artificial lighting in the winter?

Discussion in 'Chicken Behaviors and Egglaying' started by chickenman17, Nov 1, 2011.

  1. chickenman17

    chickenman17 Songster

    Mar 27, 2010
    Southeast Oklahoma
    Should I put a light in my coop with a timer during the winter months so they will lay better when there isn't 14 hours of sunlight?

  2. oldorchardfarm

    oldorchardfarm In the Brooder

    Oct 28, 2011
  3. partsRheavy

    partsRheavy Songster

    Jul 28, 2011
    Yes! Use an outdoor-rated timer with lights set for early AM.

    "Good Morning!!!!! (Chicken keeper rolls over in bed and hides under blankets despite rooster crowing out in henhouse at 4:30 AM as lights come on with timer.)

    It's some early hour......chicken keeper is sleepy! (Rolls over in bed again)

    Lights instruction to chickens: Y'all wake up, eat your Layena, lay an egg or two, and the lazy chicken keeper will see you in a couple hours and let you go forage after the REAL sun is up.."....[​IMG]



    Egg production is about 1.5X what it was before lights were installed.
    Last edited: Nov 1, 2011
  4. Judy

    Judy Crowing Premium Member

    Feb 5, 2009
    South Georgia
    Some feel they should be allowed to take a break from laying as they would naturally, and others provide light. I have done both. I know of no research to indicate that adding light is or is not better for them in the long run. It's really a personal choice.
  5. Cindy in PA

    Cindy in PA Crowing

    Jul 8, 2008
    Fleetwood, PA
    Even with lights, the hens will take a break from laying while they molt, at least mine always have. Lights do not keep them laying and not molting.
  6. MarieNC

    MarieNC Songster

    May 10, 2010
    I tried putting supplemental light in the morning for the girls, and they made up for it by going to bed two hours early, while it was still sunny out! I guess they were telling me they need their beauty sleep and they'll get it despite my best efforts!
  7. woodmort

    woodmort Songster

    Jul 6, 2010
    Oxford NY
    I've used it for 26 years with no noticeable ill effects. The argument that it doesn't allow the hens time to "rest" from laying doesn't hold water since those chickens kept in areas where the daylight is a constant year around don't seem to be adversely effected. If they don't want to lay, they won't regardless of the time or year or amount of daylight. In colder climates it is good to get your birds up, moving around and eating rather than huddled on the roost in the cold and dark. As long as the number of "daylight" hours is not excessive--14 seems to be the best--you shouldn't have a problems.

  8. chickenman17

    chickenman17 Songster

    Mar 27, 2010
    Southeast Oklahoma
    Ok so if i did do it what hours would i set the timer on and where do i get a timer? Thanks
  9. smokeykk

    smokeykk Songster

    Mar 15, 2011
    I haven't used a timer or artificial light ever, even though this is my first winter with chickens. 5 of my 7 are laying but, one of them is a silkie. She lays every other day, and our RIR and NH lay every day. We usually get 3-4 eggs a day but todays the first day we got 5! I was so eggcited looking in the nest box and seeing 5 eggs!!! [​IMG]

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