1. Come check out hundreds of awesome coop pages (and a few that need suggestions) in our 2018 Coop Rating Project!

How many people use a lighting system for your hens to keep laying????

Discussion in 'Chicken Behaviors and Egglaying' started by ChickenKid11, Oct 12, 2011.

  1. ChickenKid11

    ChickenKid11 Chirping

    Aug 10, 2011
    Hey I was just wondering if some of you use a lighting system during winter! If so can you please tell me how or what you use!

  2. hmmcc123

    hmmcc123 Songster

    Apr 27, 2011
    University Place, WA
    Hello ChickenKid11-I am new to chickens and I don't plan on using winter lighting. I think it depends on how you are using/raising your chickens. For my family, our hens are used for eggs but they are more importantly, our pets. We plan to keep our girls until they pass away someday, we will not give them away or eat them. My thought is, from what I understand, hens are born with all the eggs (cells) that they are ever going to lay so, I figure if I let them rest naturally in the winter, they will lay eggs longer in life. (I could be wrong though as I have never checked into it myself!) However, if I were a chicken owner who was using my chickens for food and profit, I would probably use the artificial winter lighting to maximize the amount of eggs I get in the 1st year or two and then sell or eat the chickens. Are you using winter lighting or are you trying to decide?
  3. Ohhhdear

    Ohhhdear Songster

    Aug 15, 2010
    West Michigan
    I have a low wattage (but very bright) LED light strip tacked up high in the peak of my coop. It's on a timer which turns it on about 7pm and goes off at 8:30pm, then on again about 6am until 8am. Just enough to bump up the hours of daylight to keep my girls laying well. I also have a small feeder inside the coop so the girls can eat in the morning.
    I know some people believe their chickens should get a rest and stop laying during the cold months, but sorry, I'm not one of them. I have production breed chickens which are treated mostly like pets (pasture ranged), but they exist to provide eggs and I want to both keep them healthy and laying.
  4. just271

    just271 In the Brooder

    May 17, 2011
    I added a light in the coop to keep the egg production rolling and it works great. I'm building a new coop and lighting will be a major factor in the new coop also. My customers don't care about anything but getting there eggs every week and when your competing w/ the local grocery store you need to keep good customers for sure.

    I have over 45 hens and they are rolling.
    Last edited: Oct 14, 2011
  5. Imp

    Imp All things share the same breath- Chief Seattle

    I keep a light in the coop. I also don't think it hurts them. It doesn't change their behavior at all. They eat, sleep, lay etc etc just fine. I also don't believe that they lay for a shorter duration because of light. Chickens have 10s of thousands of eggs in their ovaries. Even a laying breed probabley doesn't lay much more than 1500 eggs even if they laid daily for 4 years.

  6. superchemicalgirl

    superchemicalgirl HEN PECKED

    Jan 10, 2010
    Vacationland, Maine
    I don't use lighting at all in the winter. Egg production here didn't really drop too significantly despite our very northern latitude here (we have some days that are only about 8 hours of "light").
  7. goldies99

    goldies99 Songster

    Jul 22, 2011
    a 40 watt light will do.....they need about 12-14 hours of light....better to have it kick on with a timer
    at 5am....for an extra few hours of light....i am debating if i want to add light
    Last edited: Oct 14, 2011

  8. threecutechicks

    threecutechicks Chirping

    May 20, 2011
    Clinton, WA
    Up here in the Pacific NW, our hours dwindle down to about 8 hours a day. I have a 40watt standard bulb in the hen house and right now it turns on at 6pm and off at 10 pm. I will keep the backing up the hours for a bit then I will have them turn on at 4pm and off at 11 which will give them about 15 hours of light. Some have said to have it also turn on in the am, but not sure if that will really make a difference. Since their house is bright inside, they go in at dusk. It also helps to keep the hen house warmer in the winter. Do not use the newer florescents or the daylight bulbs, just a regular light bulb is what you need.
  9. lynn1961

    lynn1961 Songster

    Feb 14, 2011
    south central Oklahoma
    In our area the daylight time is getting shorter, the hens have been going to roost around 630pm, and daylight is around 7am now, daylight savings time ends very soon ( though the chickens don't know about daylight savings, lol).
    Yesterday I added an outdoor timer ($9.00 @walmart) and a rope christmas light ($7.00 @ walmart) to the chicken coop, ran it in and around throughout the rafters, set it to come on at 3am and off at 730am.
    I hope to see an increase in egg production as these girls that are done with molting have been rolling out about 4 eggs a day between the 16 laying aged ones. With 13 more pullets about one month away from laying.
    Our hens get replaced every 1 1/2 to 2 years. I start incubating/hatching eggs in late november through late december, sell quiet a few of them when they get point of lay age, keep the replacement ones, butcher or sell the older ones, the money I make off of selling point of lay or older hens is put back into feed for the flock for winter time, egg sale money is used to buy feed or other needed items.
    In the late summer I plant a fall food plot for them in two different areas, planting each plot 3 weeks apart in the garden space after we are finished with the garden. The chickens and turkeys are rotated in the two different food plots ( winter rye, winter wheat, turnips) this greatly decreases their bagged feed consumption in the winter.
    So all in all, the poultry do not end up costing anything to raise, we get meat and eggs for our own use, the garden gets fertalized over the winter, and I get lots of enjoyment out of the poultry. Also I have a native american friend that makes jewley, she uses a lot of feathers, and I end up with pretty, one of a kind authenic native american jewlery and items.
  10. One thing I didn`t see addressed above was this, better to add the light in the AM as chickens need a small amout of light to find the roost. If you light them up in the evening, the light goes out suddenly and some of them won`t find the roost. Just my 2 cents........Pop

BackYard Chickens is proudly sponsored by