Hours of sunlight affecting egg production?

Discussion in 'Chicken Behaviors and Egglaying' started by stilwellchick, Sep 14, 2007.

  1. stilwellchick

    stilwellchick Songster

    Jun 16, 2007
    Stilwell, KS
    I have 7 hens, all almost 21 weeks old. 2 BRs, 1 BO, 1 RIR, 1 Red Star, 2 cochins. None have layed yet. Some do go up and noisily inspect the nest boxes. I know from past experience that the cochins and BO will lay later but I am wondering if they are getting enough sunlight. Here in Ks sunrise is at 6:58 and sunset is 7:29 CST according to the weather channel. Should I go ahead and get the light put up in the coop? Thanks for any advice.
  2. speckledhen

    speckledhen Intentional Solitude

    I don't have light in my coop, at least that I turn on right now. I have six 21 week olds and one just laid her first egg yesterday. You dont need to put light in there for them to lay. They probably just aren't ready. And I'm not adding artificial light this winter, like I did the first year I had them, to force them to keep producing at a high rate after reading that it can cause reproductive cancer.
    Last edited: Sep 14, 2007
  3. Hellebore

    Hellebore In the Brooder

    Mar 26, 2007
    Kirkland WA
    I have similar questions. We did go ahead and put up a 25-watt light about 2 weeks ago that extends the day to 15 hours of light. I am confused how that fits in with other information I have read, such as "don't suddenly add light in the coop when the pullets are coming into lay," and "they slow down when they molt in the fall," and "peak production is at 30 weeks." Those things don't seem to add up to me!! Our pullets are about 22 weeks old and some are laying, but I am not sure we are doing everything right. Now that the light is on a timer we are going to leave it that way and adjust it to come on earlier as the days get shorter here. I also read that you should only extend the day in the morning and never at night because extending it at night denies the chickens of the gradual settling-in time that they have in the evening when the sun sets. I have watched ours and it takes them a good half hour to kick each other off of the perches and get settled for the night, and there are only 9 of them and they have plenty of perching choices!! I think only extending the day in the morning makes a lot of sense. We live pretty far north and I keep thinking latitude must have something to do with when the pullets mature, but I haven't seen any info on that yet.
  4. stilwellchick

    stilwellchick Songster

    Jun 16, 2007
    Stilwell, KS
    Thank you for your replies. Some really informative posts coming in!
  5. speckledhen

    speckledhen Intentional Solitude

    This is what I did the first winter with my young layers before I really knew about it not being good for their longterm health.
    I had a timer on a 125 watt heat lamp hung high over the waterer area. It came on at dusk and stayed on till about 10 p.m. When it went off, there was still a nightlight so it was not totally pitch black dark. Then it came on again at about 5 a.m. and stayed on till after sunup. They laid very well over the winter. That didn't throw alot of bright light, but it was enough.
    This winter, I plan to do that, but only in the mornings to be sure the waterer isn't frozen. I will let them go to bed naturally in the evenings.
  6. spottedtail

    spottedtail Songster

    Aug 5, 2007

    15 hours is too much.
    Just 12 hours of light is fine for egg production, plus it doesn't push the hens too hard.

    Go back to page 2 and check the post titled "Light in coop - extended laying time?" by Rocky4052.
    I made a reply in there that I bet would be useful in your situation too.

    Good luck,

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