Coop Lighting and Egg Production

Discussion in 'Chicken Behaviors and Egglaying' started by Hishigata, Nov 20, 2012.

  1. Hishigata

    Hishigata Chillin' With My Peeps

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    I have long been told that egg production is light dependent and as the days grow shorter egg production will wane. In keeping with this idea, I have always added a light to my coop during the winter months. However, I had never considered how this affects the hens. Does anyone know? Are there down sides to using a light? I know there are a few people on this site who prefer natural remedies, so is there a natural cycle to laying that should be observed with regards to daylight?

    I have not added a light yet this year but egg production has not slowed much despite it getting dark at 6:00pm. I keep a detailed record of eggs produced including hen name, time of day, egg weight, and egg circumference. Perhaps I will do an experiment this year and see how much shorter days really affect egg production. Does anyone know if this has already been done?

    Thanks!
     
  2. lajollachickens

    lajollachickens Out Of The Brooder

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    What I Do when the sun sets earlier is that I let my flock of four out earlier in the morning because here in San Diego the sun tends to rise quite early but sets early so i try to give them the most natural light by letting them out earlier and thier egg production seems just fine...
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    Hope that helps[​IMG]
     
  3. Smoochie

    Smoochie Chillin' With My Peeps

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    Wow you're good! Do you have a coop cam?? I have such a mix that usually I know who laid but not when and I do not keep records. Most of my birds though are ornamental and barely lay anyways.. :p. I grew up with primarily production though. If your interested in controlled lighting for hens I would give them approx15 hours of light (natural and artificial) with 6-8 of darkness. One 60 watt bulb, 7 feet above the ground, for around 200 square feet of coop over feeders away from nesting boxes should keep them thinking the season is still right for reproduction. Sounds though like you have some well bred hens that lay no matter what the number of light hours a day signal them.
     
  4. Hishigata

    Hishigata Chillin' With My Peeps

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    I don't have a camera but I only have two hens and one is an Easter Egger so it is easy to determine who laid which egg. I am home most of the morning so I can see when they go in the nest box and when they leave and get a good time frame for when the egg was produced. It has been getting dark earlier than 6pm but egg production has not really slowed.

    My hens are only 10 months old and I heard egg production has less of a decline in winter for young hens. Can anyone substantiate this?
     

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