How Much sunlight do my Chickens need?

Discussion in 'Managing Your Flock' started by WVjoe, Jun 13, 2013.

  1. WVjoe

    WVjoe Out Of The Brooder

    Dec 27, 2012
    Hi guys, my coop and run are almost completely in constant shade. they probably only get 3 or 4 hours of direct sun a day and i was just wondering if this could effect thier laying. Are they ok with this amount of light or do i need to get the Stihl out and start cutting down some trees lol?
  2. suzannevans

    suzannevans Out Of The Brooder

    Mar 26, 2013
    According to "Chickens for Dummies" I believe they said 14 hrs of daylight and I'm pretty sure it said daylight, I don't think it has to be direct sunlight because they suggested adding a light in he coop in winter months to help keep your layers laying through out the season.
  3. boothin

    boothin Out Of The Brooder

    Jun 7, 2013
    They're chickens, not plants lol. When it says they need a certain amount of sunlight, it means it should be day outside. Then chickens will choose whether they want to be in the sun or if they want to cool down and be in the shade.
  4. WVjoe

    WVjoe Out Of The Brooder

    Dec 27, 2012
    Thanks, thats actually what i though but i read an article that said the amont of Direct sun they get can effect egg laying. sounded kinda crazy to me but these are my first chickens so i figured i should ask to make sure
  5. 3KillerBs

    3KillerBs Chillin' With My Peeps

    Jul 10, 2009
    North Carolina Sandhills
    Direct sunlight is necessary for the proper formation of Vitamin D -- which is synthesized in the natural oils on a bird's feathers and ingested during preening. I have a cockatiel who suffered from being kept in too dark a room for several months when we lived in a place with no good windows. He must have been more sensitive because his cagemate was fine.

    This doesn't mean broiling them in a place barren of shade. Just free access to sunnier and shadier parts of the run.
  6. naadarien

    naadarien Chillin' With My Peeps

    Feb 10, 2013
    Central Vermont
    My Coop
    Our coop is under a canopy of huge, old maples. Even the run is shaded, but I have to guess that in the times of the year when there are no leaves on those trees, the chickies will get plenty of sun light, if not combined with some cold.

    Humans don't require much more than 10-15 mins of direct sunlight a day for vit D production. I'll be surprised if chickies need much more than (let alone equal to) that amount.

    This morning when I went in the coop, they were all standing on the ground in the sunlight that was filtering in through the window. I'm guessing they'll do what they need to get what they need.

    It was a good question to ask though. [​IMG]
  7. estamets

    estamets Chillin' With My Peeps

    May 3, 2014
    Anaheim, CA
    Thank you for asking this question! We're currently working on siting our run, and the best place is in the corner of the yard under some beautiful shade trees. I was wondering if I should squish the shape of the run a little to include one of the sunnier spots along the wall, impacting the other aspects of the yard (pit bbq, raised veggie beds). We live in Southern California, and we plan to free range them as often as possible (whenever one of us is home) so I guess I shouldn't be too worried about their diet of sunlight. Like Naadarien said, they'll do what they need to get by.

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