How much light is enough? Too Much??

Discussion in 'Chicken Behaviors and Egglaying' started by Skelley1024, Dec 18, 2013.

  1. Skelley1024

    Skelley1024 Out Of The Brooder

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    Oct 8, 2013
    Good morning! I have been trying to find a thread that had this answer in it, but couldn't. We are relatively new this and as such are experiencing our first winter with our ladies. We have been walloped with lots of snow and cold weather for so early in the year. That being said, we have started with 4 gals - one Dominique, one Brahma, one Wyandotte and one Cochin. We have had them since September - they were about 3 months old when we got them - only the Wyandotte has ever laid for us and that was for only a few weeks - one egg every other day or so. Since it has gotten cold - not one egg - nothing in the last month. I have been giving them the right foods, they are warm enough and adequately sheltered in their coop, we have recently put out a light. I had it on all day yesterday until about 10pm. I was figuring I would leave it on as if it were one of the long days of summer. Is this the correct thinking?? If it gets left on all night (it acts as our heat source for the waterer when it gets really cold) is this too much? Is there such a thing?
    Thank you for any help that you can provide.
    Sara
     
  2. Kelsie2290

    Kelsie2290 True BYC Addict Premium Member

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    Feb 18, 2011
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    In general you want laying hens to have 14-16 hours of "warm" light. They usually recommend adding it in the morning so birds still go to roost naturally at night. You can figure out the wattage you need for your size coop, but the general rule of thumb seems to be that the light be bright enough to read a newspaper by at chicken height. Chickens should have a dark or sleep period so you generally don't want to leave lights on all night. Some good links below, one on light types and management etc.
    http://www.sp.uconn.edu/~mdarre/poultrypages/light_inset.html
    http://www.hort.purdue.edu/tristate_organic/poultry_2007/Light Management.pdf
    http://www.the-chicken-chick.com/2011/09/supplemental-light-in-coop-why-how.html
     

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