Amount of daylight to stimulate egg production?

Discussion in 'Chicken Behaviors and Egglaying' started by pixie12, May 12, 2009.

  1. pixie12

    pixie12 Out Of The Brooder

    May 2, 2009
    Well, our 9 week old pullets are now outside, living happily in their coop/free range during some days. This is what I've read about hours of daylight required to stimulate egg production and I was wondering what your routine is, if you have a routine at all?

    6 to 20 weeks: 8-10 hours
    19 weeks increase to 12 hours to stimulate egg production
    20 weeks increase to 16 hours of daylight. They should start laying at this time.

    We get about 13 -14 hours of natural daylight right now (6:30am- ~7:30 -8 p.m), even though it's still light out enough to see earlier and later than that.

    Of course providing light after dark is not a problem...

    The problem is, how dark is dark? Does the inside of the coop need to be completely dark? To block out daylight after 10 hours, that would be closing them up at 4:30p.m.! I can't imagine doing that in the heat of the summer; the afternoons are hot!

    Or we could do 8 am to 6 pm., but it's stilll light out before and after this, and still hot.

    So is this something we need to be concerned with, or just not worry about it, and they will still lay? What if we happen to break the cycle now and then and can't close them at the appropriate time?

    I can't wait to get feedback!

  2. debilorrah

    debilorrah The Great Guru of Yap Premium Member

    After many trials, we decided to go with the natural light that God gives us. They put themselves to bed right around dusk, come out again about 5 am. We have great egg production too. We finally got tired of timers and spending money, etc., and went with nature.
  3. gritsar

    gritsar Cows, Chooks & Impys - OH MY!

    Nov 9, 2007
    SW Arkansas
    Though lots of folks do add light, I go with the natural way too. I have shutters over the windows on my coop and as long as the weather is good and above 40 degrees F, I leave the shutters open day and night. If I have to close the shutters, there is still some light from vents near the roof.
    Not adding light can mean a decrease of laying in the wintertime when days are shorter, but I think my girls deserve that break. Laying eggs is hard work.

BackYard Chickens is proudly sponsored by