Author Topic: Pullet Surprise: Youngin's Lay Without Added Light  (Read 1797 times)

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Offline CatManDo

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Pullet Surprise: Youngin's Lay Without Added Light
« Reply #1 on: October 07, 2010, 08:05:38 AM »

      by Herman Beck-Chenoweth

   Many of you will remember that a few years back I visited two Amish farms in mid-February and was surprised to discover that they were achieving a 70% or better rate of lay from Golden Comet pullets that were not given any added light.  All the advice I had read stated that chickens needed to receive at least 14 hours of "daylight" to lay through the winter months.  After talking to some "old-timers" I decided to run an un-scientific test here at the Resilience Research Farm.  We started a mix of golden laced wyandottes, rhode island reds, buff orpingtons, and barred plymouth rocks in early May so that they would go into production in September.  The result was a 60% rate of lay which is very good for these antique dual purpose birds.
   Early results showed the buff orpingtons in the lead, followed by rhode island reds, barred rocks and lastly golden laced wyandottes.  We expected the reds to win, so the orpingtons performance was a real surprise.  We were not surprised by the poor performance of the wyandottes as they have been bred only for show in recent years.  
        I now have 8 years experience and can safely say that PULLETS that go into production by mid-September will lay through the winter with no added light.  That is pullets only.  Hens do require the 14 hours of light to stay in production.  

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« Last Edit: September 08, 2011, 08:43:17 AM by CatManDo »