How much artificial light to boost laying

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chrisrumsey
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How much artificial light to boost laying

Post by chrisrumsey » Fri Oct 04, 2019 6:06 pm

I have tried boosting egg laying using extra light. I introduce it in early morning at end of year / early Jan after moult.

I have allotment chickens so do not have access to mains power. Using solar panel and 12v battery I have some very low wattage lighting (one 2w led strip) in 3 different hen houses to limit power consumption. Maximum hen house size is 2x3'.

I thought it worked one year then the not the next year. Not really sure what minimum power lighting is effective. Problem is darkest time of year is also the worst time for keeping a battery charger from a solar panel.

Any advice would be appreciated.
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chrismahon
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Re: How much artificial light to boost laying

Post by chrismahon » Sat Oct 05, 2019 7:24 am

We tried this and concluded the resulting mess with poo and shavings in the water and feed wasn't worth the effort. A 2'x3' house is not enough space for chickens to be awake in and they need time to rest from laying anyway. We used a large (and heavy) leisure battery so there was no dependency on sunlight for charging.
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Marigold
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Re: How much artificial light to boost laying

Post by Marigold » Sat Oct 05, 2019 8:01 am

I agree with Chris, not worth the effort. It adds extra stress to birds who are already coping with winter conditions out of doors, unlike commercial birds in covered barns kept warm and dry by their numbers. I expect it worked the first year because you had young hybrids who hadn't moulted and would have laid well throughout their first winter anyway. In the second winter their natural need for a rest would have reduced their hormones whilst they re-feathered and prepared themselves for laying again in the New Year.
I find that one of the pleasures of keeping my own birds is observing how their natural rhythms change with the seasons.
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