Light or No Light?

Discussion in 'Chicken Behaviors and Egglaying' started by crazychickenldy, Jan 31, 2011.

  1. crazychickenldy

    crazychickenldy Out Of The Brooder

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    Jan 16, 2011
    London, OHIO
    We keep a low watt light on our laying hens 24-7. They seem to do well, lay well, and are rather content with this set up. Does anyone else use a light on their birds 24-7? We were concerned that during the winter months, too much darkness might cause them to moult, or at least that is what we heard could happen. During the summer, we let them out at 5 am and they go in around 9 when it is dark, and we do not leave a light on for them.

    I am basically just trying to get some feedback/general consensus about what other people here do as far as lighting during the darker winter months
    Is there any downfall to providing TOO much light? Here in ohio, the sun rises about 7:00 am this time of year and it starts getting dark around 5:00-5:30. Any advice from you veterans out there would be much appreciated. I want to make sure I am not in some way harming the birds by keeping the light on all night..

    Thanks again! [​IMG]
     
  2. mstricer

    mstricer Overrun With Chickens

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    Feb 12, 2009
    Ohio
    Hello crazychickenlady, I have a light on my birds from about 6:30a till 5:30p. I do it mainly for warmth. I would not leave a light on 24/7 due to the fact they need to sleep. I don't know if you've ever gone out when its dark in your coop with a flashlight or not, but I have and they do not like it at all. Think about it do you sleep with a light on? As for molting most chickens start molting around August some later, I had a large amount of my birds molt altogether towards early Dec into the beginning of Jan. I still have a few of my breeding birds molting. I do believe they all molt. They dispose of old feathers and get new, some molt hard and some not so much. It does delay egg laying though and I had 30 girls not laying at one time but now most are back in game.
    [​IMG] from West Salem, Ohio
     
    Last edited: Jan 31, 2011
  3. Jesseschickens

    Jesseschickens Chillin' With My Peeps

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    Jan 4, 2010
    somewhere in Pa
    i wouldnt keep it on all the time. As long as you dont have a pecking echother problem you should be alright:lol:
     
  4. mstricer

    mstricer Overrun With Chickens

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    Feb 12, 2009
    Ohio
    My birds go in for the fight when I go to remove water and feeder after dark. As soon as I go in with the light they start to peck each other turn it off they stop, back on they start its crazy.
     
  5. Kathleen1115

    Kathleen1115 Out Of The Brooder

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    Jan 21, 2011
    We gave ours 24/7 light when they were chicks and young pullets and then kept them with it when we moved them outside in October since it was starting to get cold and they were still young. In December we changed them to a red heat lamp and a white 60 watt bulb. More recently, I stopped turning on the heat lamp unless it is going to go below freezing during the night and added a timer for the white light that goes on around 5:00 pm, off at 10 pm, back on at 5 am and off at 8 am -- this gives them some added warmth as they're settling in for the night, gives them enough light to keep laying (which they all have) and enough darkness to sleep. BTW -- I've seen my girls all roosting and sleeping with the light on, probably because that's what they'd always had, but now that they're old enough I want to wean them off of it.
     
  6. Dogfish

    Dogfish Rube Goldberg incarnate

    Mar 17, 2010
    Western Washington
    My light is on a timer for 17 hours every day.
     
  7. Imp

    Imp All things share the same breath- Chief Seattle

    I have a light on 24/7. Have had chickens for about 7 years. Have never had a pecking problem, and they have no problem sleeping. It was recommended to me when I first got chickens. And it works for me.

    Imp-I think you should do what works for you.
     
  8. Totalcolour

    Totalcolour Chillin' With My Peeps

    We bought some of those solar driveway lights from Home Depot - put the solar panel on the coop roof and two of the lights inside. In western Washington, here in the middle of the forest, we get limited sunlight per day. The light we get is just enough for the solar panel to keep the coop dimly lit for about 5 hours.

    We put the panel up about 3 weeks ago, and it really made a huge difference in egg production. It took a few days but all 12 hens are laying, and we are getting a higher number per hen than last year. Course, that could be due to having some new pullets and getting rid of the older hens!
     
  9. primal woman

    primal woman Out Of The Brooder

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    Oct 11, 2010
    Oregon
    Here is an enigma for you about lighting. I separated some three month old chickens. One batch I left the light on 24 hours a day, they did NOT go into a molt at all. The other batch I left to natural lighting (in late Sept in northern state) and they all molted shortly thereafter as was normal. May have paid off. The first batch were separated so I could butcher them, no need for them to grow new feathers if I am going to butcher them!
     
  10. crazychickenldy

    crazychickenldy Out Of The Brooder

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    Jan 16, 2011
    London, OHIO
    Thanks for all the input guys! Ill let y'all know if we decide to changee things up. The timer idea might be option. I am just ready for spring/summer when mother nature will take care of it! This icy mess here in ohio stinks! [​IMG]
     

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