I want to learn more about supplemental lighting for my chickens.
When fall is on its way we start to wonder what that means for you chicken's egg production. Will they stop laying, slow down laying, or keep laying?
These are good questions to ask and be prepared for in advance. But before we get started I want to go over the myths and facts regarding chickens egg laying in winter. These are very important to know because you will hear people tell you these myths and it's better to be able to know the facts before ending up too confused.
Please refer to this link on the myths and facts about chickens and egg laying in winter: https://ameggspress.com/blogs/blog-chick/myths-and-facts-about-chickens-egg-laying-in- winter
Supplemental lighting for chickens:
- Laying chickens need 14-16 hours of light; don’t use more than 16. You can get a timer that works with the sunset and sunrise to turn the light on and off for you. There is a really cool smart outdoor outlet for $15.99. You program it and control it with an app on your phone. Makes it easy to adjust throughout year. Remember to adjust as the sunrise and sunset changes through the months.
- If no power out there, there are solar LED lights with timers available too.
- It’s best to use LED as it’s safer than a standard light bulb and uses less electricity. Get a white light, they work better than cool lights like blue or yellows. You can use shop lights or string lights just make sure they meet the min and max guidelines for brightness. Use a light that’s at least 5.38 lumens. The optimum lighting found in studies is 15 lumens.
- If you have lights go off at dark there must be enough outside light to offer the ability for the chickens to see enough to go to roost or they can hurt themselves. Otherwise, you can choose to have them turn on before sunrise and then turn off sunrise. It’s up to you, which ever is safe is fine.
- Even with supplemental lighting it’s sill important to give a good protein feed or add protein treats.. not to exceed 20-22%% in cold winter months, or during molting. This helps egg production as they use so much energy keeping warm and regrowing feathers.
**Please, regulate protein in feed based on supplemental treats as too much protein leads to kidney failure. For example: if you feed B.O.S.S. and/or meal worms the protein levels are high in those treats so the 20% feed would be a better choice. If you don't offer supplemental protein and they aren't free ranging enough to get access to bugs, lizards, and other such proteins found in wild, then 22% would be fine.