14 Hours Per Day Of Lighting Question?

Discussion in 'Managing Your Flock' started by Peeps298, Oct 4, 2010.

  1. Peeps298

    Peeps298 Out Of The Brooder

    53
    0
    39
    Sep 28, 2010
    Long Island, NY
    I have read somewhere that egg laying hens need approx 14 hours of light per day. I was curious if anyone out there addresses this issue with artificial lighting in their coop? I was thinking of setting up a light inside the coop on a timer that would keep the coop lit a few hours past sunset. Does anyone else out there do this as well or does anyone out there forsee any issues by doing this? My plan of action for the birds is as follows, open the door to their coop at approx 6 am allowing them to roam back and forth between their coop and run all day. Then roughly 5-7 pm depending on the time of year and when the sunsets, I would have the timer turn a light on in their coop and close the door to their coop locking them inside and give them roughly 2-3 hours of artificial light inside the coop which should work out to approx 14 hours total light for the hens. Does this seem like a decent plan? Can anyone make any suggestions? Im new to chickens and appreciate anyones input.

    Thank you,

    Ed
     
  2. Imp

    Imp All things share the same breath- Chief Seattle

    A lot of people use lights to increase daylight to 14 hours. Most people suggest using it in the morning rather than at night. Reason being that chickens will have trouble getting on roosts if the light goes out suddenly at night, and they are left in total darkness.

    Imp
     
  3. Twin Willows

    Twin Willows Out Of The Brooder

    23
    0
    22
    Jul 27, 2010
    Here is something that I observed with my chickens in the past week or so (now that the days are getting shorter). I go out around 9, sometimes 10pm to shut their yard door so no preditors can come in. By now, it's completely dark at this time, I switch the lights on and more than 50% of the chickens are jumping down off their roosts and getting feed or water (there is always feed in front of them). This makes me think that they may be hungry and if they are roosting 14 or 16 hours, maybe they are not going to get enough food for their metabolism to keep fat on their bodies for the upcoming cold weather. I have no added heat, just try to keep drafts out of the coop. Any thoughts on this?
     
  4. mamabigbird

    mamabigbird Chillin' With My Peeps

    760
    21
    143
    Feb 11, 2010
    Vancouver Island, B.C.,
    We have a timer for the light in our coop which comes on at 6a.m. and turns off at 8p.m. But we have an actual light switch that the timer runs into so when I go out about 9ish a.m. I turn off the light switch to save electricity during the day while they are out free ranging. I go back in around 5ish p.m. and flip it back on and it shuts off at 8p.m.
    Up here on Vancouver Island November is notoriously dark and wet and windy so the girls tend to stay in the coop so I just let the timer stay on all day to brighten up their coop.
    However, it's almost pointless right now as all the hens are molting so badly that they're not laying no matter how much light they get. Out of 8 adult hens I'm only getting 1 egg a day.
    Hopefully the 16 week olds should start soon.
    WAITING THE IMPOSSIBLE WAIT. SIGH!

    Oh and as for them getting caught out of bed when the lights go out ... they are always up on their roosts and tucked in at least a half hour before the lights go out.
     
    Last edited: Oct 4, 2010
  5. Ohhhdear

    Ohhhdear Chillin' With My Peeps

    360
    4
    111
    Aug 15, 2010
    West Michigan
    I will be using a timer to turn an LED light strip on at 6am and off at 8am, then on again at 6pm until 8 pm. I don't let the girls out until almost 9am anyway for a couple reasons. One, the dawn and dusk hours are prime predator hunting time, and two, the hens have laid most of their eggs in the nestboxes by 9am. Some return to the coop to lay their eggs a bit later, but that means I just have one collection time.
    They're very hungry when I let them out of the coop, so they swarm the feeder I bring out and hang on the coop under the nestboxes. My coop is not big enough to house 12 chickens plus their food and water. They free range whenever they're outside the coop.

    I'm not going to start using the lights and timer until probably the end of October, even though the day length is increasingly getting shorter, because I'm getting 12 eggs a day from 12 hens. I may supplement with a low wattage heat bar enclosed in PVC pipe if the nights drop down to single digits.
     
  6. woodmort

    woodmort Chillin' With My Peeps

    3,168
    31
    201
    Jul 6, 2010
    Oxford NY
    I've written this so often that I should make copies and sell them. At any rate, I start on Sept 1 or so with a 20w florescent on a duel timer that goes on at 6 am, off at 9 and on at 4 pm off at 9. This is about the daylight length here in May and July--we're under 12 hrs now. It tends to overlap actually daylight a bit but seems to satisfy the birds, they lay about the same, winter and summer. I haven't noted any problem with their getting on and off the roosts either. At the present time I'm closing them up between 7 and 7:30 at night--it is completely dark--and they are all in--begging for BOSS as a matter of fact. Since the light is on I can count beaks, gather any afternoon eggs and give them a snack before we all retire for the night.
     
  7. Peeps298

    Peeps298 Out Of The Brooder

    53
    0
    39
    Sep 28, 2010
    Long Island, NY
    Thank you all so very much for your input, I really appreciate it [​IMG]
     
  8. Jeremy Parker

    Jeremy Parker Out Of The Brooder

    86
    2
    41
    May 25, 2010
    What did they all do before electricity?? I know they didn't hang a lantern in the coop for them!!!

    Don't know why we get so focused on giving extra light?? I don't use any extra Light and my mom and dad didn't use any extra light and my grandparents did not use any extra light?? Why would you want to increase your cost per egg???

    We all get an egg a day from the girls and have no issues??


    Just my two cents worth!!
     
  9. Ema

    Ema Chillin' With My Peeps

    Jun 4, 2010
    N. Ontario CANADA
    Quote:I will be adding a double timer myself to the coop this thanksgiving weekend (I'm in canada) and I was wondering something and hoping you or someone else knows...can chickens see red lights?? I have the hat lamp on 24/7 in their coop now that its getting quite chilly up here. I just wonder if they can see once I turn off the day lights!! Also my DH and I have been debating whats better a compact fluorescent light bulb or an 18 Watt tube light?? we just wonder which one would be safer and provide better lighting. the tube light comes enclosed in the casing. Any input would be greatly appreciated.
     
  10. Jeremy Parker

    Jeremy Parker Out Of The Brooder

    86
    2
    41
    May 25, 2010
    Quote:I will be adding a double timer myself to the coop this thanksgiving weekend (I'm in canada) and I was wondering something and hoping you or someone else knows...can chickens see red lights?? I have the hat lamp on 24/7 in their coop now that its getting quite chilly up here. I just wonder if they can see once I turn off the day lights!! Also my DH and I have been debating whats better a compact fluorescent light bulb or an 18 Watt tube light?? we just wonder which one would be safer and provide better lighting. the tube light comes enclosed in the casing. Any input would be greatly appreciated.

    I live in Canada too and never use extra heat for my chickens creates moister problems that will kill your chickens!! There is quite a good section in here on how to get ready for winter you should read it!! Chickens even in the great white north should not need extra heat to survive!!
     

BackYard Chickens is proudly sponsored by