How does this light/winter/egglaying thing work?

Discussion in 'Chicken Behaviors and Egglaying' started by cleoppa, Dec 22, 2012.

  1. cleoppa

    cleoppa Out Of The Brooder

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    Sep 28, 2010
    So... do they actually have to be in the light to benefit from it? Like, I have a chicken pen that's mostly shaded. And I have a large backyard that's mostly sunny. But the chickens need to share that with the dog. So... will it make a difference in egg laying if, say, I left them 100% in the shaded run vs. 100% in the sunny backyard?
     
  2. Imp

    Imp All things share the same breath- Chief Seattle

    The shaded area is OK.
    The general rule of thumb is that the light needs to be bright enough to read a newspaper.
    Hens need the light to stimulate egg laying. They need about 14 hours a day for optimum egg laying. So supplementing light at night, in the coop, is more of an issue for most. I don't think a shaded run is a problem.

    Imp- good luck

    ETA- That is for people to read the newspaper, most hens only look at the pictures. [​IMG]
     
    Last edited: Dec 22, 2012
  3. Fred's Hens

    Fred's Hens Chicken Obsessed Premium Member

    The chicken, in past centuries, did little laying in the winter. The chicken only lays eggs for reproduction purposes, not for us. Broody hens didn't lay and the species saw no point in mothering chicks in the harsh environment of winter. The chicken is basically programed to lay when the daylight exceeds 13 hours a day, which occurs from March through August, in the northern hemisphere.

    The modern, domesticated, selectively bred chicken has been made to now lay for a much longer season. Still, the dark days of October through January provide no light stimulus for most hens to lay. When we provide artificial lighting, say from 4 am to 8 am, we are extending their "day", or manipulating them into continuing to lay. This is a well known reality and is used by both backyarders and the commercial laying industry as well. This wakes them up 4 hours early, gets them eating, drinking, and moving around. The light bulb substitutes for the sun in providing them adequate light.
     

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