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How many hours of daylight and how many watts

post #1 of 7
Thread Starter 

i'll try again. maybe more people will bother to reply- thanks to the one person that did......... I guess my questions or comments just arent that interesting which is why I hardly ever post anything.....

how many hours of daylight are needed to continue egg production and at how many "watts"

Thank You.

For the strength of the  Pack is the Wolf and the strength of the Wolf is the Pack.
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For the strength of the  Pack is the Wolf and the strength of the Wolf is the Pack.
                                                                                 Rudyard Kipling
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post #2 of 7
Thread Starter 

found the answer on google...

100 watts per 400 sq feet.

14 hours of daylight for egg production.

For the strength of the  Pack is the Wolf and the strength of the Wolf is the Pack.
                                                                                 Rudyard Kipling
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For the strength of the  Pack is the Wolf and the strength of the Wolf is the Pack.
                                                                                 Rudyard Kipling
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post #3 of 7

I don't know that there is one set rule of thumb for lighting. we all have different sized coops, some with and some without electric, and some of us have hundreds of chickens, others have only 2 or 3. 
Maybe it would help if you described your set-up in more detail and ask whether what you're doing is sufficient(objectively speaking because you'll still get varying responses)

a few times I've come across something saying 14 hours of light. but that doesn't mean that if they only get 12 they'll stop laying. some of us don't supplement any light at all and still get eggs, even through the short days of winter.  I personally have my 11 chickens on my light schedule. when I wake up it's getting light out, I let them out. In the evenings, I turn on their light about the same time I would start needing artificial light in my own house, then before bed it's off. seems to be working, and putting the light on a timer means all I have to do at night is a headcount and close the coop door.

as far as watts, that really depends. I have a worklight in my coop, I think it's 40 or 60 watt, I dunno. It's plenty enough light for them though. now that it's getting colder here, I've thought about switching to a higher watt since my husband tells me that a higher watt bulb would give off just a little heat(but nothing like a heat lamp). but I also have to keep in mind that it's costing me power when really it's probably only my peace of mind I'm tending too.

post #4 of 7

how many hours of daylight are needed to continue egg production

The conventional wisdom is 14 hours of light and 10 hours of darkness.  That is what the commercial operations have come up with as optimum.  This is for chickens that have been raised under controlled light conditions since they were hatched.  The hours of light have been regulated to maximize efficiency on feed conversion, to promote good health, and control egg laying.  They don't want the chickens to lay those little pullet eggs, partly because those little eggs don't bring much money in the market place, partly because a pullet that starts laying extremely young can have medical problems with her internal egg laying system, partly because with 5,000 hens in a laying house it takes additonal labor to manage them when they do start to lay and partly because it costs more to feed laying hens than non-laying hens.  They keep them in mostly dark until they mature enough to lay eggs efficiently, which also cuts down on how much they eat.  Then when they mature enough for efficient egg production, they use 14 hours of light a day to kick off laying.

I don't know where you live or how long your summer days are.  Days getting shorter is a trigger for hens to quit laying and molt.  I seriously doubt that 14 hours of daylight is the trigger for all hens.  Some chickens kept near the equator never see 14 hours of daylight in their lifetime.  Most people seem to be successful using 14 hours of daylight, but I can't guarantee it will work for you since where you live or your set-up can make a difference.  Studies have shown that chickens do need some dark time to rest and sleep.  24 hour light can lead to some egg defects. 

and at how many "watts"

Depends on your coop.  The wattage required will be different in a little bitty dollhouse coop as compared to a big walk-in coop.  If you can read a newspaper in the coop, you have enough light.

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http://www.backyardchickens.com/a/how-much-room-do-chickens-need

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Freedom is not the right to do what we want, but what we ought....Abraham Lincoln (Freedom carries responsibility)

The spirit of liberty is the spirit which is not too sure that it is right.....Judge Learned Hand  (The more sure your are that your way is the only right way, the more likely you are wrong.)

 

http://www.backyardchickens.com/a/how-much-room-do-chickens-need

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post #5 of 7

If you don't need the heat LED rope lights would be more ecomonical to run, and lessen the danger of fire.

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post #6 of 7
Quote:
Originally Posted by Henny Penny Mom 

found the answer on google...

100 watts per 400 sq feet.

14 hours of daylight for egg production.


"100 watts" doesn't really state the intensity of the light required as different forms of lighting have different efficiencies, e.g. 100 watts of CFL bulbs will produce more light than 100 watts of incandescent bulbs.  Light intensity is normally stated in lumens and bulb efficiency is measured in lumens per watt.

Anyway... the general rules of thumb is that if you can comfortably read a newspaper then the light intensity is sufficient.

If you want them to continue laying then they shouldn't see any reduction in the hours of daylight.  The effect of natural daylight cycles is more pronounced in northern latitudes as there is a greater day-to-day difference in the hours of daylight as the days get shorter or longer and the hens respond accordingly.

Commercial operations control the day length of pullets to delay sexual maturity until the correct weight for the birds have been achieved, and thus correct egg size.  Once the correct weight has been achieved the day length is increased to advance sexual maturity and bring the pullets into lay.  In the absence of increasing day lengths (like at the equator or during times when the day length is decreasing, such as June through December)  pullets will reach sexual maturity and start laying due to increasing body weights.  That is the reason most BYCers see a great disparity in age at the start of lay, and why feeding extra protein helps to stimulate lay.

If you want your birds to continue laying through the winter, or stimulate those that haven't started yet, you need to start at the day length that exists right now at your location and add 20 to 30 minutes per week until you reach the desired day length.  The desired day length isn't necessarily 14 hours, depending upon what you are trying to achieve.  Since your birds aren't kept in a light-proof layer house their will always be some interaction with the natural day length.

If you do use 14 hours, that will hold them through the winter until the natural day length starts extending beyond 14 hours next spring.  After late June the day length will start decreasing again and start to affect summer production unless you then gradually extend the day length to match the longest day of the year in your area (around June 22).   If you want them to naturally molt the following fall you can start decreasing the day length at that point.

Clear as mud?

post #7 of 7
Quote:
Originally Posted by mac in abilene 
Quote:
Originally Posted by Henny Penny Mom 

found the answer on google...

100 watts per 400 sq feet.

14 hours of daylight for egg production.


"100 watts" doesn't really state the intensity of the light required as different forms of lighting have different efficiencies, e.g. 100 watts of CFL bulbs will produce more light than 100 watts of incandescent bulbs.  Light intensity is normally stated in lumens and bulb efficiency is measured in lumens per watt.

Anyway... the general rules of thumb is that if you can comfortably read a newspaper then the light intensity is sufficient.

If you want them to continue laying then they shouldn't see any reduction in the hours of daylight.  The effect of natural daylight cycles is more pronounced in northern latitudes as there is a greater day-to-day difference in the hours of daylight as the days get shorter or longer and the hens respond accordingly.

Commercial operations control the day length of pullets to delay sexual maturity until the correct weight for the birds have been achieved, and thus correct egg size.  Once the correct weight has been achieved the day length is increased to advance sexual maturity and bring the pullets into lay.  In the absence of increasing day lengths (like at the equator or during times when the day length is decreasing, such as June through December)  pullets will reach sexual maturity and start laying due to increasing body weights.  That is the reason most BYCers see a great disparity in age at the start of lay, and why feeding extra protein helps to stimulate lay.

If you want your birds to continue laying through the winter, or stimulate those that haven't started yet, you need to start at the day length that exists right now at your location and add 20 to 30 minutes per week until you reach the desired day length.  The desired day length isn't necessarily 14 hours, depending upon what you are trying to achieve.  Since your birds aren't kept in a light-proof layer house their will always be some interaction with the natural day length.

If you do use 14 hours, that will hold them through the winter until the natural day length starts extending beyond 14 hours next spring.  After late June the day length will start decreasing again and start to affect summer production unless you then gradually extend the day length to match the longest day of the year in your area (around June 22).   If you want them to naturally molt the following fall you can start decreasing the day length at that point.

Clear as mud?


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