Do you use lights in the coop in the winter ? ?

math ace

10 Years
Dec 17, 2009
Jacksonville, FL
My flock will be 1 year old this winter. I am contemplating adding light to my coop this winter to keep the chickens laying.
I am in FLORIDA and my summers are so hot that a majority of my birds QUIT laying during the summer. At that time, I had 9 hens and was collecting around 3 - 4 eggs a day.

So, I feel that half of my girls got a break from the stresses of laying during the summer. Then they molted. Seriously, do they need another break during the winter ? ? ?

SO - - here's the questions - - -

How many chickens (of laying age) do you have?

Do you light your coop during the winter ? ? ?

If you DO LIGHT the coop, what schedule / timing do you find that works best ? ?

THANKS BYC for the very valuable information!

henney penny

10 Years
Nov 21, 2009
Northern Maine
Last year I had 30 laying,and yes I do light my coop in the winter and I have allready started.They need 12 to 14 hours of light to lay good.I have mine come on at 4am,its a samll fluresent stick light,you don`t need much for light.I need the eggs as I sell and thats what buys my feed for them.


9 Years
Jul 26, 2010
Central Oregon
I always give my girls a break in the winter. If I get some eggs, good. If not, no biggie.


Flock Mistress
10 Years
Apr 15, 2009
I never use lights in my coops. Too dangerous IMO. I don't want to risk cooking my birds in a fire. I have 19 chickens, 10 ducks and 1 goose. I also live in NH where it gets VERY cold. My birds have had to withstand temps of -25 degrees for 2 days with a brutal wind, in the past. I didn't even have a case of frost bite on any of them.


Cows, Chooks & Impys - OH MY!
14 Years
Nov 9, 2007
SW Arkansas
I have 13 adult hens (+1 adult roo) and 18 pullets (+ 2 cockerels) that haven't started laying yet.
I don't heat or light my coops.
They'll lay when their bodies tell them it's time to lay. Mother Nature knows best and I never try to second guess her.


RIP 1938-2020
9 Years
Jul 6, 2010
I have had as few as a dozen and as many and 40 hens in my 12 by 12 coop over the winter--all heavy, winter hardy breeds. I use a 20w florescent bulb on a dual timer from about Sept. 1 through the end of April. The light comes on at 6 am and goes off at 9 then back on at 4 pm and off at 9 EDT--which is about the length of our daylight in May and July. In 25 yrs of doing this I've never had a laying problem and my bird produce just fine summer and winter. If they slow down at all in the winter it is generally cold weather related--no heat in the coop and real--as opposed to WC--temperatures to -30. Although I usually got rid of most of them after 3 years, I didn't with my last bunch and have at least one 6-year old bird that still lays an egg or two a week. You can ready my BYC Page to see why I don't have more or, maybe, why I have more.

Boo-Boo's Mama

9 Years
Mar 21, 2010
Western Edge of Central Texas
I'm torn...not sure if I will need to have a light here in Texas. BUT I really need the eggs because we sell the extras which pays for their feed. These are not a hobby; hoping we can develop this into something that can supplement Soc Sec and small pension when my husband hits 70 in a few years or if he is not able to continue working much longer.


10 Years
Dec 31, 2009
2009 was my first year to have chickens, I have lighted horse stalls that are on automatic timers (florescent) so it was easy to light my horse stall (now turned chicken coop ) last winter.

Gets pretty cold and dark in Ohio so I give them 14 hrs of light, I have already begun with the lighting. I do turn the lights out when I let the girls out to free range from noon to dark, when I tuck them in and close up the stall at night I turn the lights back on. They automatically turn off at 10pm, and on at 8am.

My 5 hens laid all last winter and they are mutt hens, I shockingly hatched them and my rooster myself on my first try July 2009. I added 6 Golden Comets this March so it will be interesting to see if the year old hens production begins to wane.

Thanks to all of the chicken savvy people here, I have learned so much.


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