Too much shade ... will they lay?


In the Brooder
6 Years
Apr 23, 2013
My four girls (buff rocks & barred rock) are at 20 weeks. Their coop & run is entirely shaded by our house & 8ft high bushes and our deck/their roof... they get light (you can see the sky from their coop/run), but no direct sunlight. No eggs yet ... do I need to do some serious pruning? They may get sunlight when the tree next to the coop drops it's leaves but the bushes are evergreens.

Thanks for any insight!
I believe light not sun light will result in eggs and they will ovulate. My chickens were closer to 34 weeks when they finally laid eggs. Depends on breeds and it depends on age.

You will know they are about to lay when their combs become bright red - really vivid red. Sometimes you hear a little egg song. Some of my girls proudly announced their eggs with quite loud squawking. Others were very quiet.

The comb is the best signal. It signals the rooster they are ovulating and when it is time to breed and it can be a flag to signal to you that they are about to lay an egg. After they lay an egg, the combs goes back to a duller red.

Mine are in shade all day & they lay fine. It's the length of daylight hours that matters. Not direct sun.
Thanks for the feedback :)

These are the three girls that are the most mature ... I don't think the photos do justice to their red combs, but I'll keep an eye out for more 'eye-popping' color! And looking at these photos, I realized they do actually get a brief smattering of direct sunshine, but I know it is brief!



Gandalph a.k.a. "Gandie" (named by my son)
I actually took advantage of my muscadine vines and duel purposed it as a runner. Since the vines grow over the top, it should provide great shade from late spring until fall. It also gives them snacks with the bugs that hover over my plants along with the grapes, provides fertilizer, and a dry run. Until the leaves grow in, I will tarp it. I am brand new to raising chickens and am just preparing for the ones I will shortly purchase, but does this seem alright? I am not finished just yet. I am going to add a hinge door to the side for easy access and build an access for the coop.
Thank you! I'm really new to all of this. I extensively garden and really wanted to make use of the space. I finally finished doing the chicken wire, which resulted in dozens of small cuts. Ouch! I'm going to repurpose some old doors for the entrance way. I think I will just have to trim up the vines a little from time to time so that my chicken get some open air. It gets awfully humid here and my reasoning is that beneath the vines, it will remain cool and possibly offer more protection from a potential predator. I'm really hoping this works! I am also going to plant some heat treated shipping pallet framed kale and spinach along the base for them to pick at as they please.

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