Posted in Chickens, Pets

Early to bed…


Summer has been over for a long while and the weather is proving this fact in brutal honesty. The Cosy Cottage gang are facing up to facts – winter is coming. Jemima and Mabel have stopped their never-ending brooding and are venturing out again. Florence, ever the hard worker, is the only girl producing eggs but even she will soon stop when the nights get longer and longer.

And the biggest change for the chickens? It’s how the nights get darker earlier and earlier and stay dark for later in the morning. The guinea pigs may prance and frolic about at odd hours during the day and night but the hens are concerned about nightly intruders, namely Mr Fox. At night, they whisper horror stories about this handsome red-headed bogey man of wit and charm but with deadly intent. And, taught by their mothers since they were chicks themselves, they head to bed the minute they sense a change in the light.


“Time for bed girls,” proclaims head hen Jemima. Now rightfully regained her chief post after her brooding break in the summer. And they trot in after her. Some taking a little longer than others but all will be safely tucked up by the time it gets properly dark.

“Goodnight all,” they chorus to each other, before dreaming of worms, corn and digging…

Fact of the Day

Decreasing daylight hours will ’cause a slow down in egg production. On average a hen needs 14 to 16 hours of light on a regular basis to stay in lay’. This can be natural or a combination of natural and artificial light.

(Information courtesy of Mini Encyclopedia of Chicken Breeds and Care by Frances Bassom)Β 



Interested in environmental issues, wildlife, spirituality, gardening, self-sufficiency and mini-adventures. There are two blogs, one is and the other, more recent one, is - ☺️

13 thoughts on “Early to bed…

  1. Great to hear how the chickens are settling into the change in season, and I didn’t know that daylight affected their laying so much. Sweet dreams little ones, I’m sure you’ll be safe from the bogey man. πŸ™‚

    Liked by 2 people

    1. I hadn’t realised either until they came to live in my garden and then I found that there’s so much to learn about them! They’re very sensitive to the seasons and light/darkness. Every day is a school day when chickens are around. πŸ™‚

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  2. That was interesting and I didn’t know the daylight affected the egg-layin’ process. I had canaries in the past and the light affects them as far as their moulting and too many hours of daylight is not good for them, but I had each of my canaries as companion birds and I could not put then to bed and I’d be up as they’d be insulted (don’t laugh … they would know). So it was lights out for both of us at the same time πŸ™‚

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    1. It’s only when I started looking after hens that I learnt more about birds. I’ve never had an indoor bird so I didn’t think of canaries moulting, although I think all birds do. My hens moult too, usually around this time of year. Mabel is moulting right now. My hens live out in my garden so do as they please but my guinea pigs and fish live in the living room. When I go to bed, it’s lights off although I suspect they’re still active, whether the light is on or not. I had to have the guinea pig cage in my bedroom once and I could hear them drinking water, moving around and ‘arguing’ with each other – even though it was now dark!

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      1. They are not as active as you, so still awake – like my canary Buddy, they are probably insulted being put to bed. I left Buddy in the other room because I never left him alone while he was uncovered in all the time I had him. He would have worried as he was never alone. How did you like Kim (Red Dirt Farm)’s deer (Noble) interacting with her chickens? I thought that was very interesting – like they were pals. πŸ™‚

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      2. Kim’s post is lovely, the pictures are magical! The chickens must sense he’s no threat. Mine have never met a deer but when they see a cat, they all stand together and make an alarm call.

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      3. I thought so too Clare – it makes you wonder if they are in awe of one another, checking out another species and marveling at the differences. To watch animal’s behavior is fascinating to me.

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