How much light?

Discussion in 'Chicken Behaviors and Egglaying' started by yellowirenut, Aug 28, 2011.

  1. yellowirenut

    yellowirenut Chillin' With My Peeps

    Aug 27, 2011
    New haven, IN
    I am thinking ahead I know, How much light is needed to keep my hens laying threw the winter?
    I have read anywhere from 16-12 hrs is needed.
    Also how intense of light?
    Would 2 night lights on timers throw enough? My coop is only 4X4

    thanks in advance
  2. Fred's Hens

    Fred's Hens Chicken Obsessed Premium Member

    This is a management decision. If eggs, eggs, eggs, is what you want, have the light come on a 4 am and go out at 9 pm. That is just about the maximum exposure required. A 4x4 coop wouldn't need more than 40 watts and can get that from a mini-flor cheaper than an old fashioned bulb. Do consider the bulb breaking and how you'd deal with the safety issues there.

    Now, allow me to share what we do. We don't wish to be without eggs in the winter, as we have a solid customer base. To achieve winter laying, it begins with the proper winter hardy, winter laying strains and breeds. Second, I accept a 25-30% decrease in production for the winter as normal. I carry more hens through the winter to provide adequate production. I do not push my hens in the winter, as they need their energies for staying warm. Our wake up lamp comes on at 4:30-5:00 am.
    It snaps off at 4:30 in the afternoon, because at the bottom of winter's light, it is dark here at 5 pm. I don't want to plunge them into darkness, catching them unaware.

    I find that 11-12 hours of light is plenty to maintain fairly good production. Again, this is a management decision.
  3. yellowirenut

    yellowirenut Chillin' With My Peeps

    Aug 27, 2011
    New haven, IN
    thanks for the input,
    The eggs produced are only for me and family members, no income from them.
    I am going to start with 12hrs and go from there. The night lights i got are LED so no broken bulbs with that. There is also no "wattage" conversion on the package, I will just have to experiment with types of lights.
    Last edited: Aug 28, 2011
  4. Nicole01

    Nicole01 Overrun With Chickens

    Mar 28, 2011
    I've read that you can really wear out a chicken this way. We are planning on going by the sun schedule with our light in the coop for the winter months.

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