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Sunlight needed for egg production - Is shade ok?

Discussion in 'Chicken Behaviors and Egglaying' started by jmbinfo, Nov 11, 2010.

  1. jmbinfo

    jmbinfo In the Brooder

    Nov 10, 2010
    I have an area where I want to build my coop but it is rather shady. Actually every place I have to put the coop is very shady so if I need direct sunlight I'll need to cut down some trees.

    I read that egg production is tightly associated with how much light they get. I'm wondering if filtered sunlight ( ie: thru the trees ) is ok or do they need direct sun? Should I also put a light on a timer in the coop itself?

    Thanks in advance.

  2. BrewedInNh

    BrewedInNh Songster

    May 11, 2010
    Southern NH
    It's a common practice to add lights inside their coop in winter to keep egg production up, actual sunlight isn't necessary. Our coop is in the shade most of the time when the leaves are on the trees, so shade isn't an issue.
  3. If you are in a hot climate, the shade will be great. My run is not shaded so we built a roof over it.

    The length of light is limited during the fall/winter months and some put light in their coops to keep their hens laying. We added LED Christmas Lights to our run yesterday, hoping it keeps them laying so I can afford to feed them!
  4. TajMahalChickens

    TajMahalChickens Songster

    Mar 22, 2010
    Light filtering through the trees should be fine. You don't need much light to stimulate their reproductive system. In fact, the shade is quite a benefit in the summer. Chickens prefer scratching around in the leaves under trees, and not necessarily in the open lawn.

    in the fall and winter, you will need a timer in the morning to extend the daylight hours (if you live in the North). That is, if you want eggs. (who doesn't?) I've read in Storey's Guide to Raising Chickens that you need 60w per 200sp. ft. I personally think that is not enough; I'd do 100 w per 100 sq. ft.

    I also read that you need to use a red/yellow light bulb, not a white/blue light that comes from the new halogen light bulbs. Blue blue/white doesn't imitate real sunlight.
    Last edited: Nov 13, 2010

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