Artificial Lighting, Chicken Arks, and Free-Ranging


In the Brooder
7 Years
Sep 11, 2012
Hi all,

I'm sure this has probably been addressed, but I've been digging through threads and haven't yet found this exact question. We got our first pullets about a month ago, and I believe they're about 24 weeks old. As far as we can tell, they haven't started laying yet, though it's possible they're doing so while free-ranging out in the yard. I know that every chicken is different, maybe they're not ready, etc., but we've been planning on starting an artificial lighting regimen to help get things going (and keep them going through the winter, if possible).

We have seven pullets, and one cockerel, and they live in an ark in the back yard.

Why yes, yes it is heavy and over-engineered and I can't move it!

I'm home during the day, so most of the time they're out of the ark and have access to a large fenced-in section of the backyard, much of which is wooded chicken heaven. My husband usually opens up the door around 6:30-7:00 am, and they put themselves to bed around dusk.

My question is, what should we light? If we put a light in the main part of the ark, they aren't in it much, so I'm not sure it will do much good. The roosting area is pretty small, and they aren't in that either. Will we have to light the entire back yard?

Thanks for the insight!

I'm pretty new to this new chicken raising thing as well so I have no advice but I just wanted to say that that ark is beautiful!
Thanks for the responses!

Does the yard light illuminate the whole yard? If not, does it still do the trick?

If you just light the run of the ark, they will stay in that area even with the door open until the rest of the yard is in day light. A light in the coop that goes on with the outside light would be good too.

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