Light ?

Discussion in 'Chicken Behaviors and Egglaying' started by blurose, Oct 31, 2009.

  1. blurose

    blurose Chillin' With My Peeps

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    Does it make a difference whether you turn extra light on earlier as in 4 am or just keep it on later as in til 10 pm? In other words, should I be waking them up earlier or just letting them stay up later? Which would be optimal for continued egg laying throughout the winter months? I have been turning the light on at about 6 am and keeping it on til about 9:30 pm but haven't noticed any increase in egg laying. These are all new pullets and I'm still only getting 5-7 eggs daily out of 34 pullets, which brings me to another question which I'll post seperately.
     
  2. blueseal

    blueseal Chillin' With My Peeps

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    i have my timer come on at 3am and off at 7 or 8 am. gives them 4or 5 hrs of xtra light . they roost by 430 500 at night when ever it gets dark. that way they can go to bed naturally. it takes a couple weeks and they will get used to the light. they need atleast 14 hrs of light a day to lay good thru the winter.
     
  3. Lensters

    Lensters Chillin' With My Peeps

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    I don't think that it makes a difference. I run my lights in the evening because neither I nor my neighbor want to get up any earlier.

    Edited for spelling...
     
    Last edited: Nov 1, 2009
  4. gritsar

    gritsar Cows, Chooks & Impys - OH MY!

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    IMO, it's best to have your light on in the pre-dawn hours. Timers are inexpensive.
    Have a light on in the evening, as the chickens are just going in to roost and when it goes off suddenly, they have the potential to injure themselves if they panic.
     
  5. blurose

    blurose Chillin' With My Peeps

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    I have a timer that is at the least 30 years old and still in its original and unopened package. I connected it this morning to the light in the coop set to come on at 4 am and go off at 8 pm. I'm keeping the light on all day long because the days are so cloudy now.
     
  6. Mac in Wisco

    Mac in Wisco Antagonist

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    It's best to slowly increase the time until they are all laying. Add 30 minutes a week to bring them into lay. If you do it all at once some of them still may not start laying. They need increasing day lengths to stimulate reproduction, not just more light.
     
  7. Mac in Wisco

    Mac in Wisco Antagonist

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    There is no optimal period to add the the light. The birds don't care. The simplest is to add the light in the morning so they can use a natural sunset to go to roost at night. This means to maintain the same period of light you have to adjust your time clock every week or two to keep up with the seasonal change.

    Or you can choose a set period every day. The period that makes the most sense is the time from sunrise to sunset on the longest day of the year at your location. This means as the days get shorter you are supplementing light in the morning and evening and as the days get longer you end up back where you started with a full day of natural sunlight. If you don't wish to leave the lights on for the entire period you can use a photocell in conjunction with a timer. The timer will switch the lights on in the morning, the photocell will shut them off at dawn and turn them on at dusk, and finally the the timer will switch them off late in the evening.

    Using supplemental light in the evening is going to require a night light that is either left on all the time, a night light that is switched off 20 minutes or so after the lights go out, or a dimmer that can simulate sunset. Plunging them into darkness is not a good idea, they may pile up or at least end up sleeping on the floor.

    On a side note, in a completely dark layer barn it is possible to run the lights in "blocks" of time. Light 2.5 hrs on and then 1.5 hrs off, or so, six times a day. As long as the the total amount of light in the day is 14 to 16 hours they continue to lay as normal. It has the effect of desynchronizing oviposition times so that the flock lays eggs spread out throughout the 24 hour period, instead of laying 80% of the eggs in a four hour period each day.
     
    Last edited by a moderator: Nov 1, 2009
  8. LynneP

    LynneP Chillin' With My Peeps

    Another thing to consider is when you collect eggs. I like to have most of mine when I leave the coop after the morning cleanup and feeding, so my timer is on from 5 am until 8 am. [​IMG]
     
  9. Mac in Wisco

    Mac in Wisco Antagonist

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    Quote:Managing for egg collection times is a good point, but laying times are synchronized with the time the lights went out the night before, not from when the lights come on. For commercial brown egg strains like red sex links, you can expect most of the flock's eggs to be laid around 10-14 hours after the lights went out the night before. It's a few hours later for white egg layer strains.
     

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