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Los Angeles Urban Chicken Enthusiasts Message Board › daylight savings: adding a lightbulb to our coop?

daylight savings: adding a lightbulb to our coop?

Devorah B.
Sherman Oaks, CA
Post #: 1
One of my five girls just started laying an egg a day, the other four are dawdling. Since it gets dark so early now, should I light up the coop to encourage egg laying, and if so, how many hours? Or is this artificial lighting a cruel way of ruining deep winter slumbers...Any advice would be greatly appreciated!
Laura B.
Group Organizer
Norco, CA
Post #: 352
hi Devorah,
I am of the belief that it is a bit cruel (to use your word :) to make them lay more eggs than they would naturally lay. It's lots of work and effort for them to lay eggs, and as Marty has mentioned several times, it does reduce their life span drastically/

I talk to mine and tell them they don't need to give me eggs... I see how much work and painful it is. I don't want my girls to suffer any extra.

Hope this helps :)

ps, I don't recognize your name here in the forum, so welcome! -

A former member
Post #: 25
As a backyard chicken enthusiast I do not add lighting or heat to my coop. The chickens are allowed to be chickens. I am still getting an egg everyday from them.
A former member
Post #: 131
I have had chickens here in Manhattan Beach for 13 years, and agree with the other writers that keep the hens without artificial lighting. Battery hens in mass industrial production are kept under lights 18 hours a day, and are considered "spent" ---the Ag industries' inelegant euphemism for not profitable enough---after 18 months. They are then ground up alive in a machine or yanked from their cages and taken to slaughter plants. This is in addition to the common practice enforced several times during their laying career of "forced molting" wherein all food is withheld for 10 days. This shock to their systems causes great physiological distress, they drop almost all their feathers (to the point of nakedness) and their bodies crank back up into a increased level of egg laying.
I find the whole model followed to be nauseatingly cruel and profit driven. I would never, therefore, adopt artificial lighting schemes. It is akin to buying apricots and peaches from South America in the winter, just because we expend the fossil fuel to import them and deny the true costs.
Sunland, CA
Post #: 90
Ah I am so grateful to hear people express this line of thinking! I recently got chickens for 2 reasons; 1 to get eggs & 2 to have garden helpers and assist in the transition I'm making in my life to become more self sustainable.
I have ZERO previous knowledge about chickens, was never a 'bird' person and NEVER saw myself caring (providing care) for them! I am however a very compassionate animal (actually sentient being) person and quickly fell in love with these odd and often comical little beings love struck
I get VERY passionate about learning all I can about the optimal care of anything I get passionate about and am in the midst of this process with these birds now. This group, amongst others, is invaluable when it comes to "actual" knowledge of those "in the trenches" so to speak.All this to say I never knew about the extensive synchronicity of events needed in order for an egg to be laid. I, like the majority of people I assume, took for granted that's just "what they did"! IT lead me to appreciate these little miracle workers so much an likened it to the human birthing process and how people assume it's a "normal / easy/ natural" occurrence. Judging by the meteoric rise of fertility clinics and specialists one can see this isn't correct across the board.
As much as I would like to have an abundance of eggs, at this point because these sentient creatures are pets (not destined to end up on my table), I will care for them as "naturally" as possible, not put them into stressful/unnatural conditions and be grateful if they are able to offer an "energy exchange" of an egg when are able to produce one.
Cheers to my kindred caretakers!
A former member
Post #: 275
Hi Devorah and welcome! I am glad you raised this question, as it is something that comes up for new chicken owners every year winter time, but not always asked.

A couple of points:
1) From what I have read and believe posted the research here, additional lights increases the chance of ovarian cancer for chickens and humans. Chickens are used for research because of similar reproductive system. You can go back or search online for specifics, but it is definitely not a positive.
2) Regardless, today's chicken may have been bred to lay eggs with fewer light hours. It is not positive either, and they will probably not survive for more than a few years, as they get no rest, laying 250-300 plus eggs per year.

Some links:
Today's store-bought eggs' hens produce 300 eggs per year, see https://www.internati...­
... up from 100 eggs before WWII, per http://keeping-chicke...­
See breed info for egg production,­
... this list is even better but you need to scroll to 11 pages (I will create a thread for it so it is easier),­
... but of course each chicken within breed can lay more/less, depending on selection, http://www.albc-usa.o...­

Whether or not you add light is a personal decision. I added some lights on a timer in the morning and evening because coop was under a large tree, making it too dark when they wake up or go to sleep. It was more of a safety issue rather than for the eggs.

If your goal is to maximize egg production, instead of welfare, then (a) get hens that pump the most eggs and (b) add lighting... see­
user 13913292
Los Angeles, CA
Post #: 44
Hi and Welcome to the wonderful world of chickens.

I have been fortunate enough to raise chickens for a very, very long time. I feel so old when I do the math but it is over 35 years. I believe it will be a personal reason if you use or chose not to use lights. Just giving my own experience. I have NEVER used lights. I have been asked many a time why I don't and isnt it awful to buy eggs when you have so many chickens. Trust me, the idea of buying eggs does not sit well. There are usually a few ladies pumping out eggs in the winter and I just make do. It goes to the same train of thought, I do not want to buy because I do not condone the way the hens are handled in the hen houses and made to produce at the hens health and welfare. Well, this is how I see it. I see it as a vacation for the ladies, a much deserved one. I have friend's that use lights to up production and that is fine. Their choice.

Los Angeles, CA
Post #: 243
I'm with you all - no lights at our house. I have one hen who laid non-stop from around April till last month - she NEEDS the rest. The others do too, just not so much. I think it's good for them to have a couple of months to take a break, put some weight back on and get rested. They're my buddies, not my slaves.
Devorah B.
Sherman Oaks, CA
Post #: 2
I can not even begin to express how grateful I am to each and every one of you for this support. Sharing your insights, your knowledge, and your experience has completely opened my eyes, and of course, my heart to aspects of raising our hens that I had simply overlooked. Thank YOU

A former member
Post #: 31
I have just figured out why my ladies aren't laying...I though someone was stealing my ladies are turning in at 4:30 pm and waking up around 6:30.... I hear the egg laying noises but no eggs...they are on strike due to daylight savings.My ladies were giving me 2 eggs a day...we had so many eggs...but I love my girls...
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