Does The Coop Need To Be Dark Inside For Optimal Egg Laying?

Discussion in 'Coop & Run - Design, Construction, & Maintenance' started by cheepsforkeeps, May 18, 2010.

  1. cheepsforkeeps

    cheepsforkeeps In the Brooder

    Apr 24, 2010
    [​IMG] Does anyone have experience with light verses dark for the hens laying eggs in the coop? A friend of mine had mentioned that when they built a new coop and run her husband added a stain glass window and some of the hens started laying on the ground in darker corners. Has anyone got advice on this?
  2. teach1rusl

    teach1rusl Love My Chickens

    Most folks who have windows in their coop (very advantagous if you're in an area that gets winters) place their nest boxes in an area that doesn't get full light from the window. However, mine are directly across from a window, and my girls have never laid anywhere but their nest boxes. So evidently they didn't get the memo about hens prefering darkish, secluded areas for The many benefits of windows far outweigh not having any, IMO.
  3. wolftracks

    wolftracks Spam Hunter

    Nov 6, 2009
    I have two hens that lay on my patio when they can get a chance. One on the step and one next to the step. Direct sunlight. Then I have one that doesn't lay in a nesting box at all, ever! She lays hers right next to the darkest wall in the coop. Most lay in the nesting boxes. Filtered light and covered on top, so basically I guess you could say it's dark in there, but not too dark.
  4. patandchickens

    patandchickens Flock Mistress

    Apr 20, 2007
    Ontario, Canada
    The whole coop does not have to be dark, and in fact during the shorter-day part of the year there is considerable benefit to having the coop light and well-windowed.

    However if the *nestboxes* are not somewhat dim or concealed, then yeah, you can run into trouble with the hens wanting to deposit their eggs elsewhere, which is a nuisance. (Or more than just a nuisance, if they are free-ranging and decide to hide them [​IMG])

    The solution is generaly to modify the *nestboxes* as needed, not the whole coop [​IMG]

    Good luck, have fun,

  5. Ridgerunner

    Ridgerunner Free Ranging

    Feb 2, 2009
    Southeast Louisiana
    They don't all read the book to learn the rules, but in general, the hens are looking for a safe hidden place to lay the eggs where predators will have a harder time finding the eggs or the hen if she decides to go broody on them. Most, not all, generally believe darker is safer. My nest boxes are not in the darkest corner of the coop, but the insides of the nest boxes are darker than any other place in the coop.
  6. calista

    calista Songster

    Jan 27, 2010
    patandchickens is so right, just modify the nest boxes, not the whole coop.

    We hung burlap bags over some of the nest entrances and the hens quickly learned to push them aside to get in. They felt protected and safe.

    THOSE were the popular nests! Often, out of our flock of 50-some hens, we'd find two or three to a nest with the burlap bags and the open nests unoccupied.

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