying about the hens being warm or thinking about them laying eggs, and started worrying about them getting sleep. I mean, sleep deprivation is a type of torture and here were the hens, snuggling in for a cozy nights sleep and…whammy!….it’s brighter than day time in the bedroom. When I mentioned this to Jon, he suddenly lost all his chicken sensitivity and said that he didn’t think the hens knew the difference and with the 100 watt bulb, they might even lay and egg or two.
But, not matter what Jon said, it bothered me. I kept thinking how I would feel trying to sleep with those bright lights. So no big deal, change the bulb, right? The problem is I would see the bright light when I closed up the coop at night, and by the time the next morning came, I would forget about it until it was nighttime again. So this went on for a couple of weeks, until one of those very warm November days when I was feeding the animals and trying to come up with an excuse to stay outside a little longer, I thought of the bulb. Well, I wasn’t about to go to the hardware store and get a 40 watt bulb, so I got the red heat bulb from the barn and made the switch.
And what happens, just a couple of days later? Eggs. And not just one egg, once in a while, but 2-3 eggs everyday. And it would appear to be all because of my red bulb. Which, I believe, gives the hens, not only the right amount of light each day, but a warm and cozy environment to lay their eggs in. And now I feel even better when I tuck them in for the night. Not only will they be safe and comfortable, but we’ll have eggs for breakfast and egg salad for lunch.