I have about 22 pullets. the oldest are about a year and several are being moms right now, but I have 16 others between 6 & 8 months. None has started laying yet. There are Silkies, D'Anvers, Ameraucanas, Polish. The days are getting much shorter & we live in a narrow valley. We don't get much light, ad the sun comes up at about 10 am & sets behind the hill about 4:30 --near equinox-- so if I start artificial lighting now (just finished the walk-in coop), should I start by increasing the day length slowly, like 1/2 hour on each end, and then progress until they have light 16 hours a day? Or should I do it all at once? Will they even lay this year? What about my mature hens, when they've weaned their chicks in about a month? Will the respond to this & start laying, or just go into a molt? We've not had layers in the winter thus far, but eggs are extra good to cook with when it's cold outside. We people have increased protein needs too, right? What to do? Would a supplemental protein source for the hens keep them laying as well? Like "Happy Hen Treats" meal worms?