Artificial light, negative effects?

Discussion in 'Chicken Behaviors and Egglaying' started by Anny, Jul 3, 2008.

  1. Anny

    Anny Songster

    Apr 24, 2008
    Detroit Michigan
    I was wondering are there any negative effects of using artificial lighting for your chickens during the winter months? Do the chickens naturally need this time to rest and store vitamins?

    I know alot...if not most people who keep chickens use lights in the winter, is there anyone on here who doesn't?
  2. speckledhen

    speckledhen Intentional Solitude

    I dont. I did the first winter, but I'll not do it again. Yes, chickens are prone to ovarian cancers, which is why they study hens to learn about spontaneous ovarian tumors in human women. Pushing them with lighting will exacerbate that. I even have my own personal theory that breeding broodiness out of hens is making that problem worse by not allowing their bodies to take that rest from laying a couple of times a year in addition to the molting time.
  3. ella

    ella Songster

    I don't suppliment light either. I did the first winter and it was total chaos with the girls fighting and feather picking. I lost many of those hens to cancer. [​IMG] I don't know if it was a direct result of the lighting but the whole experience was just not good.

    I like to let them to slow down naturaly as the weather gets colder and days shorter. It prepares them for winter. And there is no doubt that continual laying is hard on their bodies.
  4. Katy

    Katy Flock Mistress

    I don't either. I think it does them good to have a rest....not good for the egg supply, but better for them.
  5. bigzio

    bigzio Crowing

    Jan 20, 2007
    It is simply a choice you need to make. It also depends on how extreme your winters are?

    I'm forced to add a heat lamp during the extreme cold I want to avoid frozen crops and waddles? You bet I do!

    Does this keep, or start the hens to lay again? Yes it is a choice for me to keep the flock as healthy as possible during extreme weather.

    Even a short rest from laying in the beginning of winter, is enough of a rest to regunivate their systoms.

    If the winter stays mild, then no problem, however being prepared to add the extra heat lamp is in the flocks best interest, in my opinion.

    Sometimes Mother Nature is in control.

  6. I put a regular light bulb in the coop during the winter. It provides a little bit of heat, it gets below 32 degrees here in the winter, and it keeps the hens laying.
  7. Beekissed

    Beekissed Free Ranging

    I don't use supplemental lighting in the winter either. My henhouse has two large windows that take up the entire side of the wall and the morning sun shines right into them in the winter. They freerange in the day and I have added a window on the opposite wall to get the evening sun for this season. My egg production doesn't do badly in the winter and only slows for a few months. I certainly feel that nature's way is best, in this regard. Plus....saves on the electric bill and all. I already have the heat tape around the waterers using the juice!
  8. Chirpy

    Chirpy Balderdash

    May 24, 2007
    I also do not use artificial light. I'm one of those that feels God's way is the best and that my girls deserve a much needed rest. I used a plastic window at the top of three sides of my coop plus windows on two sides to give the utmost natural daylight. I got between 3 to 6 eggs (occasionally seven or eight even) everyday all winter from my nine hens.

    We also have very cold temperatures here (below zero for a couple of weeks at a time with the wind chill down into the minus 20's) and still haven't need to use heat. No frozen feet or combs.
  9. speckledhen

    speckledhen Intentional Solitude

    There are two issues, heat and light. You can provide heat without really adding light. A heatlamp over a waterer does not provide the bright light that will keep them laying at a high production rate. And one key to keeping wattles and combs from freezing is to keep the coop bone dry inside. I agree, it's a choice everyone has to make for themselves, but I've decided I'd rather prolong their lives and long term comfort by allowing the natural slow-down in winter.

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