Getting chickens to lay in the winter months?


7 Years
Aug 11, 2012
NW Ohio
I'm a new chicken owner here & I want my chickens to continue to lay eggs in the winter. From my understanding chickens need 14 to 16 hours of light to lay eggs. So I'm thinking of installing a timer to a light inside of the coop to give them the light they need to help them lay eggs at this time of the year.

What is a good timer to get for inside the coop?
When do you start putting light inside the coop?
I'm thinking just a 40 watt bulb will be fine?
Should I have the light come on in the morning?
Or is there another way to do this or will they just keep laying there eggs without any help with a light?

Thanks Jeff
I'll try and help you by telling you what I did just this past weekend.
I found a timer made by "Brinks Security" at Wal-mart for $5.00. It has a round dial with tabs that you pull up all the way around it. Plug the light in to the timer, and the timer in to the outlet. Then, you turn the dial to a pre-marked location that represents "current time". Once you get the current time set, which by the way, is an estimated time, you push down the tabs in the portion of the day/night that you want the light to come on. (again, its just an estimated time, and not digitally accurate) I got ready to leave for work at 5:45 this morning, and all 9 hens were up, and eating out in the run. (still pitch dark in the run) I doubt the light coming on had anything to do with it, but my leghorn gave me her first egg Monday afternoon.

A 40 watt bulb is fine.

Have the light come on in the morning.

Depending on what kind of chickens you have, will probably depend on if the chickens will lay through the winter without supplemental light.
It probably gets a lot colder for longer periods of time in NW Ohio than in Oklahoma, but we can still have some pretty brutal winters. I've had all Red Sexlinks before, and they laid right on through the winter naturally. I hear other breeds will slow or stop, and pick back up in the spring.

This is my first time to decide to try a coop light for laying purposes. I've got a few EE hens that I'm not too familiar with as far as their laying habits are, so thought I'd try and make them lay through the winter.
My first year with chickens, and they have laid pretty steadily through the winter, possibly due to the fact that they spend their daylight hours in a small greenhouse (their coop is so small, they only use it for laying and sleeping). They are young red sexlinks though, so perhaps they are bred to lay regardless.

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