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Light in the coop

Discussion in 'Chicken Behaviors and Egglaying' started by jahphotogal, Sep 22, 2012.

  1. jahphotogal

    jahphotogal Chillin' With My Peeps

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    My hens are close to laying age now (just 20 weeks) so I've been thinking about whether to light the coop or not. I've read that it doesn't have to be *much* light, just a low glow, so I was wondering if I had a lamp in the window would that be enough? The coop is right next to the house and it would be quite easy to move it a bit to be very close to a window where I could place a lamp on a timer. Much easier than running a cord outside!
     
  2. Judy

    Judy Moderator Staff Member

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    They will sleep better with no light. Some people add a low light for a few hours when the days get short -- say, a timer that turns on at 3 AM -- to increase winter egg production. When this is done, the chickens wake up for the day at 3 AM. Others prefer to let them have their natural egg laying cycles, and make do with fewer or even no eggs in winter.

    If young chicks are used to light all night and are then moved into a coop that is dark at night, they will cheep a lot for a night or two -- then calm down and sleep well.
     
  3. Big A Chickens

    Big A Chickens Chillin' With My Peeps

    Jun 29, 2012
    Palmetto, Georgia
    I've been using some solar powered spot lights and they have been working great. They come on at dusk and go off around 2 AM. It could be any type of solar light ie: shed, spot, driveway, or security. I went with the cheapest and they work fine!!!!
     
  4. donrae

    donrae Hopelessly Addicted Premium Member

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    Your breeds in your sig are all production-type birds. My experience has been they lay throught the first winter with no supplemental light. I buy chicks in the spring, they start laying late summer/fall, lay all the way through until the next fall, then they take a break. I don't use lighting so can't help you there, but just saying you might not need it for your first year layers. I never have. Now, more ornamental breeds might need it, but your birds are bred to lay eggs.
     
  5. Judy

    Judy Moderator Staff Member

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    Also, the idea of light is to extend daylight hours to either 12 or 14, depending on the source. At this time of year in the southern US, it is already over 12 hours without added light. Adding light for eggs is normally done in the winter.
     
    Last edited: Sep 22, 2012
  6. jahphotogal

    jahphotogal Chillin' With My Peeps

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    I'm in northern CT - we're at the solstice now, going into shorter days. But I'll hold off and see how they do!
     
  7. Cindy in PA

    Cindy in PA Overrun With Chickens

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    For best egg production light needs to stay at 14 hours or better. I learned years ago to add light just before it goes below 14 hours which is around the first week in August here. YMMV
     
  8. jahphotogal

    jahphotogal Chillin' With My Peeps

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    Another question - I've been reading all the "light in coop' threads and saw one person who said that if the chickens haven't started laying yet (mine haven't, and they're at about 26-27 weeks now) adding light now won't help them start. (I just put a light in a couple of days ago - goes on at 4am, off at 8am, on again from 6-8pm but don't worry it doesn't leave them confused or lost - they're on their roost, just quietly awake, for the last hour.)

    Do you all think they will start laying now that they have light? Any thoughts on how long it will take to adjust and get going? I am just so eager to see that first egg!
     
  9. 6littlechicks

    6littlechicks Chillin' With My Peeps

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    I don't know, but I added light and exactly 2 weeks later my RIR started laying and the next day my Cochin started. They were beyond ready but I like to think it helped[​IMG]
     

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