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How much does daylight affect egglaying

Discussion in 'Chicken Behaviors and Egglaying' started by ECBW, Nov 14, 2011.

  1. ECBW

    ECBW Songster

    Apr 12, 2011
    Hi, I have heard a lot from both sides regarding winter lighting. Some argue that it is better to let them rest and no light. Some say light 24/7. I have been experimenting and would like to share my finding so far.

    I have a batch of brand new layers so age and molting are not issues. They started in August and have been going strong. The day light is down to less than 10 hours now and no supplemental light. The overall production rate has been on a gradual decline since late October. However, breeds do respond differently. The RIR, BR and Easter Egger are chugging along. Wyandotte is slowing a little. Silkie and Polish pretty much have ceased and account for the overall decline.

    Winter solstice is about a month away along with the temperature dropping. We shall see how they would react.
    Last edited: Nov 14, 2011

  2. Fred's Hens

    Fred's Hens Crowing Premium Member

    I do chores at 6 am, so I have to see to function. That's first. So, yes, the pre-dawn only lighting I use comes on at 5 am and off at 10 am.

    Since we are at the 45th parallel, in northern Michigan, our wimpy, 8 hours of light days are horrible in the fall and winter. Supplementing a little light in the pre-dawn hours does absolutely no harm, as far as I am concerned. We have an egg business and production cannot fall to near zero. We are always heavy on first year pullets, so this helps considerably. I suspect that next year, you would have much different results, of course, as you likely know.

    That said, lighting 24/7 is tough and I don't do it. The birds also need their rest.
  3. OregonChickenGal

    OregonChickenGal Songster

    Jul 26, 2010
    Central Oregon
    I let mine rest for the winter. If I get a few eggs now and then fine, if not, oh well.
  4. eggscetera

    eggscetera In the Brooder

    Nov 12, 2011
    Palmer, Alaska
    Chickens need 14 hours of daylight to lay. I have a light on a timer that comes on in the dark morning hours and goes off after the sun is up. It comes on again at dusk and stays on until 9 PM or so.
  5. Jeffross1968

    Jeffross1968 Songster

    May 14, 2011
    Smoky Mountains
    Quote:They might need that to lay at peak amounts, but not necessarily lay at all. I provide no supplemental lighting, we're down to about 11 hours of light, and mine have barely slowed down, if at all. If they do, I'm probably going to just let them take a break.
  6. chick007

    chick007 secretagent chickenman

    Sep 25, 2011
    anchorage, alaska
    you have to understand that eggs and i are down to about 7 hours of daylight a day. personally i run a 13 watt compact floresent light 24/7. the ladies do have a place to git out of the light if they wish to.
  7. LT

    LT Songster

    Aug 21, 2011
    West Fork
    I trust everything that Fred's Hens says. We live at the 35th parallel, but we are also in a bit of a valley, and the sun doesn't come up over the ridge until about 45 minutes after official sunrise. Our light comes on at 5am, and then girls are typically let out into their run around 7. We don't add additional light at night. We have 8 chickens, four of whom are considered production breeds, and this is their first laying year, so we are still averaging about 6 eggs a day. I have noticed that unlike early this fall, every girl skips at least one day a week or maybe more. I don't think adding a bit of light in the morning is pushing them too much.

  8. Ole rooster

    Ole rooster Songster

    Jun 25, 2011
    Milner, Georgia
    Light here starts getting to where you can see around 20 minutes till 7:00. Last night at 6:00 it was pitch dark. Still yesterday I got 5 eggs from 7 hens with one putting her eggs in a hiding place for herself. If I got that one I would have 6 eggs from 7 hens. Considering what I've read and what I'm getting, I feel lucky.
  9. KandiandJerry

    KandiandJerry Songster

    I am a firm believer of light all my bantams are up for the winter with light in each of there pens and stays on 24/7 and egg laying is non stop......
  10. Shayna

    Shayna I [IMG]emojione/assets/png/2665.png?v=2.2.7[/IMG]

    Aug 2, 2011
    This is my first winter with chickens, but all I have is solar powered christmas lights in the coop to provide dim light to guide them in when it's getting dark. It's light from about 6:30am to 4:30pm. They have decided this is the perfect time to start laying a bunch of eggs! One started laying again and two others followed. I thought we were going to have an egg break until spring.

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