When to start lighting

Copperboom

Chirping
Jan 24, 2019
25
20
64
So my 1 and 2 year old hens have finished molting and nice new feathers have grown back in. This years pullets are now 26 weeks and wattles are red and they have been playing around in the nesting boxes for weeks. I want to start lighting the adults so I can start getting eggs again but I don't want to influence the youngsters to start laying before they are ready. When is it okay to light? Or should I just keep waiting until the pullets start laying (and keeping fingers and toes crossed that they do!) Btw the pullets are all different breeds: Wyndotte, Barred Rock, crosses, and Polish. I think I have even heard them practicing their egg songs sometimes.
 

GC-Raptor

Free Ranging
5 Years
Jul 26, 2016
5,683
11,696
671
Connecticut, USA
This years pullets are now 26 weeks and wattles are red and they have been playing around in the nesting boxes for weeks.

the pullets are all different breeds: Wyndotte, Barred Rock, crosses, and Polish.
I add lights daily year round at 5 am, none in the afternoon/evening, except a nightlight to get on the roosts after sunset and is shut off when I lockup the coops about 20/30 minutes later.
My Barred Rocks bought as day old chicks August 17,2018 started to lay at 20 weeks. All 7 were laying by 23 weeks old. They were getting 11 hours and 35 minutes of light at 20 weeks. Sunset was 4:35.
So less than the recommended 13 to 15 hours to induce laying.
I would say that you can add lights now in increments of 20 minutes daily for 3 days for a total of 1 hour weekly, till you get to 13/15 hours.
I want to start lighting the adults so I can start getting eggs again but I don't want to influence the youngsters to start laying before they are ready.
My other two batches of day old chicks were bought in March and April.
They started to lay in August and September when Sunset was between 7:15 September and 8:07 August. So they were getting 14 to 15 hours of light.
In my opinion nutrition and breed influences when pullets will mature and start to lay not light. GC
 

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