Do you light the coop to continue egg laying in winter?

Discussion in 'Chicken Behaviors and Egglaying' started by kathyinmo, Sep 1, 2009.

  1. kathyinmo

    kathyinmo Nothing In Moderation

    I read that chickens need 16 hours of light to continue laying. So that means that they quit laying, or slow down??? in the winter months? My chickens are 16 weeks old, and should start laying soon. Does this mean they may not start to lay due to the decreased daylight. I mean, isn't their first year their "best" year laying? I am really looking forward to fresh eggs!
  2. gritsar

    gritsar Cows, Chooks & Impys - OH MY!

    Nov 9, 2007
    SW Arkansas
    They need 14 hours light. Whether they stop laying or slow down in the wintertime depends on the breed and the individual chicken. Mine laid all thru their first winter last year and I don't add light.
  3. LynneP

    LynneP Chillin' With My Peeps

    I add light from 5-8 am so that when I visit to feed most of the eggs are laid. Keeps them from freezing.
  4. mzrea

    mzrea Chillin' With My Peeps

    Oct 22, 2008
    My first year RIR and BRs laid steadily all through last winter without any additional light.
  5. Uppity Peon

    Uppity Peon Chillin' With My Peeps

    I plan on not using any artificial lighting to boost production. I figure they should get a break if they want it.
  6. kathyinmo

    kathyinmo Nothing In Moderation

    Quote:Oohhh, I like that idea!
  7. speckledhen

    speckledhen Intentional Solitude Premium Member

    I added some light the first year. Will never do it again. I've had six hatchery girls die from internal laying and I have two more who are suffering from it now and will probably die. Artificial lighting pushes their bodies to keep on when they'd naturally slow down or take a break. If you have a commercial egg business, that's what you'd do, but I really believe that for backyard flocks, it's best to allow their natural rhythms to prevail.

    Unfortunately, hatchery stock, especially the most common hatchery layer breeds, are bred to keep on laying no matter what. My girls didnt even break for their molts, so that molting period was a long, drawn out one for many of them. If they stop laying, their bodies can use the protein, vitamins and minerals to grow back their feathers faster.
  8. sparkles2307

    sparkles2307 Terd of Hurtles

    Kind of on-topic a little, trying not to hyjack, but my pullets are due to START laying in November... how does that work since there is so little light and all? Will they just not lay at all till spring?
  9. ChaosTheory

    ChaosTheory Chillin' With My Peeps

    Feb 25, 2009
    I was thinking of putting some solar lights inside the coop, do you think that would have any adverse health risks? They're just LED lights, I was thinking it would keep them a little more calm in the winter since they're used to more light right now.
  10. Uppity Peon

    Uppity Peon Chillin' With My Peeps

    Quote:I do have a single solar LED light above one of the clear roof panels. I don't know if that is enough light to affect their laying. It's somewat like moonlight.

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