Is my backyard lighting enough for egg laying

Discussion in 'Chicken Behaviors and Egglaying' started by sabianshepherds, Jul 31, 2011.

  1. sabianshepherds

    sabianshepherds Chillin' With My Peeps

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    Jun 2, 2011
    Cleveland
    I have four flood lights on my house near the coop. The first set is about 10 feet from the coop, shining into the east side, they are 60 watt lights. The second set is shining into the south side, about 2 feet above the coup and 6 ft away. There is enough light that I can see the chickens on the roost clear enough to count them (Barred Rocks). I can also see to the bottom of the floor. The coup has 18x29 inch windows on all sides, with the finished shutters on the west side.

    The lights in the yard illuminate the 10 x 20 carport, with enough light to read. The ones that face the yard are bright enough for me to see 40 feet from the house.

    Is that enough light for the winter, or do I need something more inside of the coup.
     
  2. Fred's Hens

    Fred's Hens Chicken Obsessed Premium Member

    I use a small light within the coop itself. It comes on at 5 am, summer and winter. It goes off at 4:30 pm year round. In summer, naturally, they stay up longer because the sun doesn't set until 10 pm, but in winter, the light goes off and they still have a half hour to settle on the roosts without being plunged into the dark. Laying slips a bit in winter, but not too much. I don't push them with hours and hours of light in the winter. They need to spend their energies on keeping warm.

    Our barn is actually quite dark at night. I like that. It's more natural. I want them to sleep soundly and get their rest.

    I wondering if your yard lights actually allow them the rest they need. I don't know. As to helping with eggs next winter, I guess you'll have to wait to find out. [​IMG][​IMG]
     
  3. sabianshepherds

    sabianshepherds Chillin' With My Peeps

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    Jun 2, 2011
    Cleveland
    The yard lights aren't automatic, I have to turn them on. Usually I turn them on right before I go to bed, so I can see the dogs in their kennels, but once the chickens started living outside in the coop with windows, I don't turn it on unless I am going outside for some reason. In the wintertime, I would probably turn it on when I get ready for work 5am, then off when I leave 7am, then on again when I get back 5:30pm, and then off when I go to bed 10pm. This would be a normal routine for me, because it's the usual lights on/off routine I use with the dogs, who live in the barn in the winter.
     
  4. ChicKat

    ChicKat Overrun With Chickens Premium Member

    Ideally (according to Storey's Guide to Raising Chickens) you are aiming for 15-hours of light each day. The book warns that skipping one day could put the chickens off laying and into a molt. If your weekend schedule is different, you may want to rely on a light in the coop that is on a timer. That way if holiday or vacation schedule changes your work hours---your chicken lighting would be controlled to be the same.
     
  5. sabianshepherds

    sabianshepherds Chillin' With My Peeps

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    Jun 2, 2011
    Cleveland
    Quote:I will take this into consideration. I'm a school teacher, days off mean days at home. My weekend schedules are usually the same, I'm a serious creature of habit, I get up the same time on weekends as I do on work days. As far as vacations and holidays, I haven't been on a vacation in 10 years, I have five dogs, so I can't go anywhere that requires and overnight stay.

    The big thing is there are no outdoor sources of electricity here, though the coop is basically three feet from the house. I'd like to avoid running any extension cords from the house in the wintertime, since openings required would be a source of drafts in this old house. With sunrise at 8am, I would only have to leave the lights on when I get home, until I go to bed. The danger is that they would get more light than what they needed, if for some reason I forget to turn them off at night.
     

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