is it true that hens need at least 14 hours of light a day to lay?

Discussion in 'Chicken Behaviors and Egglaying' started by obe10, Nov 15, 2009.

  1. obe10

    obe10 Songster

    Jul 14, 2009
    Irmo, South Carolina
    i read in a book that hens need to have at least 14 hours of light a day to lay eggs, is this true? it seems like the chickens have really slowed down as far as laying recently. it said that if your chickens are not getting enough light that you might need to put a light in the nesting box. i have never heard of this before, but it makes sense because the days are getting shorter but it is still fairly warm around here so there is no reason for the temperatures to effect their laying.
    has anyone ever heard this before? is it true?
  2. Yes it is true that a hen needs a minimum of 14 hours to maintain optimal laying. A hen will continue to lay without the 14 hours but just not regularly. You can put artificial lighting in you hen house to increase production. Put a light on a timer to wake them up earlier and let them go to sleep with the natural setting of the sun.
    Another little known trick is to get your hens on a 28 hour schedule. A hen that is raised under artificil lighting to trick it into thinking the day is 28 hours long will lay larger eggs.
  3. digitS'

    digitS' Songster

    Dec 12, 2007
    ID/WA border
    The important things to light in the coop: the feeder and the water.

    The light does not need to be especially bright. Bright lights may cause behavior problems.

    The nesting area is usually in the darkest part of the coop and sometimes, the nests are curtained. The darkness of the nest is also meant to encourage good behavior - no egg eating in the dark.

    There are a number of factors that influence how often eggs are laid. Light seems to be an important one. Commercial outfits may practice some "creative" lighting techniques. Probably the safest is just to keep the hens on a consistent day length. Decreasing hours of light discourages laying.

  4. Dixiedoodle

    Dixiedoodle Songster

    Apr 14, 2007
    My girls are getting 11 hours and are laying an average of 6 eggs for 7 hens. I do not sell my eggs and it's only dh and me---so I will not force light for them.. I want them to be as natural as possible--resting when they need to. I have also read that by 'forcing' them to lay thru out the yr. , they seem to have a shorter laying life. I am new to chickens and am learning as I go...

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