New pullets, night lights advice?

MiaS

Songster
Mar 28, 2019
257
449
157
DeWinton, Alberta
My Coop
My Coop
I have just about ready to lay pullets and I'm wondering if I must have additional light in the coop for their first winter? I don't care so much about getting maximum egg production for their first winter and can't help but wonder if it is just better to let them have a natural low light winter?

Here in the North we will only get about 8-9 hours of daylight mid-winter. After reading @Alaskan's article about surviving winter suggesting that birds need 10 hours just to get enough food, I'm now second guessing.
 

Folly's place

Crossing the Road
8 Years
Sep 13, 2011
17,131
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southern Michigan
I agree that it doesn't seem like enough daylight for them. Any regional poultry experts?
In general, chickens need fourteen to sixteen hours of lighting to continue laying eggs through the winter. I wouldn't think that adding a light on a timer to give them, say, twelve hours of light per day would be a problem, or cause your pullets to come into lay too soon.
I have a mixed flock of hens and pullets, and do plan to have lights on at 4am, starting fairly soon, so I do get eggs over winter. Not a lot, but some.
Mary
 

MiaS

Songster
Mar 28, 2019
257
449
157
DeWinton, Alberta
My Coop
My Coop
I agree that it doesn't seem like enough daylight for them. Any regional poultry experts?
In general, chickens need fourteen to sixteen hours of lighting to continue laying eggs through the winter. I wouldn't think that adding a light on a timer to give them, say, twelve hours of light per day would be a problem, or cause your pullets to come into lay too soon.
I have a mixed flock of hens and pullets, and do plan to have lights on at 4am, starting fairly soon, so I do get eggs over winter. Not a lot, but some.
Mary
What type of fixture are you using?
 

MiaS

Songster
Mar 28, 2019
257
449
157
DeWinton, Alberta
My Coop
My Coop
It really depends on how cold it gets.

If your winter stays mild, they might be fine with less daylight.

But, the colder it is the more they need to eat.
Yes, well that IS the great unknown. Generally we get 'chinooks' so cold weather tempered by much warmer weather (still cold but warmer, though sometimes WILD fluctuations). I have electricity in my coop but I'm not sure what kind of fixture to buy if I decide to add light and I'm guessing I need to be adding light pretty soon if I'm going to do it. I wish I knew of a way to add a timer to the basic wall fixture I already have in there...I'm also concerned that the outlet is near to the roosts and the side they've chosen to consistently roost on! Need to find a way to protect it from random pecking...
 

MiaS

Songster
Mar 28, 2019
257
449
157
DeWinton, Alberta
My Coop
My Coop
That .... yes... tricky

I keep thinking that somewhere I saw a timer that you screw in between the bulb and the fixture.... but where?
That would be perfect. I saw one but it seemed like I could only add time from dawn and only up to 8 hours. I should look again or go to Home Depot and ask I guess. This would be the best solution for me.
 

slordaz

hatchaholic
Apr 15, 2015
3,420
6,337
592
Idaho
Mine don't get light or heat, they do knock on the door for more meal worms during the winter, and have not seen a decrease in egg production, the hens all take turnns as we get so cold, I just put straw down in the bottom of the otherside of coop and one of the hens stays with eggs until I get out to collect them, only lost one set of eggs to freezing in last 2 winters
 

WallyBirdie

Songster
Aug 2, 2019
528
1,228
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I have just about ready to lay pullets and I'm wondering if I must have additional light in the coop for their first winter? I don't care so much about getting maximum egg production for their first winter and can't help but wonder if it is just better to let them have a natural low light winter?

Here in the North we will only get about 8-9 hours of daylight mid-winter. After reading @Alaskan's article about surviving winter suggesting that birds need 10 hours just to get enough food, I'm now second guessing.
I have a light that I just turn on/off as needed. It's not a big change to the routine that goes into their care and it isn't costly. Use your best judgement.
 
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