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Discussion in 'Managing Your Flock' started by ViolinPlayer123, Nov 20, 2015.
Is 3:00 am to 4:30 PM good times for light or is 3:00 to early to have the light on?
I have mine go on mid afternoon, and off at 9 PM. I also have it go on at 7 AM. It will take them a while to get used to it, and you may need to go out initially when it goes off to be sure they all make it to roost before it goes out. Most folks have theirs go on only in the morning, but if I did that, I'd have a rooster telling me it's time to get up and feed them at 2:30 AM, and I'm sure not going out in my jammies at that hour! But, once my flock gets it figured out, they're on the perches before curfew.
So, you are only turning your coop light on in the afternoon so that the hens get settled in on their roosts before night. It's off until morning, when it comes on to wake them to go outside. The light is not for heat or production purposes? I was leaving my light on all night for warmth, not so much production, and yeeeeess, the rooster can be heard at various times of the night. Ha! Fortunately, we are in the country. I only have 5 birds, yours stays warm enough in freezing weather?
I'm in MN, and don't use a light for heating purposes, either. I only have 7 chickens in my coop, but they are out of the wind and the coop is well ventilated, so they'll be fine.
If light is for laying purposes it's best to have started ramping up the light slowly months ago until they are getting 14-15 hours a day.
I started back in Aug/Sept and it is now coming on at 3am and goes off about 2pm for those overcast days when it's dim in the coop.
Misapplied light may not give you the results you crave.
Learn how it works here: Here's a pretty good article on supplemental lighting.
Thanks for sharing that article, Aart! I have been doing it wrong. When I use light, I usually wait until they're done molting, then start with about an hour of added light each week instead of 20 minutes.
They need to molt, with or without supplemental light. Though I'm not sure how it all fits into the scheme of things. I know of one reader who keeps his flock on 14 hours of light year round, but he turns it off for 2 weeks at the beginning of every Sept. The whole flock molts at once, then goes right back into production. Sounds like a good plan to me. I also wonder how supplementation affects broodiness, or lack of it. Assuming that in the natural scheme of things, broodiness is facilitated by the increasing day length in spring.
I had an 18 month old go broody last january...can't remember if she molted before tho.
I think in the natural scheme of things, a hen will go broody, then molt b/c of her prolonged fast.