It's 6:10 pm and I just watched my chickens file into their coop. Should I have a light on a timer inside so they don't have to end their day so early? What about a month from now when it is dark by 4:30?
If you feel the need to extend their light hours I would recommend having a light come on earlier rather than go off by timer. Waking them up is better than just turning out a light before they are ready. That said my chickens have never had artificial light and egg production remains at 1 egg per day for the most part.
I agree with both birdicus7 and Patman75, add the light in morning. This allows them to go up to roost at night normally. If light on a timer, they can suddely find themselves in dark without being on roost.
Like Patman, here in MIchigan we have short daylight in winter. So I also have timer set for ealy morning.