Natural light vs Artificial light

Discussion in 'Managing Your Flock' started by Bald Bee Man, Jan 16, 2019.

  1. Bald Bee Man

    Bald Bee Man Chirping

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    Natural light vs Artificial light

    This post is about how and when to use artificial light.
    NOT if it should be used at all, that is a another debate, and not the topic here.


    I have noticed some things that seem go go against what I have always read. I have always read
    1. Artificial light in the winter keeps them laying better.
    2. Add the artificial light in the AM and not PM, because PM can cause them to be suddenly in darkness when the light shuts off.
    3. I have read one place and only one, to do it in the PM, but not sure of their reasons.

    What I have noticed with my own chickens....
    Last year I had two coops one with one without light and they both laid just as good. That surprised me to the point I ask on here. Some felt maybe stray light was getting in the coop with no light. There was some but not a lot. My current coop with light gets stray light.
    This year I have all chickens in one coop I know the ages and laying expectations. The coop is light starting at 3:30 am then 4 am another light comes on to simulate sunup. I have 25 chickens and all winter I have only been getting 10-11, I was blaming it on their ages, but also feeling they should still be laying good for the oldest ones. Now that the days are getting longer mainly the nights since my lights come one at 3:30, I have slowly been getting more eggs. every few days I get a increase to the point I am now getting 17.
    Looking back and last years data from two coops and what seems to be happening this year. I cant help from wonder 3 things..

    1. Is the extra evening natural light causing this increase?
    2. Based upon last years two coop data and whats happening this year, are my lights really doing anything?
    3. Would giving them light in the PM vs the AM make a difference? I know in the PM it would put them into sudden darkness, but I could fix that by staggering the off times on my lights.

    Any thoughts..?
     
    Shadrach likes this.
  2. oldhenlikesdogs

    oldhenlikesdogs Chicken tender

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    I don't use any artificial lighting so I can't comment on it. My production is increasing weekly and will continue to do so as natural daylight lengthens, so there is a natural surge in early spring.
     
  3. proudmommie31

    proudmommie31 Songster

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    I use light in both the am and pm. It started accidentally when I forgot to shut it off one night (I didn’t have a timer yet) and found them much calmer at night, all up on the roosts and already asleep. Before they would entire a darker than outside coop and getting all of them on roosts was a flappy agitated struggle. Since them every night I have the light come on from 4-6 and they are all on roosts and asleep. No one gets caught in the dark. I find adding light at night is no big deal and has advantages. I would guess that yes, the extra light at night is why your chickens are increasing their laying.
     
  4. WindingRoad

    WindingRoad Songster

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    I don't use artificial light either. I have 4 Chicken. 2 2 year old and 2 24 weekers. Since the 24 weekers started laying around Christmas or Jan 1 I've been getting 4 eggs a day. Before my 24 weekers started laying I was getting 2 eggs a day more often than not. So I see no need for me to use artificial lighting. IMHO.
     
  5. aart

    aart Chicken Juggler!

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    Were all birds in both coops the same age?
    Don't think stray light has much of an effect, needs to be fairly bright where the birds are.

    I think they 'absorb' the light via the pineal gland behind the skull above the eyes whether they are sleeping or awake. The few folks I've read who use lights at night do so to not have roosters crowing at 3am. Duration of light and whether it's decreasing or increasing(may be the angle of the natural light) also has an effect.

    I've used lights for all 5 winters here, in varying schedules with varying results and even varying results on the same schedule.
    I think they help with overall increased production, but it's not like flipping switch(the light switch or the egg machine switch-haha!!). There are other variables in play.
     
    oldhenlikesdogs likes this.
  6. WindingRoad

    WindingRoad Songster

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    Geeez I didn't say anything about should or shouldn't.
     
  7. aart

    aart Chicken Juggler!

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    I know, part of why I deleted that section of my post.
     
  8. Shadrach

    Shadrach Roosterist

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    I read in some study that it was both the intensity of light and the variation in the wavelengths due to seasonal conditions that controlled the egg laying in hens.
    I don't think 'any old light' makes the slightest difference apart from irritating the hens.
     
  9. WindingRoad

    WindingRoad Songster

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    My statement stands. I just said I don't use it.
     
  10. WindingRoad

    WindingRoad Songster

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    I got an e-mail alert. I can't find the post though.
     

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