Question: light in coop

ohiostarkli

In the Brooder
Dec 2, 2020
15
41
41
Northeastern Ohio
Hi, I just started raising chickens. We got a 8*8 coop and 8*24 run. We had 20 hens. 10 are currently laying, but are slowing down from 7 per day to 3. The other 10 were born in July. I've read that you should put light in coop to encourage egg laying. The chickens are getting back into the coop by themselves when it's getting dark.
1) Should I put them back into the coop BEFORE it's dark? To trick them into thinking it's still daytime.
2) Should I leave feed in the coop?
Right now, I am putting both feed and water outside in the run.
3) The younger ones should reach laying age in mid December. Will they start to lay, or they will wait till it's warmer (since it's Ohio, probably March or April.)
4) Some suggests turn on light in the morning before sunrise. We are night owls and usually get up at 8am and open the coop door then. An automatic coop door would cost over $200. Really didn't want to invest in that. In that case, should we keep feed in the coop so the chickens have something to do when they get up?
Thanks for any suggestions.
 
Last edited:

CluckerFamily

Enabler
5 Years
Feb 14, 2016
10,397
61,029
1,131
Wisconsin
I have an enclosed run so my first year of chickens I added a light for them to lay throughout the winter.
You will need to add food and water into the coop if you aren't able to be up to let them out to get food and water. They may also have some pecking issues with the extra lights on more.
After that first year, I have decided to not add extra lighting in the coop but to allow the ladies to take a break from laying until spring.
Hopefully others have more or better advice.
 

aart

Chicken Juggler!
Premium Feather Member
9 Years
Nov 27, 2012
100,761
144,181
1,867
SW Michigan
My Coop
My Coop
We got a 8*8 coop and 8*24 run. We had 20 hens. 10 are currently laying, but are slowing down from 7 per day to 3.
Had 20 or still do?
Am surprised your older ones are still laying,
if they are over 14-18 months they should be molting now.
The younger ones may start laying after the Winter Solstice, how long after is anyone's guess.
It's not about warmth but length of daylight and whether it is decreasing or increasing.

Lighting is tricky, they definitely need feed and water when the lights are on.
Here's a pretty good article on supplemental lighting.


Oh, and.... Welcome to BYC! @ohiostarkli
I know it's in your screenname,
and wondering if it northern or southern Ohio so.....
Here's how to add your general geographical location to your profile.
It's easy to do, and then it's always there!
1607008385315.png
 

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