is 24 hours of light bad?

Discussion in 'Managing Your Flock' started by bufforp89, Sep 22, 2009.

  1. bufforp89

    bufforp89 Chillin' With My Peeps

    Jul 26, 2009
    Chenango Forks NY
    I am preparing for winter and getting a light set up to supplement the girls so they can lay all winter. I read in a book that if you are worried about them getting enough light that you can keep a dim light on all the time. Can you or will this have some sort of affect on them? Thanks
     
  2. Ridgerunner

    Ridgerunner Chicken Obsessed

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    The normal recommendation is to provide light for 14 hours of light per day, then let them have darkness the rest of the time. Seems to keep them calmer. You can use a timer and turn it on at a certain time in the morning or turn it off at a certain time in the evening. It does not take much light, just enough to barely read a newspaper. A smaller wattage bulb saves electricity.
     
  3. saladin

    saladin Chillin' With My Peeps

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    I'm sorry I just see no reason for the lights at all. You are no doubt not a commercial poultry operation. As a small flock owner you more than likely have birds because you like the fresh eggs (based on your question). Why not let nature dictate when the girls lay and when they rest?

    If you want birds that will lay in the winter then I would suggest you have some breeds that are good winter layers.
    saladin
     
  4. bufforp89

    bufforp89 Chillin' With My Peeps

    Jul 26, 2009
    Chenango Forks NY
    I want them to lay all year round that is the point of a light. If they are not laying then I am not making money, then I can't pay for feed and then I cant keep chickens.
     
  5. AHappychick

    AHappychick Wanna-be Farmer

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    I do a 14 hour cycle in the winter with down time for each seperate flock for a month or 2. This way i always have eggs and they also get a rest. If you can split your flock into 2 that would be good. if not the light all year round wont really hurt them but will use them up sooner (though not a good way to put it it is true)
     
  6. feathersnuggles

    feathersnuggles Chillin' With My Peeps

    Sep 4, 2009
    Seattle
    Since birds are blind in the dark, they can't eat or drink until they can see. Especially where I live in the NW, where December can have as few as 8 hours of daylight, I believe that giving them a few hours of "artificial" light during our darkest months keeps them calmer & allows them to come down, move around and get their blood moving and eat. I hate the thought of them sitting up there for 16 hours, getting very hungry and waiting for light to be able to eat. Seems to me I read here on BYC that chickens were bred from jungle fowl, who live where daylight hours are consistent year-round.
     
  7. txchickie

    txchickie Chillin' With My Peeps

    Nov 15, 2008
    Texas
    My bantams roost in the tree that is right in front of our big garage floodlight. They sleep right next to the dang thing, too. Always have.
    I've caught them walking around on the ground at like midnight [​IMG] just haven't gone to bed yet because the light is still on. It's rare that they do that, but they have. They're wierdos.
     
  8. Uppity Peon

    Uppity Peon Chillin' With My Peeps

    By using a simple timer you could save a lot of electricity. There is no need or benefit to run lights 24 hours a day.
     
  9. saladin

    saladin Chillin' With My Peeps

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    feathersnuggles,
    Yes, light is more constant as you move nearer the equator. Have you ever been to southeast Asia? It is usually dark between 5.30 and 6.30 on a regular basis. Sun comes up arounds the same hours in the a.m. Thus, you get close to 12 hours of light rainy season or dry season.

    There is a big difference between 12 hours of light and 24 hours of light!
    saladin
     
  10. saladin

    saladin Chillin' With My Peeps

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    buff,

    They are not going to lay all year whether you use lights or not. There are going to be breaks as their bodies need rest. The lights only delay the time of the rest.

    For example, where I live it is very hot during the summer when there is the most light. My birds usually do not lay from mid-July until mid-September. So, even though this is the time of the most light the birds naturally take a rest during this time.

    Nature has programed the birds genetically to know when it is time to lay and when it is time to rest. I'm just suggesting that you'll have healthier, longer lived, longer productive birds if you follow natures course instead of trying to invent a new one.

    At last, they are your birds. Raise them as you deem fit. Personally, I like my birds to still be laying when they are 5 and 6 years old, but that is just me.

    saladin
     

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