Light or no light??

Discussion in 'Coop & Run - Design, Construction, & Maintenance' started by chickngal98, Oct 28, 2012.

  1. chickngal98

    chickngal98 In the Brooder

    Jul 16, 2012
    I have had chickens in the past and was always told to keep a light on during the night for better egg laying. Is this true? We are getting ready to have daylight savings time end here in Illinois, so it will be dark by 4:30 or 5 p.m. Any comments? What about a heat lamp? Is it necessary?
  2. AlienChick

    AlienChick Songster

    Apr 9, 2010
    Glasgow, KY
    I like my hens to take their break during the winter, so I do not add any artificial lighting. They do still lay; just not every single day. But you certainly can add light and one of the easiest ways to do this would be to add a timer onto the light to have it come ON about two hours before sunrise and then go off. I do not like the idea of having the light come on after sunset since when the light goes off suddenly at night, there is no time to allow the chickens to get settled into their roosting spots for the night since they can't see in the dark. So having it come on a couple hours before sunrise works best.

    I would not add a heat lamp since chickens can handle the cold (unless they are tropical birds like Seramas); but do make sure you have ample ventilation to prevent a lot of humidity inside the coop. If there is too much humidity, the wetness on the combs or feet can cause frost bite. If you have birds with very large combs, you might want to just rub some vaseline on them just as a preventative measure anyway.

    Hope that helps.

  3. chickngal98

    chickngal98 In the Brooder

    Jul 16, 2012
    What do you recommend for the rest of the year regarding the light?
  4. The Lazy L

    The Lazy L Songster

    Dec 16, 2011
    Northern Indiana
    My reading indicates 12 to 14 hours of light per day to enable chickens to lay year round.

    My coop light comes on at 6 am (off at dawn).

    And to draw the chickens back into the coop to roost, light on 1/2 before dusk (off 1/2 after dusk).
    Last edited: Oct 28, 2012
  5. chickngal98

    chickngal98 In the Brooder

    Jul 16, 2012
    Thank you for the advice. [​IMG]
  6. triplepurpose

    triplepurpose Songster

    Oct 13, 2008
    I'm not a big fan of the artificial lighting approach either. Natural lighting cycles allow for healthier birds that live longer productive lives. You might at some point look into breeds that are selected to be good winter layers. Chanteclers and Barred Rocks come to mind, but there are plenty others... Icelandics ought to do well too, but those are hard to get ahold of.
    Last edited: Oct 30, 2012
  7. Mrs.ChickChick

    Mrs.ChickChick Songster

    May 23, 2009
    North central Illinois
    X 2
    If you do decide to add light, definitely only do it in the morning.

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