Hello, everyone! I've been reading through a lot of the other threads about supplemental lighting for chickens, but have a question that I haven't been able to answer:
My chickens have a 6'x9' secure run outside of their coop that they are given access to 24/7 as my husband built it to be as secure as their locked coup. This is where their food and water is located. They have a much larger fenced in run that expands over the entire back half of our yard that they are allowed to after we are up and around by opening a door. Anyhoo, if I add supplemental light in the mornings to their coop, would I need to add the light to the secure run as well so they can get to their food/water? I have seen a couple of other people ask this same question further down in the reply section of other lighting threads, but never really found any specific answers.
To address a couple of things I have seen come up in other lighting thread reply sections:
- I live in Oregon. Our winter daylight hours drop to less than 9 hours long.
- Our chickens were very early hatchers - end of January of last year - and did have a molt this season that seemed to drag on forever.
- We have a RIR, BR, EE, Wyandotte and Brahma
-We have not seen an egg since the end of October. Not one. From any chicken.
-There has been nothing about their routine that has changed to stress them in any way.
-They are fed a high quality organic layer feed. We do give them high protein treats (they love the black sunflower seeds and shredded mozzarella cheese) while they are molting after we noticed them eating feathers. Searching these forums told me that meant they needed more protein.
-On the few below freezing days that we had, we gave them handfuls of cracked corn
- Please do not let this devolve into a debate about whether or not lighting is acceptable, criticisms about peoples methods/beliefs, etc. The lighting threads have been one of the few in which I have seen more arguing and criticisms between users rather than helpful answers to the original question.
The days are finally getting longer now, so we will not be taking action this season. I am trying to become as well informed about the subject as I can so we can make an informed decision for our personal needs if they should arise in the fall.
Thank you! :)