Do I still need to add a light for my laying pullets?

Rebel Rooster

I Will Love! :)
10 Years
Jun 29, 2009
Central SC
My Coop
My Coop
I have my coop and pen built in my backyard under my yard-light from the power co. Is that enough light to keep my pullets laying thru the winter or do I need to add a brighter light anyway. I'm thinking of getting a timer to turn a light on at 4:30 am and off at 7:30 since the days are getting shorter...
Why must they lay through the winter? Why not let their bodies have a break like Mother Nature intended? If they are pullets, chances are they will lay through winter depending on the breeds you have. Mine did without adding artificial lighting. Do you sell the eggs? If not, and you get a good surplus, you can freeze them for future cooking/baking. That way you have some if they slow down production. JMO
I am very curious about this too. I have been wondering if a light in the yard near the coop would provide stimulation for egg laying or not.
Anyone have any experience in this area??
Try this. Stand in your coop when the light is on and try to read a newspaper. If you can, the light is bright enough.
Keep in mind though that at some point it might get cold enough where you are that you have to shut the coop up tight. Is there a way for the light to get thru to the interior of the coop?
I don't add light in the winter. That's just me thinking off the top of my head.
Frankly, if they are pullets this year *and* you live in SC (relatively lower latitude, not too many weeks with <14 hrs of daylight) you may not see much if any drop in egg production even WITHOUT additional light. (depends on breed, too)

That said, if a significant amount of light from your yard light comes into the part of the coop where they roost, then yes, it might be sufficient to count towards day length.

Good luck, have fun,

Ive been told if you give them warm water when its cold they will lay better. Never tried it myself. Im kinda thinking like Henry. If mine wanna break its OK with me. I get more eggs now than I eat. I just wont have any to give away.
My suggestion would be to see what time they go in to roost. If it keeps getting earlier with the setting sun then I'd say the light you get from your outdoor light isn't enough. I put a 60W bulb in the coop and a flood light in the run. The timer is set to come on at 5:00 and off at 8:00. As it gets lighter later and darker earlier in the next month I will have to change the timer to come on more like 4:00 and off at more like 9:00.

I give my chickens 2 - 3 years. If they drop off laying much then they get to advance to be chicken and noodle chickens and I get more for laying.
Thanks "Everybody"!! I knew that you-all would give me a lot to think about and/or experiment with... my birds are spoiled! They are the only birds in our rural area (I have over 140 chickens) Not including the Coturnix quail (over 350 of them) the pheasants or the Georgia bobwhite quail... My mom brings "almost daily" treats to my flock, that being said, I have some girls that are over 30 weeks old and haven't started laying yet! I still have a few PWLhs (from McMurrays) that are 27 weeks old and haven't started yet... Others of the same age (The same shipment) started at 16-17 weeks. I'm doing all I can to jump start them into production... Thanks again everybody!!
Ours days get short here in Maryland during the winter. I was concerned about using a timer and having the light "suddenly" go off so I had DH install a dimmer switch. Around 9 pm we dim the light, give them about 15 mins to get on roost and then we turn the light off. He installed it on the outside, in a weather proof box, so I can shut the coop up earlier and then turn the light off when time.

Works great. Egg production is up since we started using the light.

We are going to add another light in their run, hooked to same dimmer switch soon, since now they are spending more time in coop. That way, their food can stay in the run instead of in the coop and also they will have more room.

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