Lighting for quail

Discussion in 'Quail' started by SuseyQ, Feb 9, 2016.

  1. SuseyQ

    SuseyQ Chillin' With My Peeps

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    Feb 5, 2016
    Hi,
    I was wondering if anyone uses lighting to extend their egg laying season? If so what type of light do you use? Does this seem to shorten the life expectancy of the hens or do them seem to be less healthy if you do this? Has anyone tried alternating lighting so that all your hens aren't laying eggs for the same amount of extended time? (Another words all your hens aren't exposed to the light for the same amount of time/months). If you don't use lighting can you still get eggs regularly with 8-12 hours of light?

    Thank You,
    SuseyQ
     
  2. gilpinguy

    gilpinguy Out Of The Brooder

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    14 hours of light seems to be the recommended time for continued egg production during winter.

    I use simple LED Christmas lights on a timer to supplement light because they're cheap and easy and I see no decline in egg production in the winter. Some advocate for a more natural light spectrum, etc. It's up to you how fancy you want to get.

    (I got 100 light strings at Walmart for 23 CENTS each last week! I got years and years worth of lights for about $5)
     
  3. SuseyQ

    SuseyQ Chillin' With My Peeps

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    Gilpinguy,
    That sounds like a good idea. Do you feel that you are harming your hens by extending the egg production? Have you ever tried to do it for a few months in one pen and then a few in another? So you really don't need bright lights or anything super special it sounds like. I'm assuming you need to adjust the timer setting for the season, right?

    Thank You,
    SuseyQ
     
  4. dc3085

    dc3085 Chillin' With My Peeps

    There is a lot of science in the light itself. Yes it shortens lifespans and yes it can cause health issues. The lifespan thing is kind of irrelevant to most breeders since genetically its not wise to use the offspring of elderly birds as part of your flock so most rotate after a year. Any light will make them lay but getting the right spectrum will make sure they stay healthy while they do.

    https://www.backyardchickens.com/t/913606/artificial-lighting-links-and-discussion
     
  5. SuseyQ

    SuseyQ Chillin' With My Peeps

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    dc3085,
    Thank you, I had no idea there was so much research on this but it clearly important. Since the hens only lay for 2 years I guess it is best to get the right light for maximum production and minimum health damage. Thanks you for sharing all the interesting links as well.

    SuseyQ
     
  6. Tabasco Jack

    Tabasco Jack Chillin' With My Peeps

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    Draketown, GA
    I keep mine on lights up until Thanksgiving so we've got plenty of little deviled eggs. Then I let them rest thru the winter. I just turned the lights back on last week to get them ready to start incubating in march. I only keep the breeders for about 18 months max.
    But, I've got one hen that has been laying daily for the last month with no supplemental light.

    the way my cages are organized, I use a LED rope light that i got on sale at Lowes. lots of light but very little power drain.
     
    Last edited: Feb 9, 2016
  7. Em Ty

    Em Ty Chillin' With My Peeps

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    St. Clements, ON
    The breeder I got my eggs from only gives them 12 hours of light in the winter. He said that cold temps also cause a reduction in laying. We get down to about 9 hours in the winter here and I give my chickens 14 hours to keep them laying.
     
  8. SuseyQ

    SuseyQ Chillin' With My Peeps

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    Tabasco Jack,
    Thank you for sharing the process you use. I like the idea of the rope lighting. Does it seem to make them fight? Are these colored lights, soft white or what? You need to begin giving them light about 3 weeks before you want them to lay, that seems like a long time. Won't they start laying "naturally" around March?

    Do you use leg ties to track the age of your breeders?
     
  9. SuseyQ

    SuseyQ Chillin' With My Peeps

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    Em Ty,
    Okay so it's not just the light, but the cold that diminishes eggs. That makes sense. What type of lighting do you use? I've heard about 14 hours is about the right amount of time. How well do your birds produce in the winter? We have a short winter here (that is cold weather mostly Jan. and part of Dec./Feb. are below freezing), but day time temps can be anywhere from 30-50's.

    Thank You,
    SuseyQ
     
  10. Tabasco Jack

    Tabasco Jack Chillin' With My Peeps

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    No, I do not use leg ties. I keep different ages in different cages. The rope light is a soft white, not sure about the K number. And usually 2 weeks is all of takes for them to start laying again. Sometimes they will stop laying anytime you change something: changing feed, moving pens,etc. But other times they'll keep right on. Sent from my C811 4G using Tapatalk
     

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