Winter light question

Discussion in 'Chicken Behaviors and Egglaying' started by jettgirl24, Dec 19, 2010.

  1. jettgirl24

    jettgirl24 Chillin' With My Peeps

    Feb 21, 2010
    Duvall, WA
    Over the last few weeks as the days have gotten really short my egg production has down to just about nothing. I've gotten one egg in two weeks [​IMG]
    I love my babies but I'm tired of feeding them with no eggs in return so today I broke down and wired up some lights on a timer. I have two 24" fluorescent fixtures that I use for starting my seeds in the spring. They have a somewhat narrow but very long coop. They spend most of the time in the roost area at the front so I placed both fixtures on the wall across from the roosts which keeps the front of the coop light, while the back of the coop is still pretty dark. I've got the timer set to extend the hours of light to 14 hours. Based on the information I've read this should be plenty of time, but I couldn't find much about how bright the lights need to be? Any suggestions on appropriate wattage?
     
  2. BWKatz

    BWKatz Chillin' With My Peeps

    May 22, 2010
    Columbia,SC
    I have a 3x4 coop and use one string of xmas lights to extend time at night to 9pm and wake them up at 5am year round. Needless to say it isn't needed much in summer but does allow me to sleep in. 2out of 4 are laying...my leghorn daily. The other 2 haven't started yet but I'm hoping within the next month. I have seen where someone put them alll along the top of their walk in coop on the inside.
     
  3. swimmer

    swimmer Chillin' With My Peeps

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    Aug 17, 2010
    Utah
    I've got a 4x4 coop and a 5 foot strand of white x-mas lights. It doesn't need to be that bright.
     
  4. True Grit

    True Grit Chillin' With My Peeps

    I have a 4x4x5 and a 15 watt cfl rubber coated light on from 6am til 8 and on again at 4pm til 6:30 so 12.5 hours of light and i get an average of 3 eggs per 4 hens per day.
     
  5. jettgirl24

    jettgirl24 Chillin' With My Peeps

    Feb 21, 2010
    Duvall, WA
    Perfect, sounds like the two fluorescents should be plenty light! I've got mine set to turn on at 4PM and go off at 9:30PM. That's pretty close to their bedtime during the summer months and I really wanted to avoid turning the light on early in the morning so my roo sleeps in a little longer. He's just started to crow but and far he's very good at waiting until the sun starts coming up at about 7am when the neighbors have already left for work... Fingers crossed it stays that way! [​IMG]

    I'm looking forward to being back in eggs soon, and hopefully my pullets will decide to start laying now instead of waiting until spring. I had to break down and get some store-bought eggs this weekend... They are definitely not the same! I want my tasty homegrown eggs!
     
  6. WoodlandWoman

    WoodlandWoman Overrun With Chickens

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    May 8, 2007
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    I've always heard that it only needs to be enough light to read a newspaper. It doesn't have to be bright to effect them.
     
  7. Ridgerunner

    Ridgerunner Chicken Obsessed

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    Feb 2, 2009
    Northwest Arkansas
    Quote:Agreed.

    If they are pullets the extra light might help, but if they have started a serious molt, egg production may not go up that much real soon. Other than the cost of the electricity, I don't see that you have a lot to lose by trying it. Good luck!
     
  8. Pardee_Boy

    Pardee_Boy Out Of The Brooder

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    May 3, 2010
    Blissfield MI
    amount of light should be enough. All you really want to do is keep it light enough so they don't fall asleep. I'm sure you already do but I had a drop off in eggs in the past couple of weeks and I started to mix in more oyster shells to the feed.

    I also have a basic heat lamp / spot light set above my water hanger to keep from freezing with the added bonus of light for the hens. Still only three laying out of six but the other three havn't even laid yet ( only about 20-23 weeks old). Good luck with light , food and water they'll come back around.
     
  9. jettgirl24

    jettgirl24 Chillin' With My Peeps

    Feb 21, 2010
    Duvall, WA
    I've got a mix of three 9 month old hens who have dropped off completely over the last two weeks. The other 4 are pullets hatchedon July 29th. They haven't started yet and it would be nice if they did soon. I'm not really counting on it until Spring though. I figure it's better to keep my expectations low then be surprised if they start before then [​IMG]
     

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