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Discussion in 'Chicken Behaviors and Egglaying' started by Rocky4052, Sep 11, 2007.
The light should go on at dusk and stay on how long? It will be on a timer. Dan
I just put up a light in the coop over the weekend. My goal is to gradually increase the time to give them about 14 hours of day light through the winter. I will increase the time by about 30 minutes per week until I get to 14 hours a day. It turns on now at about 5:00am. I've heard that you don't want it on in the evening because when it turns off it's very suddenly dark and that can cause them to molt and or quit laying. Start out a little before sunrise and increase gradually. I'm new to the chicken thing too and have found that doing things in moderation usually goes over pretty well with our girls.
Ahhhhh--That does make sense! Dan
Yep, the proper way to add the additional light is in the AM hours. The reason for doing this is because the hens will be caught eating, drinking, or just pecking around, when all of a sudden total blackness before making it to the roost....
When I added the extra light this way it worked fine.
Evening lights work fine, but you do need a dimmer light as well. As rdranch mentions, sudden darkness won't go over well.
We use both morning and evening lights. That way it's not necessary to mess around with adjusting artifical light as natural light decreases.
To do it this way, you would need two lights, one with a 40 watt bulb, and the other with about a 7.5 watt bulb.
You also need two timers that are each capable of setting two on/off cycles apiece.
We've found a 12 hour day is very adequate for egg production. 7am to 7pm. At this latitude in MN, I have the timers set as follows:
Sep.26 - The 40 watt light (with Timer #1) is set to come on at 6:45am and off at 9:00am. Then it comes back on at 5:15pm and goes off at 7:00pm.
----------- The 7.5 watt light (with Timer #2) is set to come on at 6:15am and off at 7:15am. It comes back on at 6:30 pm and goes off at 7:30pm.
Mar.10- The Evening Lights are no longer needed.
Mar.31- The Morning Lights are no longer needed.
Make no adjustments for Daylight Savings.
As you can see, the 7.5 watt slightly overlaps the 40 watt. That gives the hens time to adjust, both in morning and evening.