Is too much shade a problem for hens?

Discussion in 'Feeding & Watering Your Flock' started by FultonFarm, Apr 28, 2017.

  1. FultonFarm

    FultonFarm New Egg

    Apr 18, 2017
    Hello folks - FultonFarm here.

    We've got a run and nesting box that my husband would like to push under a very large tulip poplar and to the side of our property...then we will landscape around it to make it more visually appealing. I was told somewhere by someone that I needed to make sure the hens have access to sunlight. It is an open run 10 x 10 sq feet but with a tin roof over the frame to keep the predators out. Is our location going to be a problem?

    Thanks for the feedback - we are still very green at this.

  2. Den in Penn

    Den in Penn Chillin' With My Peeps

    Dec 15, 2011
    SE Pa.
    If they are getting a balanced diet they will be all right. Hens that are kept indoors usually have no health problems from lack of sun light. True they do like to sun bath, but they can live with out. Besides most trees do let some sun through at some point, or the sun reaches in the morning or evenings. Check to see how much shade there is through the whole day and where it is. You might find you can put it in a place under that tree where there is a lot of morning or evening sun.
  3. rosemarythyme

    rosemarythyme Chillin' With My Peeps

    Jul 3, 2016
    Pac NW
    IMO more shade is better than more sunlight, mostly because chickens tolerate cool temperatures far better than hot. My run is shaded in one corner by a large tree and that corner is where my chickens choose to spend most of their time.

    The reason you're being told that chickens need sunlight is probably because hens need some amount of light to help trigger laying (something like that, I'm sure someone else can explain better), but it doesn't have to be direct sunlight.
  4. MasAhora

    MasAhora Chillin' With My Peeps

    Nov 20, 2016
    Chickens will find patches of sun through a tree during different times of day if they want it. My climate is very hot so the shade is welcome, but I also am in the process of trimming the odd branch to let in more sun for warmth as we are going into winter where I live, and my coop is warmer at night if it has more sun during the day. So you can wait to see if you'd like to trim a branch or two.
    Trees and bushes are great, they bring bugs and other tasty treats.
  5. GC-Raptor

    GC-Raptor Overrun With Chickens

    Jul 26, 2016
    Connecticut, U.S.A.
    Chicken feathers produce vitamin D in sunlight from the oils that chickens spread over their feathers from the gland at the base of the tail. When chickens are preening they ingest the vitamin D.
    With the importance of vitamin D in the health of humans. I give my hens access to sun and shade.[​IMG] GC
    Last edited: Apr 29, 2017

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