Fall and winter lighting for poultry
Reposted from Nutrena’s helpful blog Scoop from the Coop
With shorter days in the fall, egg production begins to taper off. It may even stop altogether. This is because egg production is directly tied to light exposure.
To keep chickens producing eggs all year, add light to your chicken coop. Use the following supplies:
- Power source
- Light source
Your light source can be any kind of light. LED Christmas lights, string lights, a bare bulb fixture, or fluorescent lights all do the trick. You aren’t trying to heat the coop, just light it.
The rule of thumb is that you should be able to read a newspaper with the light on. This much light will keep the girls laying eggs year-round.
When do I add the artificial light?
Set the timer to turn on the lights and add day length in the morning. Do not extend the day into the evening. A good guideline is to turn on at 4 a.m. and turn off at 8 a.m., giving the girls 14 – 15 hours of light per day and lets them go to bed with the natural light of the sun.
Chickens are virtually blind when it gets dark. If you shut the light off abruptly at night, they may not be able to find their roost and end up sleeping on the floor. This stresses them, causes health problems and can add another layer of negative effects on egg production.
A note about feed
Feeding chickens a quality layer ration is important. Nutrena’s Country Feeds Layer or the Naturewise Layer gives them plenty of protein and amino acids to help keep them warm throughout the winter.
Enjoy your fresh eggs all year round!