1. If this is your first time on BYC, we suggest you start with one of these three options:
    Raising Chickens Chicken Coops Join BYC
    If you're already a member of our community, click here to login & click here to learn what's new!

Do hens need light on during the night?

Discussion in 'Feeding & Watering Your Flock' started by tnaknight87, Feb 17, 2009.

  1. tnaknight87

    tnaknight87 Out Of The Brooder

    25
    1
    24
    Feb 16, 2009
    Fort Pierce,fl
    I was wondering if hens need a light in their coop during the night.To provide warmth or just comfort.And do they need a certain amount of light to lay eggs? And also is it ok to feed them whole corn. Thanks,april
     
  2. chickenlady

    chickenlady Chillin' With My Peeps

    Aug 28, 2007
    Stillwater, NJ
    Light all night is not good. Whole corn is ok just as a treat, not all the time. Most people get cracked corn, this is just a treat also.
     
  3. chickensioux

    chickensioux Chillin' With My Peeps

    4,229
    20
    241
    Feb 12, 2009
    Western North Carolina
    I always thought lights on all night would force the hen to lay more. I don't use light because I have hens for pleasure and no other reason. They definately don't "need" it. I give scratch (corn) as a special treat and very limited. Hope this helps
    Oh and also they need 18 hours on natural light to lay on a reg. basis which is usually why they slow waaaay down if not stop in the winter.
     
    Last edited: Feb 17, 2009
  4. digitS'

    digitS' Chillin' With My Peeps

    2,119
    17
    201
    Dec 12, 2007
    ID/WA border
    Quote:You'll need to load up those chickens and move north of Ketchikan to get 18 hours of sunshine, Chickensioux.

    [​IMG]

    Steve
     
  5. tnaknight87

    tnaknight87 Out Of The Brooder

    25
    1
    24
    Feb 16, 2009
    Fort Pierce,fl
    Thanks for all your help. I was wondering my boyfriend said they'll choke on the whole corn has that ever happened to anyone?
     
  6. Schultz

    Schultz CluckN'Crow Farm

    3,837
    12
    221
    Aug 5, 2008
    Indianapolis
    Definetly not. If you leave the lights on all night they won't get the proper rest that they need. I see that you are in Florida, they will never need a heat source there. I live in Indiana where temps get down past 32 degrees during the winter so I choose to provide them with a radiator style space heater in the coop. It rarely gets below 50 in the coop.
     
  7. chickensioux

    chickensioux Chillin' With My Peeps

    4,229
    20
    241
    Feb 12, 2009
    Western North Carolina
    digitS' :

    Quote:You'll need to load up those chickens and move north of Ketchikan to get 18 hours of sunshine, Chickensioux.

    [​IMG]

    Steve

    Oops, right Steve. I guess I mean around 14. Keep me straight....[​IMG]
     
  8. Mrs MIA

    Mrs MIA Chick Magnet

    7,988
    36
    303
    Mar 3, 2008
    digitS' :

    Quote:You'll need to load up those chickens and move north of Ketchikan to get 18 hours of sunshine, Chickensioux.

    [​IMG]

    Steve

    Bwahahahaha!!! [​IMG]

    [​IMG] I'm north of Ketchikan, but right now I have to supplement to get the 14 hours of light. Just a simple 25-40w bulb does it. Now, in the summer time I have to block out the light in their coop, otherwise they'll be up all night chattering like kids on a sleep-over... [​IMG]
     
  9. digitS'

    digitS' Chillin' With My Peeps

    2,119
    17
    201
    Dec 12, 2007
    ID/WA border
    I have fun thinking about natural light probably because I live far enuf north that I see so little of it during the Winter and so much of it thru the Summer. Two months ago, there was only about 8 hours of daylight - we have already gained more than 90 minutes. That's quite a turn around and it improves my mood, enormously [​IMG].

    Chickens also respond strongly to light. In their original home, they only lived about as far north as April there in Florida. Some wild chickens actually live south of the equator by a few degrees so the chicken's "biological clock" is set to almost equal daylight and darkness hours.

    April, your chickens must be fairly comfortable with the seasonal changes. If they were to cross the Georgia line - everything would change!! No, not really but that's kind of "foreign country" for a chicken [​IMG].

    By the time they got up to where I am near 49° north latitude, chickens must be saying to themselves, "What the heck!!"

    We can't leave them on the roost for 16 hours out of 24 - I just don't see how that can be justified. Any farther north and with less Winter daylight I'd be practically suicidal . . .

    . . . and, look I don't even want to think about the Seattle/Puget Sound area [​IMG]. It has been theorized that the sun is actually above the horizon at times there during the Winter months. It's just that no one has actually seen it [​IMG].

    Whole corn? I've seen chickens have some trouble forcing it down. I'm not sure if I can say that I've ever seen them choke on it. One additional reason to mill corn is all the muscle work the gizzard has to go thru to grind whole grain. It increases the energy requirements of the critters.

    Steve
     
  10. the Old Rebel

    the Old Rebel Rest in Peace -2011

    361
    3
    151
    May 12, 2007
    Hendersonville NC
    I could be wrong, but most of the chicken books I've read say that chickens need 16 hours of sunlight to produce an egg. That is why some people put lights in their hen houses, especially during the winter. If I am not mistaken (and I could be), one candlepower is enough to get the job done.

    When we first started, we had a 25-watt bulb on a timer that came on at 3:00 am. We got eggs all right, but the good Lord dealt with our heart attitudes and we decided that was unfair and unhealthy for the chickens. So we took the bulb out and just let them do their thing. Now we still get eggs, plenty of them, but not as often and they definitely slow down in the winter.

    But just think about it. Here you are, in your bed, in the dark of night and suddenly a light comes on! I guess I'd lay an egg or something too! At least the sun comes up slowly.

    As for warmth..... we live in the mountains of North Carolina. We don't supplementally heat unless the temps drop down in the single digits or we have a significant wind-chill factor. We do make special provision for our older birds when the temps drop low. Just like older people, they can't handle temperature changes as well as the younger ones do.

    Hope this helps.
     

BackYard Chickens is proudly sponsored by