To Light Or Not To Light?

Discussion in 'Chicken Behaviors and Egglaying' started by Adopted Chickenman, Nov 20, 2011.

  1. Adopted Chickenman

    Adopted Chickenman Out Of The Brooder

    Jul 12, 2010
    Now that winter has reared her ugly side, my chickens have decided to protest by not laying eggs. [​IMG] I realize that due to the lost sunlight their egg production does decrease. The question I have is, should I use artificial light to bring my chickens back to producing eggs as they used to or should I not worry and let them rest from the egg production process for a month or two? I have heard that it is always nice to have a vacation from your normal routine, does this include chickens and their laying process. Obtw, I am just a backyard chicken keeper that has only eight hens, used to have eleven but due to natural selection (fox, red tailed hawk, and heat) I have reluctantly lost three. The hens that I due have they are 20 months and 14 months old. Plan on getting another five for spring to bring the total to an even dozen. Any thoughts on forced egg production by artifical lighting? [​IMG]
  2. JakRat

    JakRat Chillin' With My Peeps

    Apr 22, 2009
    My girls have had a heat lamp for a long time now, even though it is semi warm outside... they will only roost with the heat lamp on so that is why i left it on. They are babies and just started laying eggs, but my girls last year were either or when it came to the light.
  3. Adopted Chickenman

    Adopted Chickenman Out Of The Brooder

    Jul 12, 2010
    Thanks for the come back. Glad to see someone out of all the persons that read my request for information answered up. I was always told not to use any form of added heat because the chickens could become to use to the warmth and if you loose power they could go into shock since their bodies have not acclamated to the weather. Infact, since all my chickens are of the cold hardy type, their own feathers are their insulation and they can handle the cold better than the heat. Just think about the little winter snow birds and how they become a custom to the snow and freezing wind. And since my girls can always go into their chicken coop to get out of the weather they should do okay just like last year. I do have a 60 watt light bulb in their coop for atrificial lighting to help with the egg laying process only. Any heat generated from the bulb is purely insidental. I was just questioning sould I continue to add artificial light or should I give the girls a rest. Anyways, Thanks for your time. Marty
    Last edited: Nov 21, 2011
  4. Sylvialarry

    Sylvialarry Out Of The Brooder

    Jul 21, 2010
    Northern Calif
    Last year I used a heat lamp in their house because we do get lots of snow. This year I do not plan on using one since I now have four more girls than last year.

    I do not use artificial light for their egg production. I believe they should do what is natural to them. Currently three of my girls are molting and the other four I purchase in March are not molting because they are still young.

    In September I start hording my eggs because I know they will quit laying in October due to molting. This works well for me and keeps me in eggs till they lay again. Hope this helps.
  5. hispoptart

    hispoptart Chillin' With My Peeps

    Apr 14, 2011
    NW Colorado
    I think adding the light is just personal choice. I am not adding light, I figure the change of season is natures way of giving them a break. Mine are 7 months old and have not slowed down, they have actually just reached their peak and increased egg production. I am also not going to heat the coop. I don't want something to happen to them if we loss power and they are not prepared for the cold.
  6. Adopted Chickenman

    Adopted Chickenman Out Of The Brooder

    Jul 12, 2010
    Thanks, just wish I thought far enough ahead to hoard my eggs insted of giving them away, maybe now I would not have to think about store bought eggs in the all to near future. [​IMG] I really appreciate your come back. Marty [​IMG]
  7. clairabean

    clairabean Chillin' With My Peeps

    Nov 7, 2010
    Kootenays of BC!
    I use a light. We get decreased sunlight (and SNOW so much SNOW!) from mid October to April. If they stopped laying for 7 months, it would break my bank.

    It is a personal choice.
  8. MarieNC

    MarieNC Chillin' With My Peeps

    May 10, 2010
    I tried a light in the morning when egg production took a really drastic downturn and the chickens responded by going to bed two hours early in the light of day! They need their sleep, apparently! So I took the light out and egg production picked back up. Go figure.
  9. JodyJo

    JodyJo Chillin' With My Peeps

    Sep 27, 2010
    no added light for me, production has dropped, but that is ok...I want to do this as naturally as I can muster...give them a break this winter.
  10. flockof4

    flockof4 Chillin' With My Peeps

    Feb 10, 2010
    Webster Groves, MO
    A lot of it is personal preference. If you want eggs from your chickens during the winter you'll need some artificial light. I don't use any lights during the winter and let them have a little break. But it's totally up to you and what you want for you chickens.

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