Lighting question

Discussion in 'Chicken Behaviors and Egglaying' started by dsnewark, Nov 9, 2009.

  1. dsnewark

    dsnewark Out Of The Brooder

    Jul 4, 2009
    I have a mixed flock of layer about 5 months old. I also have two older hens that have stopped laying. I just brought the youngins into the coop this week. I have always kept a light on my hens and played around with the hours of light in the past but can not find a source to tell me what is the best duration.

    Anyone know how many hours of daylight? Also, what about light type, with all the florecent bulbs types does it make a difference what you use?

  2. mandelyn

    mandelyn Chillin' With My Peeps

    Aug 30, 2009
    Goshen, OH
    I use "natural" lighting... I figured if florescent versus grow lights over a fish tank make a big difference, it might with fowl too. 75 watts for light, 150w for heat when it drops below freezing.

    They need between 12-14 hours of light for better laying.
  3. dsnewark

    dsnewark Out Of The Brooder

    Jul 4, 2009
    Do you leave 12 - 14 hrs on them forever or do you have to change it after so many months of laying?
  4. #1California Chick

    #1California Chick Chillin' With My Peeps

    Dec 5, 2008
    SF Bay Area
    Chickens need 12-14 hours of light (preferably DAYlight) to lay. So in the summer time, you don't need any artificial (electric) light. However, in the fall/winter and early spring, you will need to add some artificial light to make up for the short days. Most people add this in the morning (my lights come on at 4am) so that the chickens will continue to use the setting sun as a clue to come into the coop and go to bed.
  5. digitS'

    digitS' Chillin' With My Peeps

    Dec 12, 2007
    ID/WA border
    Welcome to BYC, Dave [​IMG]!

    The "rule of thumb" is to never decrease the hours of light during the weeks of production. Increasing the hours stimulates egg production, decreasing the hours does the opposite.

    Of course, during molting the hens need to produce feathers and not eggs. And, as California Chick says, the longer hours of daylight during the summer should be adequate to encourage laying.

  6. rocmoc

    rocmoc Out Of The Brooder

    Mar 21, 2009
    Tucson, AZ
    This is what works best for our girls as we have tried several different time configurations.

    3-4 hours of artificial light in the evening depending on sunset. This is the light that seems to keep our girls laying.


    3 hours of artificial light in the morning with an hour overlapping sunrise for warmth when it is cold. When we provide just the light in the morning, egg production dropped.

    Surprisingly we do get down to 15-22 degrees in the winter where we are located in AZ.

    Girls are doing great as we are still getting 9 eggs / day from 11 hens and they appear to be healthy & happy!

    rocmoc n AZ
  7. dsnewark

    dsnewark Out Of The Brooder

    Jul 4, 2009
    Thanks again for the input. What about light type? I like the idea of compact flourcents because they are cheaper to run and last longer. They come in different light "colors" anyone have an opinion or experience with different light sources?

BackYard Chickens is proudly sponsored by