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

Discussion in 'Chicken Behaviors and Egglaying' started by math ace, Oct 4, 2010.

  1. math ace

    math ace Overrun With Chickens

    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!
  2. henney penny

    henney penny Chillin' With My Peeps

    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.
  3. OregonChickenGal

    OregonChickenGal Chillin' With My Peeps

    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. [​IMG]
  4. math ace

    math ace Overrun With Chickens

    Dec 17, 2009
    Jacksonville, FL
    Quote:How do your girls do during the summer? ?
  5. CMV

    CMV Flock Mistress

    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.
  6. gritsar

    gritsar Cows, Chooks & Impys - OH MY!

    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.
  7. woodmort

    woodmort Chillin' With My Peeps

    Jul 6, 2010
    Oxford NY
    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.
  8. 33yardbirds

    33yardbirds Chillin' With My Peeps

    Jun 15, 2010
    Southern New Jersey
  9. Boo-Boo's Mama

    Boo-Boo's Mama Chillin' With My Peeps

    Quote: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. newchicks8

    newchicks8 Chillin' With My Peeps

    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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