Does not having lights affect productivity?

Discussion in 'Chicken Behaviors and Egglaying' started by jaketheeggman, Mar 25, 2011.

  1. jaketheeggman

    jaketheeggman Chillin' With My Peeps

    Dec 4, 2010
    Green Bay WI
    This summer i maybe not have electricity in my coop. Currently in my coop the lights are on 24/7. What my question is if i do not have lights on during the summer months will it affect egg productivity.

  2. rcentner

    rcentner Chillin' With My Peeps

    Sep 6, 2009
    Le Roy, NY
    In the summer they will get all the light they need from the sun, I use lights only in the winter when daylight is so short. besides the fact that I need to see in the coop before and after work and winter time is always so dark.

    edit - 24/7 on? idk if that is a good idea, I accidentally had my lights on for 2 days straight when my timer went bonkers and I had some seriously cranky chickens. Even with a red light at night I found they were cranky and picked on eachother more with that much light. Heck, they gotta sleep to be healthy. I would only have the lights on for 10-16 hours....I read that 10 hours of light is what they need to eat enough to produce daily eggs.
    Last edited: Mar 25, 2011
  3. DanEP

    DanEP Chillin' With My Peeps

    May 15, 2010
    Cadiz Ky
    You shouldn't need lites in the summer as the sun will be out longer. As far as having the lites on 24/7now you don't need that either 14 hours of lite is all they need to lay well. I have a timer in my coop and only have the lites on for a while in the morning and the same in the evening this gives them all the lite they need and also lets have some dark for sleeping. I have my lite come on at 4am and go off after sunrise and then it comes on just before dark and stays on for an hour.
    This is working well for me and the girls get a good nites sleep and also would save money on electricity.

  4. pattgal

    pattgal Chillin' With My Peeps

    Apr 20, 2010
    New Brunswick, Canada
    yes! my production has gone down 50% since I switched my hens to the temp. coop (has much less light)
  5. Judy

    Judy Chicken Obsessed Staff Member Premium Member

    Feb 5, 2009
    South Georgia
    They do need good natural light in the coop. At this time of year, at least here, they don't need extra as we are up to nearly 14 hours of natural light now, and will be around that til late in the year. 14 hours is the number I've read most often. And I agree, they definitely should not have light 24/7 as it interferes with sleep -- and anything that stresses them can slow egg production.

    I believe if I were you I would just turn off the light until next fall. In the meantime, pick up a timer. Mine was around $10 or $15 in a local building supply store.
  6. Fred's Hens

    Fred's Hens Chicken Obsessed Premium Member

    Lighting for 11 hours maintains egg production up here in the far north. Our winters are simply too deficient of sunlight. Our summers, conversely, have extremely short nights and looooooong days. Being near the 45th parallel, it is the start of the midnight sun effect. Great for summers, awful in winter.

    Yet, hyped production isn't our goal. Hens need their rest and deep sleep, in the darkness.
  7. armadamork

    armadamork Out Of The Brooder

    Nov 22, 2010
    This is our first year of chickens and I noticed in Oct/Nov the egg production really went down. After reading all the wonderful informaton on BYC I added a timer with a flouresent bulb, just a replacement for a typical 60 watt bulb, and production returned in a couple of days. I have mine set to to provide light for 16 hrs. No anger issues either.
  8. ralleia

    ralleia Chillin' With My Peeps

    Mar 22, 2011
    Omaha, NE
    Our target is 14 hours of light a day for our hens. There's no reason to leave the lights on 24/7, and certainly no reason to leave them on in summer. We have a timer in the chicken coop set to come on around 4 a.m. during the late fall through early spring.

    The best article that I've found about this is "Proper Light Management for Your Home Laying Flock" at:

    has a handy dandy chart (not sure what latitude it's customized for, but so long as you're in the continental U.S. there shouldn't be a whole lot of difference) that shows the day length over the months and how many hours of supplemental light will be needed.
  9. Fred's Hens

    Fred's Hens Chicken Obsessed Premium Member

    There is one problem with light timers, in trying to get 14 hours of light in the winter. If it clicks off at say 7 pm, they can be plunged into darkness and may still have to find their way to their roosts. They are pretty smart and start "retiring" at around 5 pm in the winter, but just FYI.
  10. Lisa202

    Lisa202 Chillin' With My Peeps

    Aug 20, 2010
    Long Island NY
    Is it ok to have a little night light on at night?

BackYard Chickens is proudly sponsored by