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Do I need a coop light to help with egglaying?

Discussion in 'Chicken Behaviors and Egglaying' started by allisonw, Jan 23, 2014.

  1. allisonw

    allisonw Hatching

    Jan 23, 2014
    I have a Buff Orpington and an Easter Egger that are about 5 1/2 months old. They have just started laying down in the nesting boxes and doing a lot of wiggling around and stuff and laying there for a while. No eggs yet though. I know they are hardy in the winter but our weather here is wacko....70 degrees one day and then it was in the teens the next. Would a coop light help them move things along a bit? I don't know if this weather is messing them up or not.

  2. LilRedRoo

    LilRedRoo Chirping

    Oct 19, 2013
    Bremond, Texas
    We had great results when we hung a light fixture in our coop. I have it on a timer, and since adding the light the chickens have been laying MUCH MORE consistently. For the times, check your local area's earliest/latest sunrise and earliest/latest sunset through the year. We set the timer to come on at the earliest sunrise time and stay on 30 minutes past the latest sunrise time (there will be a big difference between winter and summer), then it comes back on 30 minutes before the earliest sunset time and stays on until the latest sunset time.

    Example: your area's sunrise ranges from 6:00am at the earliest and 8:00am at the latest
    your area's sunset ranges from 6:00pm at the earliest and 8:00pm at the latest

    You'd set the timer for the lights be on from 6:00 - 8:30 am and from 5:30 - 8:00pm.

    Don't leave the light on continuously because the hens need rest just like we do.

    From a more natural standpoint however, you may wish to let the birds get that extra rest and leave it alone. You'll have to buy some eggs in the fall/winter, but you won't have to install lighting and you'll be allowing nature to take its course. We choose artificial light, but it's a personal decision really.
  3. allisonw

    allisonw Hatching

    Jan 23, 2014
    Thank you very much! I saw online somewhere about a simple strand of white christmas lights or rope lights with a timer. This is the first time we've had chickens so it's new to us but I can tell they are getting ready. We might just give it a try to see. Thanks for your thoughts!
  4. aart

    aart Chicken Juggler! Premium Member

    Nov 27, 2012
    SW Michigan
    My Coop
    It takes weeks for the light to have an effect...and you should increase the light gradually...by this time of year I'd just wait for the daylight to increase naturally.

    I started in increasing my light about 15 minutes a couple times a week back in October until I got to 14 hours a day. It comes on at 3:30am so they will go to roost with the natural sunset...and I'll start setting the timer back as the sun sets later probably in March.

    You need enough light to read the newspaper near the roost. I use a 40 watt white bulb centered in the coop over the ceiling.

    Here's a good article on supplemental lighting by an avian vet.
    Last edited: Jan 24, 2014
  5. Crysta

    Crysta In the Brooder

    Dec 30, 2013
  6. WalkingOnSunshine

    WalkingOnSunshine Crowing

    Apr 8, 2008
  7. allisonw

    allisonw Hatching

    Jan 23, 2014
    Thanks everyone...first egg arrived tonight! No lighting needed! Amazing how the first egg is just so darn exciting!

  8. LukensFarms

    LukensFarms Chirping

    Jan 5, 2013
    Fort Collins, CO
    Just keep plenty of water, and very little stress, and they will lay just fine. The big thing to watch for, just to make sure you don't have chickens that start eating eggs, as your production really is difficult to account for.

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