Extra light in winter for more eggs. Good vs Bad

Discussion in 'Chicken Behaviors and Egglaying' started by sumi, Jun 29, 2011.

  1. sumi

    sumi Égalité Staff Member

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    I've put a light in our chicken house and a timer switches it on at 06:00 till 08:00 and again 17:45 till 21:00. My hens now gets an extra small feed in the evening and don't seem to mind the extra light hours. And I'm now getting up to 30 eggs a day. Before the light I got 5-7. I've told a fellow free range farmer about this as they are also struggling to meet demand for their eggs, but his wife said it's bad for the hens. They can't do that. What do you guys think? All opinions welcome.
    P.S. Ever tried typing with a chicken sitting on each arm? Getting a good workout here!
     
  2. flowergirl60

    flowergirl60 Chillin' With My Peeps

    Feb 13, 2011
    Austin Tx
    I have heard it can shorten their egg laying years.
     
  3. FireTigeris

    FireTigeris Tyger! Tyger! burning bright

    Quote:It's that the hens body rest during winter- extra light means egg production year around- but now break means they might wear out sooner...
     
  4. Fred's Hens

    Fred's Hens Chicken Obsessed Premium Member

    I supplement the "natural" lighting in the dark half of the year. We are at the 45th parallel, so summer days are eternally long, but winter days are so very short, with only 5 hours of sunlight at the solstice. Awful.

    I use a timer and the light comes on at 05:00. It's not a lot of wattage, just 40 wattage mini florescent. It shuts off at 16:00, because the sun is setting in and I don't want them plunged into darkness when the light snaps off. They have to get to the roosts and settle in.

    I find the consistent 05:00 wake up, winter and summer, to be a big help for egg production. However, in the summer, they are awake until 21-22:00 naturally, while in the winter, they're up on the roosts and asleep by 17:00.

    Bottom line is this. They need some "help" in winter, but over doing it, ie, creating summer all year long is pushing them too hard, in my opinion. The birds need sleep to re-charge. My advice is this. Extend their mornings if you wish, but not the evenings. Creating a situation whereby they never experience less than 12 hours of "daylight" is perfectly fine, just don't over do.
     
  5. MarinMama

    MarinMama Chillin' With My Peeps

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    Fred's Hens :

    Bottom line is this. They need some "help" in winter, but over doing it, ie, creating summer all year long is pushing them too hard, in my opinion. The birds need sleep to re-charge. My advice is this. Extend their mornings if you wish, but not the evenings. Creating a situation whereby they never experience less than 12 hours of "daylight" is perfectly fine, just don't over do.

    this is what I would do...​
     
  6. sumi

    sumi Égalité Staff Member

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    Fred's Hens :

    I supplement the "natural" lighting in the dark half of the year. We are at the 45th parallel, so summer days are eternally long, but winter days are so very short, with only 5 hours of sunlight at the solstice. Awful.

    I use a timer and the light comes on at 05:00. It's not a lot of wattage, just 40 wattage mini florescent. It shuts off at 16:00, because the sun is setting in and I don't want them plunged into darkness when the light snaps off. They have to get to the roosts and settle in.

    I find the consistent 05:00 wake up, winter and summer, to be a big help for egg production. However, in the summer, they are awake until 21-22:00 naturally, while in the winter, they're up on the roosts and asleep by 17:00.

    Bottom line is this. They need some "help" in winter, but over doing it, ie, creating summer all year long is pushing them too hard, in my opinion. The birds need sleep to re-charge. My advice is this. Extend their mornings if you wish, but not the evenings. Creating a situation whereby they never experience less than 12 hours of "daylight" is perfectly fine, just don't over do.

    Thank you for the advice, I will wean them off the extra night hours and wake them earlier in the mornings then. I'm trying to get things just right, so we still get enough eggs to keep the show on the road without harming my girls.
    Off topic question: how does the plants there by you cope with the short winter light? Do they go to sleep through winter? And the animals? Sorry just curious.​
     
  7. Fred's Hens

    Fred's Hens Chicken Obsessed Premium Member

    Winter means hibernation for everything. The leaves come off the trees, everything goes dormant. It is nature.
    Worth it absolutely when spring arrives and everything comes back to life. Not for everyone, but I love the seasonal shifts and changes, the cycle of life.
     
  8. NottinghamChicks

    NottinghamChicks Chillin' With My Peeps

    I agree with Fred. I love the winter season as it gives nature a rest so that come Spring everything is new, fresh, and healthy. I do not light my chickens for that same reason. I am not in the business for production and I do not rely on them for my food therefore I do not need bragging rights about how my chickens are laying right though the winter. I'm opposed to it as I believe everything needs a rest, that is why we have the seasons [​IMG]
     
  9. FireTigeris

    FireTigeris Tyger! Tyger! burning bright

    I have no 'real' seasons here - so I get eggs year around - less in winter but still eggs
     
  10. Ole rooster

    Ole rooster Chillin' With My Peeps

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    Milner, Georgia
    You have to remember, the commercial egg producers push the hens to the point of quitting form exhaustion, then the girls are shipped off to Campbell's for soup making. Not a happy thought but that's what happens.
     

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