Light or no light

Discussion in 'Chicken Behaviors and Egglaying' started by Lee1, Aug 23, 2008.

  1. Lee1

    Lee1 Out Of The Brooder

    19
    0
    32
    May 20, 2008
    Up State New York
    Hello, I have 14 sex link pullets. I am debating puting a light on a timer to give them the required 14 hours of light a day for continued egg production this fall and winter. Or do I want to let mother nature take its course and take the hit on the egg count . Will I burn the egg layers out faster by using artificial light? Thanks Lee1
     
  2. Mahonri

    Mahonri Urban Desert Chicken Enthusiast Premium Member

    30,361
    150
    446
    May 14, 2008
    North Phoenix
    My Coop
    If you want eggs. You will get a "day" light and put it on a timer.

    Goes on at 5:30AM. Goes off at 7:30PM.
     
  3. gritsar

    gritsar Cows, Chooks & Impys - OH MY!

    28,907
    115
    408
    Nov 9, 2007
    SW Arkansas
    Hi Lee. I've debated the same question with myself. I've decided not to add artificial light in the winter. My chickens are more pets than egg laying machines and I want them to have as natural a life as possible.
     
  4. EliteTempleton

    EliteTempleton Chillin' With My Peeps

    304
    0
    119
    Aug 9, 2008
    SW MI
    I read somewhere that sex-links were such a production breed that supplemental light was not necessary and they would still lay without interruption. [​IMG]

    I've yet to find any scientific data concerning burnout.
     
  5. dacjohns

    dacjohns People Cracker Upper

    If you lived in the tropics you would get pretty much 12 hours of light a day all year round. If you lived in the north your prime egg season would be 6 months or less.

    It depends on whether or not you want continued egg production. If you want to go "natural" you might have to double or triple your amount of hens to keep getting eggs.

    I don't know of any studies on "burnout" either. If anyone knows of any it would be nice to have them referenced.
     
  6. ivan3

    ivan3 spurredon Premium Member

    4,511
    179
    291
    Jan 27, 2007
    BOCOMO
    Our production RSL's/BSL's/GSL's kept punching out the eggs during their first winter with no additional lighting (heat lamps when below zero, but negligible addition). Pretty much slacked off during second year and more so the next. We get about one egg per five hens a day (4th summer).

    You can probably google studies on additonal lighting+molting+stress in laying hens and find out plenty.

    There is a lot to be learned: (following is an outline of one researcher's work with turkeys and quail and photoperiod - interesting info. about induction/reduction of ovarian tumors by altering photoperiod)

    http://www.cals.ncsu.edu/agcomm/magazine/spring05/night.htm
     
  7. Chirpy

    Chirpy Balderdash

    3,788
    12
    221
    May 24, 2007
    Colorado
    Personally I decided to let nature take it's course and not add lighting. We did, however, add clear plastic to the top sides of the chicken coop and lots of window light to give the maximum amount of daylight inside the coop.

    With nine laying hens last winter I averaged 5 - 6 eggs a day all winter.
     
  8. sianara

    sianara Chillin' With My Peeps

    Apr 27, 2007
    Central MA
    When I had sex links they continued to lay all winter long without extra light.
     
  9. rooster-red

    rooster-red Here comes the Rooster

    7,008
    21
    261
    Jun 10, 2007
    Douglasville GA
    I have several different breeds in my laying flock, and I never use artificial light.

    Some of the breeds lay like clockwork on even the shortest day of the year, other breeds slow down production, but they do still lay.

    We never are completely without eggs, and though I doo sell my extra eggs I'm not treating it as a business, so I'm not going to stress my hens for the sake of a few more eggs.


    Just my [​IMG][​IMG]
     
  10. Lee1

    Lee1 Out Of The Brooder

    19
    0
    32
    May 20, 2008
    Up State New York
    Thanks everyone for there response, I am leanining towards not using artificial light and see what happens. Lee1
     

BackYard Chickens is proudly sponsored by