Any advantage to having a light on a timer in the early AM verses the evening?

Discussion in 'Managing Your Flock' started by keystone, Feb 14, 2014.

  1. keystone

    keystone Out Of The Brooder

    Jan 14, 2014
    Currently, I am lighting the coop with a timer, using a LED bulb during the evening to supplement natural light. The LED has no heat and only uses 7 watts but puts out the equivalent of a 75watt bulb. The flock gets 14 hrs total. My thinking is that as the days become longer the chickens will be accustomed to the natural light. The feed store guy is of the opinion of having a light on in the early hours and letting them roost when it gets dark. I'm aware of the argument for not lighting at all and would prefer not to go there:). My flock has a closed run and an auto coop door. Does it matter when they get the additional light? If so, what are the benefits?
  2. aart

    aart Chicken Juggler! Premium Member

    Nov 27, 2012
    SW Michigan
    My Coop
    My light comes on at 3:30am and they go to roost with natural sunset.

    Just makes more sense to me that they settle down to roost with the sunset at night rather than have the light go boom, off, totally dark (where I live there are no street or yard lights) at 8-9-10pm.

    You'll still need to adjust the timer either way as the days grow longer.

    Others will disagree, I think it's up to your personal preference.
  3. keystone

    keystone Out Of The Brooder

    Jan 14, 2014
    Thanks for the opinion. Curious what others think?
  4. RoostersCrow HensDeliver!

    RoostersCrow HensDeliver! Chillin' With My Peeps

    Apr 11, 2011
    SE Michigan
    I also agree with the light on in the morning. For the same reasoning, I wouldn't want my hens panicking after the light suddenly being gone and then struggling to get up to their roosts in the dark.
  5. ChickenCurt

    ChickenCurt Chillin' With My Peeps

    Jan 2, 2014
    If I were to use fake daylight it'd be morning for the reasons stated; letting them mellow naturally with the sunset. If one opted differently maybe a dimmer type is available?[​IMG]
  6. Den in Penn

    Den in Penn Chillin' With My Peeps

    Dec 15, 2011
    SE Pa.
    I use light at night. Had other lights on in the barn after theirs went off for a while found out they know when the lights will go out and are on the roost before theirs goes out even if it is the last light out. Animals have a sense of time. Also having the light on at night means the rooster isn't up to crow just before the light comes on a 3:00 am.
  7. Eggcessive

    Eggcessive Flock Master

    Apr 3, 2011
    southern Ohio
    I have found that only 12 hours of light is enough to keep them laying well through winter, and best achieved by setting the light to come on at 5 AM, then the timer goes off at 5 PM allowing them to go to roost at dusk. When days get longer, I adjust the timer to come on at 6 AM, going off at 6 PM. I have observed my chickens not knowing what to do when their light goes off after dark. They cannot see to get on roosts, so I choose to let them go to roost when the light normally goes out at dusk.
  8. GD91

    GD91 Chillin' With My Peeps

    Aug 1, 2013
    I have always have my light go off at the same time each night.

    I've never found hens "stranded" because they are always all on their roosts about 2 hours before the light goes off anyway. They just all sit on their roosts looking out of their window.

    The reason I extend light at night is because I have to cockerels who crow at dawn. So no 3:30AM light for me, not in the middle of a town!

    It depends on your setup, if your hens where not brought up with the lights going "Boom" off at a certain hour then, yeh, you will probably find birds all over the place.

BackYard Chickens is proudly sponsored by