What if I don't provide artificial light?

Discussion in 'Chicken Behaviors and Egglaying' started by countrybumpkinNYS, Sep 24, 2010.

  1. countrybumpkinNYS

    countrybumpkinNYS New Egg

    Sep 13, 2010
    My RIR girls are 15 weeks and two out of three are starting to redden up. I know that artificial light is recommended to promote laying, but I'm more interested in what's natural, not what produces more eggs, probably at the expense of hen well-being. Since I live in Zone 5 and the days are allready getting shorter and the temps have already been in the forties at night, I'm thinking I may not see eggs until springtime! Anyone have an opinion about that?
  2. GoldenCometLover

    GoldenCometLover Chillin' With My Peeps

    Sep 23, 2010
    Freeville, NY
    Hi countrybumpkinNYS! I am in CNY myself and know exactly what u are talking about! [​IMG]
    I am new so only take my advise if a more seasoned vet speaks up and agrees with it!! [​IMG]
    I just picked up a small solar light (got it off amazon.com for under $30) to help give my girls some extra light, especially with winter soon approaching - it's for light purposes ONLY - I have a small coop mat for added warmth in the winter...just a suggestion, I am no expert! I was concerend about an actual light in my SMALL coop,so sticking with the solar seemed logical for me....hope it helps
  3. ChickensAreSweet

    ChickensAreSweet Heavenly Grains for Hens

    Quote:I never turn on light bulbs unless it goes down to about 20-25 degrees. Some people on here never turn on light bulbs at all. Depends on your breed, and the coop.

    ETA: so I don't worry about trying to make them lay more. I feel that if their bodies want a rest, so be it.
    Last edited: Sep 24, 2010
  4. lauriej57

    lauriej57 Chillin' With My Peeps

    Sep 17, 2010
    Southwest Michigan
    Quote:You do not need to give them artificial light. Young ones that start laying before winter, will probably lay throughout the winter without light. RIR's are pretty cold hardy and may even begin to lay in the middle of winter.

    I have a flock of 12, and I sell just enough eggs to pay for their feed. I do use artificial lighting, but I also use my lighting as a bit of heat source on those really cold, windy blizzardy days. Mainly because it makes me feel better, and helps to keep the water from freezing so quickly.

    If you have hens that don't start laying until spring, they will lay that much longer for you. They may actually end up being healthier hens.

    I usually put my older hens in my smaller coop during the winter, so they can have a rest if they want. I do have lighting in the smaller coop, but last winter I only turned it on a few times, again on those really cold days, nights. 5 hens still gave me one or two eggs every day.
  5. gritsar

    gritsar Cows, Chooks & Impys - OH MY!

    Nov 9, 2007
    SW Arkansas
    If eggs are not a concern with you, go with natural light. Your pullets may start laying before deep winter anyways, or they may wait until spring. I can tell you from reading others experiences on the forum, but can't provide you with proof, that pullets the start at a very early age are more prone to trouble in the egglaying dept., eggbound, etc., than pullets that start later.
    I let my chickens be chickens - no artificial light, no heat, just a dry well-ventilated coop to sleep in at night. I have some pullets that are just on the verge. They may start soon or they may not start until spring. Makes no difference to me, as long as they are healthy and happy. (And yes, we do get winter in Arkansas). [​IMG]
  6. GoldenCometLover

    GoldenCometLover Chillin' With My Peeps

    Sep 23, 2010
    Freeville, NY
    :jumpySorry countrybumpkinNYS- I should have been more clear - duh- my light isn't there to promote laying - it's gets dark very early in the winter in my area on top of that I have huge pine and maple trees, like over 50 ft tall stealing my sunshine early so sometimes it's completely dark by 4:30PM in winter - the solar light is only going to be one for a couple hours so they get some extra "play" time
    I have no plans to use light to get them to lay more!
  7. tuesdays chicks

    tuesdays chicks Chillin' With My Peeps

    Apr 26, 2010
    stuart florida
    I think it probably depends on breed, it seems my days have already shortened , I'm in florida so it wont be cold like n.y. I've been waking my girls up at 6:30 just about every day, the sky is just getting lighter in the east at that time here at the moment, and they have been in their coop by 7:30, so far so good for me but its still early the only artificial light I have is my house lights turn on in the am so that I can see to open up. I don't intend to put artificial light in the coop though I'll take my chances for them to slow down their egg production.
  8. 33yardbirds

    33yardbirds Chillin' With My Peeps

    Jun 15, 2010
    Southern New Jersey
    I'm not running a sweat shop. When they slack off during decreasing day light there is a natural reason for it. I'll still get enough eggs, and if I feel I want more there's always Spring and chicken math that we are all wizz kids applying. [​IMG]
  9. BlackBart

    BlackBart Chillin' With My Peeps

    Mar 29, 2009
    I don't provide artificial light either for laying or warmth. I like to let them rest.
    Somewhere I read (maybe on here) each hen's body emits enough heat to equal a 3 watt lightbulb.
    So 40 hens in a coop equals 120 watt lightbulb.
  10. ChickensAreSweet

    ChickensAreSweet Heavenly Grains for Hens

    Quote:That's cool.

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