I live around 46 degree latitude. For six months of the year we have 13+ hours of daylight: mid-March through mid-September. For the five months between October-Feb we receive substantially less, down to 8.5 hours in December. This is compounded by heavy winter cloud-cover and rain for my city. Blue winter skies in my area are the exception, definitely not the norm. I assume my hens (once they are mature) will be taking a winter break from laying from October until the end of February (typical for my friends with hens in my area). I know some people let the hens go through their natural cycle and resume laying when they will, and others that add light to the coop to stimulate year-round laying. I do believe that it is healthier for the hen to have a winter break if one is planning to keep their chickens around for many years (which I am). I have no plans to light my coop all winter. But... is there a middle ground for those of us who live in areas of persistent winter darkness (and late-fall & early-spring darkness), but would like to have eggs more than half the year? Has anyone tried letting the hens rest for a certain amount of time and then added light to the coop? If so, how long do you let your hens rest before adding light? Three months? Four? Is there an ideal time? I figure that in lower latitude areas the natural rest period would be far shorter than ours up here. For next year I am thinking of letting the declining light trigger the molting cycle in Sep/Oct, waiting until early February, and then adding three or so hours of light to the coop in the morning (we get 10 hours of light in Feb). What do you think? Doable? Silly?