Do you use artificial lighting during the winter?


9 Years
Jun 1, 2010
My chickens who were hatched in April are still NOT laying eggs! I live in north western wisconsin and I'm considering lighting the coop for a while at night. Any good suggestions on types of lighting to use? I need it to be safe, long lasting, and something I can hook up to a timer.


Urban Desert Chicken Enthusiast
Premium Feather Member
13 Years
May 14, 2008
North Phoenix
My Coop
My Coop
Year round. Light goes on at 6AM, off at 8PM.

I don't know if it helps that much because those that are in the pens without the lights are laying just as well.


In the Brooder
9 Years
Oct 8, 2010
Each fall we run electricity to the coop so that we can install a light (heat lamp) and heater (milk box type). We put the light on a timer (on in the early morning, off before it gets completely dark in the evenings) and put the heater on a thermostat setting. Our coop tends to be a little dark inside year round because it's surrounded by a large run in that is roofed in metal, and so it is very much shaded.

I am in Virginia and the temperatures are not harsh, but I do love to spoil my chickens. The light enhances their egg production (but we would light it even if they weren't laying - it's more about warmth and comfort) and they appreciate the warmth for sure.

Good Luck,

Dead Rabbit

9 Years
Apr 28, 2010
you need 16 hrs of light. i started with lights about a month ago.....ive had a few drop off laying. but most are still going strong. where as those that are penned outside the main coop, have totally stopped laying.

any type of light will work. i use them curly-Q flor. bulbs. more efficient, last longer supposedly.


RIP 1938-2020
9 Years
Jul 6, 2010
I use a dual timer and extend if from 6 to 9 in the am and 4 to 9 in the pm using a GE Bright Stick. Have for about 25 yrs. Works great and have never had a laying problem. No heat though.


Intentional Solitude
Premium Feather Member
14 Years
Feb 3, 2007
Blue Ridge Mtns. of North Georgia
No, I don't. There is a light in there for us when we need it, but we don't light up the coop during winter. No heat, either. The coops are insulated and usually stay fairly comfortable, even with lots of ventilation up high.


9 Years
May 31, 2010
Portland, OR
Mine are hatched first of April and two of three are laying. Can't say for sure if the lights have anything to do with it but I have a shop light (2-tube fluorescent with a 3 prong plug, but only 1 tube used for light) connected to a timer because there isn't enough natural light to spill through. It also helps me especially now with the short days to be able to see when I tend to them in the morning and when I close up the coop for the night.

Cluckminster Fuller

10 Years
Oct 16, 2010
My hens are about 5 months old (20 weeks or so) and aren't laying yet. I think they may be getting ready based on combs, squatting, difference in clucks. BUT, I have an odd schedule so my chicks do, too. They are in a wooden coop with a window, but they usually aren't let into the run until about 11AM.
Now that's it's cooler, they often go into the coop during the day some of the time, too. Does this light irrgularity change their likelihood of laying well?
The rooster is crowing. We also have a heat lamp that comes on at midnight now, but we can change the timer and were planning to have it come on
at 40 degrees, but maybe hours is more important? They roost at about 7.30 PM now, but when the time changes, we may need to give them more
artificial light so they get a full "day."
These are my first chickens, so any help you can give a newbie is much appreciated. I also have 5 cats and a dog. And a husband and a 91 year old mother who is no longer living with me, but still needs attention.


11 Years
Aug 5, 2009
Middleton, WI
My Coop
My Coop
I used light last winter for one month-mid Dec - mid Jan, added about an hour or maybe a little more a day during that time. It was my first winter with chickens and my 3 Wyandottes (hatched in April) started laying in the fall. They layed all winter long, my EE even started laying during winter but she was 8 months old. I think this winter I will not use extra light unless I have to turn it on to work around the coop late afternoons. But I also don't have electricity in the coop, have to run a cord (need it for heated waterer). I have cold hardy breeds and after watching anxiously last winter how they managed in Wisconsin weather (heat or not, light or not....let them take over the garage for the winter
, how cold is too cold, etc.) I am more comfortable this year with their ability to withstand long winters. Dry, draft free, well ventilated safe shelter, unfrozen water and food. I am OK with a decrease in egg production though if that happens......


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