Hello! New member with lots of questions!

Rees

Hatching
5 Years
Apr 29, 2014
3
0
7
Hello all, we are picking up our 6 RIR hens this weekend and I'm stressing a bit on the coop. I'm letting them free range in an acre fenced in yard but will have a smaller 10'X15' fenced run for when I'm mowing or the cat is outside. I'm building the coop inside my 20'X30' barn with a door to the outside. My concern is I heard they need sunlight to lay eggs. I'm not sure how I can pull this off building this in the barn. Also advice on size, layout, plans, etc. would be greatly appreciated. Thanks in advance!
 

TwoCrows

A Native Raven
Staff member
Premium member
9 Years
Mar 21, 2011
40,985
62,083
1,492
New Mexico, USA
My Coop
My Coop
Hello there and welcome to BYC!

How dark is this barn? They don't actually need direct sunlight to lay. It is daylight in general. So as long as there is natural light available, this is enough for them. It doesn't take much light to keep them in the cycle of laying. No, you can't raise them in darkness, but as long as there is some natural light coming thru doors and windows, they should be fine.

You can always post this question in our Coop Construction forums and include some pics for more input on this matter...

https://www.backyardchickens.com/f/9/coop-run-design-construction-maintenance

Good luck with the build and welcome to our flock!
 

Rees

Hatching
5 Years
Apr 29, 2014
3
0
7
Thank you very much! There are 4 or 5 windows so there is some light in the barn. Do I need to have a window in the nesting box part to allow that light in? We are very excited to add our hens to the family
 

Kelsie2290

Free Ranging
Premium member
8 Years
Feb 18, 2011
36,683
4,863
556
Ohio
Hello :frow and Welcome To BYC! They don't need the nesting boxes lighted as such to lay in, they actually prefer the nests dark and secluded. What they need light for is to lay eggs in general. Chickens need about 14 hours of light a day to keep them laying, which is why they often stop laying in the winter if you don't add artificial light. If your coop itself is really dark because of being in the barn, you may want to add a light in it. Nice article on lighting for chickens of various ages http://umaine.edu/publications/2227e/
 
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