Lights on in coop with new chickens???

Discussion in 'Chicken Behaviors and Egglaying' started by cjpines, Oct 30, 2015.

  1. cjpines

    cjpines Songster

    Apr 30, 2014
    Placerville, CA
    My husband wants to keep the light in the coop from 7Am to 11 Am . Reason, we have 4 newbies that will start laying in mid Dec. They are 5 months old and no signs of laying.

    We're in Calif with the drought and have plenty of sunlight. He want's to get them going.

    What is your take, please.

  2. Denwendairy

    Denwendairy Chirping

    May 31, 2014
    Alberta Canada
    They need 14-16 hours of light during lay. I prefer to use the sunset as the natural end of the day so that they have time to roost before it becomes dark. We picked up a timer and a plug-in fluorescent light and set it so that the light turns on 15 hours before sunset. We have to adjust it every couple of weeks to make sure we're hitting about 15 hours per day as the amount of daylight changes. I am a lot further north than you are and we have much shorter days this time of year! Our lights go on at 2:30 am in the dead of winter!
    Are they getting less than about 14 hours of light a day right now? If not, it's not likely that they're not laying because of light. They may just need a bit of time to mature. I don't worry about light too much with pullets until I start to see signs that they're getting close to lay- redder comb and wattles, squatting etc.
  3. aart

    aart Chicken Juggler! Premium Member

    Nov 27, 2012
    SW Michigan
    My Coop
    Sometimes first year layers will lay all winter without supplemental lighting, sometimes they won't. Yours may just be too young to lay yet.

    Older layers need 14-16 hours of light to lay regularly thru winter. Mine comes on early in the morning to provide 14-15 hours of light and they go to roost with the natural sundown. I started ramping my light up back in early Sept, but my yearlings still almost all are molting now.

    The light should be increased slowly, a drastic and abrupt change in lighting can cause stress and undesired consequences.

    Here's a pretty good article on supplemental lighting. Some folks think that using lighting shortens the years a hen will lay, I don't agree with that theory but I also plan to cull my older hens for soup at about 3 years old.
    Last edited: Oct 31, 2015
  4. cjpines

    cjpines Songster

    Apr 30, 2014
    Placerville, CA
    Nice article, tks.

BackYard Chickens is proudly sponsored by