What is your timer set at?

Discussion in 'Chicken Behaviors and Egglaying' started by UTAHEM, Nov 4, 2015.


    UTAHEM Chillin' With My Peeps

    Jun 11, 2015
    If you light your coop, what do you set your timer at (how many hours extra) - right now, I recognize it changes? Do you add the hours to the morning, evening, or both? We are still getting 1-2 eggs a day with three chickens. I have lights and will need to heat their water so I will put a rope light up in their coop for awhile.

    Thanks in advance.
  2. IceAngel

    IceAngel Chillin' With My Peeps

    May 2, 2013
    I read somewhere that chickens need 14 hours of daylight for optimum egg production. You will need to check how many daylight hours you have where you live as it changes with latitude.
    I am not sure but I don't think it matters where you add the hours of artificial light as long as it adds up to 14 hours.
  3. aart

    aart Chicken Juggler! Premium Member

    Nov 27, 2012
    SW Michigan
    My Coop
    I prefer to add light in early mornings so they go to roost with natural sunset.
    I aim for 14-15 hours...right now light is set to come on at about 3am.
    Light needs to be bright enough to 'read a newspaper' in coop..
    they need to be able to see to move around, eat and drink...and lay!

    How old are your birds?
    Do you free range?

    Sometimes first year layers will lay all winter without supplemental lighting, sometimes they won't.
    Here's a pretty good article on supplemental lighting. Some folks think that using lighting shortens the years a hen will lay, I don't agree with that theory but I also plan to cull my older hens for soup at about 3 years old.

    UTAHEM Chillin' With My Peeps

    Jun 11, 2015
    Thanks. I had read that article, just looking at what other people are doing. My chicks were new this spring. I have three. They have a coop and covered run. They are not free range.

  5. Mahlzeit

    Mahlzeit Chillin' With My Peeps

    Jul 16, 2007
    Long Island NY
    I set my light up to come on in the morning. Chickens have very poor eyesight after dark and if you have a timer on at night and then while they are roaming around the coop it shuts off on them they will not be able to find their way up to their roosts. If you allow them to go in and start roosting at sunset by the time it is dark they will be all set.

    UTAHEM Chillin' With My Peeps

    Jun 11, 2015
    Thanks everyone! I got the rope light installed. It comes on at 3 am and will stay on until 8 am each day. I also got the heat cable installed on their brite tap waterer. That is working like a charm. It is getting pretty chilly here - in the high teens and mid-twenties at night. Hopefully it will stay like this for a long time for the chickens sake. I plan on putting some plastic around the bottom half of their run so that they have a good wind break. I leave their coop door open always because they are in a secure run (we figured if something could get into the run, they could probably get into the coop too - who knows). Anyway, the plastic will go tall enough to block drafts from the coop door too. The whole roof of the coop is ventilated. I might close off some of the ventilation with a board this winter depending on how cold we get. Anyway. . . I digress. Thanks for the advice about the lights. I get why it is better to turn it on in the morning.

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