Why isn't our light helping egg production?


9 Years
Mar 8, 2010
We added a light to our coop and put it on a timer. It comes on at 3am and goes off at dawn then comes back on at dusk and stays on til 10. We started this about a week ago. We are still getting only 1-2 eggs a day from our 12 girls. During spring-fall we get 8-12 eggs a day.

Nearly all of them just finished a molt. They are between 9 months to 18 months old.

Does it take a while for the light to work?
It takes 3 days for a chicken to produce an egg. Give them a couple of weeks to change their schedule.
From what I heard, it is not good to have the light on at night, because when it goes off at 10 pm, and the chickens are not on their roost, they can not see to fly up to the roost because it is too dark. So they would have to sleep on the floor. Is there a reason they are only getting 6 hrs of darkness to sleep. They only need 14 hrs of daylight to keep laying, I know the upper states don't have as much daylight.

What time is your sunrise & sunset?

I have 14 hens, 3 are not laying yet (just being poky). We average between 8 - 11 daily, mostly 8, they were born the first week of May 2011. I have no added light, they are in bed by 5:45, last egg laid about 3 - 4 pm. Sunrise is about 7 am, so mine are getting just over 10 hrs of sunlight a day, and I have not seen a drop in egg production. The temp in the morning is in the high 20's low 30's, daytime in the 50's, they free range all day.
I don't provide light, so I am not entirely sure, but I was under the impression that it may take a few months for them to start laying after a molt. I think it takes quite a bit of energy to grow all those feathers!
Very bad idea to have a light that is on after dark. If you want to add light to their days then it is more adviseable to have a light that comes on early in the morning and then goes out when the sun is coming up. No additional light is needed or desired after darkness. Just for information sake, I had a light come on at 4 AM and went out at daylight and the egg production was fine. Recently I decided to give them a rest a turned off the lights and the egg production has remained the same. Maybe after a while it will decrease.

an egg is kicked out every 24 hours plus when hens are producing but that egg is on the assembly line a long time.

It's better for the light to come on early but chickens get used to a routine and if your only option is evening light, they'll get used to it and get their butts up on the roost in time for lights out. I've done it for years.

When production is down from decreased daylength and light is added, they'll start in about a week and full production in about 3 weeks.
I have my lights set to come on at 3am and off at 5pm that gives them at least 14 hours of light and they have a little time to get on the roosts before it is dark. If your lights turn off when it is dark out they have no way to find the roosts and may be staying on the ground which can stress them out and could cause them to lack in egg production.

If you are feeding a 18 to 20 percent protein feed you my try throwing them a hand full or two of whole oats or whole corn they can use the extra energy this time of year.

Don't over feed a bunch of table scraps/treats. By doing so you can be depleting the nutrition of there poultry feed. If you are feed lots of table scraps/treats I would cut them out of there diet and just feed there regular poultry feed and offer them the hand full or two of whole oats or whole corn.


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