light in coop


In the Brooder
9 Years
Apr 1, 2010
does it really help with egg production to have a light in the coop? If so what time should it come on and go off. I thought about putting a light in there for heat in the winter but I was going to let it on all night now I think that may be a bad idea. Would a small electric heater be better? How much cold can chickens take? thanks for any help


My Girls
13 Years
Jun 11, 2009
i have never used a light source other than a heat lamp in super cold months. others do. its your choice.

whether it helps with egg production, that i can not say with scientific source.

Cindy in PA

14 Years
Jul 8, 2008
Fleetwood, PA
If your lighting for egg production, I believe they say 14-16 hours of light. So here in SE PA I technically go below 14 hours by Aug. 15th and start my lighting soon after. I keep it to 14 hours, lighting only in the morning, so right now it's going on at 4:30am and off at 8 when it is more than fully light. I adjust it and by December it will be going on around 2:30 am. Hope this helps.


In the Brooder
10 Years
May 13, 2009
We installed a light in our coop last fall after egg laying totally stopped. It's just a 60-watt bulb (in a protective cage kind of cover) suspended in the corner, and it's set on a timer. Within a week most our girls were laying again. We also put plexiglass over the windows for the winter, and between that and the bit of heat the light let off, they seemed comfortable.

My vet has a backyard flock and he advised against a heater beyond the lightbulb and blocking drafts. He told me people often insulate/heat their coops too much and the hens are susceptible to lung infections, so going from too warm to the cold in the run/outside, along with decreasing ventilation, is not a good idea. If you have breeds that are winter hearty, you shouldn't need a heater at all. I was really worried they'd be cold...but they do have all those feathers
Our light is just on for 4 or so hours in the early morning.

And they LOVE warm food in the winter! On really cold days I'd make them oatmeal, and every day I'd fill their waterers with warm water, 2x a day if it was freezing out (since we don't have a heated waterer).

Oh, I don't know how much heat it emits, but we also do the deep litter method thing -- basically never cleaning out the coop, haha -- letting it compost in there and adding fresh pine shavings and DE. That's supposed to generate heat, as well.

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