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This entry was posted on 24 February 2022 in Chicken Coops, Keeping Chickens.

Do Chickens Need a Light in Their Coop?

When the night draws in, many chicken owners find themselves asking, do chickens need a light in their coop? During the winter months, when the nights are darker, days are shorter, and you could only be seeing 8 hours of light throughout the day, this question becomes even more important. The truth is: a lack of light affects your chicken’s egg production but not their health and happiness.

When your feathered friends aren’t getting the right amount of light, their egg-laying will slow down. You can see this as most breeds lay more eggs in the summer rather than the dark winter months. So, adding artificial light to your chicken coop is the perfect way to have eggs all year round, right? Well, the truth is there are pros and cons to adding light to your coop.

To help you know what choice is right for your flock, keep reading this blog today.

3 Reasons To Add A Light To Your Chicken Coop

Increase Egg Production

Your chickens need around 12 to 14 hours of daylight per day to lay eggs. During the winter months in the UK, where we only see 8-10 hours of sunlight per day, the lack of light will affect your hen’s egg production. While egg laying tends to slow down throughout the autumn and winter months because of your chicken’s annual moult, a lack of light still has a massive impact.

Chicken owners can use supplemental light to help keep their hens laying eggs during the winter. Adding a lamp to your chicken coop is a simple solution to dark nights. However, like humans, 24-hours of light a day isn’t healthy for your hens. Setting the lamp on a timer ensures your chickens get a good night’s sleep and you wake up to a warm basket of eggs in the chicken coop.

Keep Your Hens Warm & Cosy

In the winter, everyone knows the feeling of waking up in a warm bed. While your chickens have the added protection of their feathers, during freezing temperatures, their coop can become uncomfortable and cold. Adding a light to your chicken’s home not only increases egg production but keeps them warm during cold winter evenings too.

Despite the light not being on all night, your chickens will thank you for the added comfort. Of course, you should still carry out the necessary preparations in the coop. Lay down extra layers of wood shavings to the floor, add insulation to the coop by resting a blanket over it, and make sure all chickens are sleeping together in their box. 

Improve Visibility

Adding light to your chicken coop doesn’t only benefit your hens but you as well! Rising early to care for your hens means you may be up before sunrise. Trying to carry out your regular tasks around the chicken coop in the dark is a real challenge. When the light is set on a timer, you can wake up knowing you’ll be able to see around the coop clearly even during the darkest winter mornings.

You don’t have to worry about any feed spillages or overflowing the water container by accident. A well-lit chicken coop is much more convenient for even the most experienced chicken owners. Having appropriate lighting also makes completing morning tasks safer for you and your birds. You don’t have to worry about any tripping hazards hidden by the dark, you can focus on caring for your hens.

Should You Add Light To Your Chicken Coop?

Do your chickens need a light in their coop? The answer is no. No, your chickens will be happy and healthy throughout winter as long as you keep them warm and comfortable during the colder months. 

However, their natural egg-laying cycle means that because of the lack of sunlight throughout autumn and winter their egg production will slow down. So, if you want to keep your hens laying eggs all year round, you need to add artificial light to your chicken coop.

As your chickens don’t need artificial light in their coop, many owners opt against it. Here are some of the reasons why some owners choose not to add artificial light to their chicken coop.

  • Potential Health Problems – There are some concerns that pushing hens to lay eggs all year round can cause a series of health problems, such as ovarian cancer. However, research is mixed, so the true risks of having your chickens lay eggs throughout every season are unknown.
  • Inconsistent Light Levels Cause Stress – If the level of light isn’t consistent, this can cause stress to your hens. Whether you choose to add artificial light to your coop or not, you must ensure that the light levels are consistent every day. Using artificial light every now again will only cause the birds stress.
  • Possible Hazard – If the light bulb isn’t placed out of reach of the chickens, they may peck at the glass and break it. Fit the artificial light to the ceiling of the coop to reduce the risk of any accidents occurring.

Choosing The Right Light Bulb

If you choose to opt for artificial light in your chicken coop, it’s important to know which type of bulb to go for. Incandescent bulbs are easy to maintain, even in dusty environments like chicken coops, which makes them an ideal option. You can also adjust the intensity of the light using a dimmer switch. While more expensive, LED lights are also a safe choice to add to your chicken coop as they are durable and non-toxic. You must avoid Teflon-coated bulbs as they emit toxic fumes which are harmful to your chickens.

Cocoon Chicken Coops

A comfortable chicken coop is essential to keep your hens happy and healthy. Give your chickens a home you can both be proud of, get in touch with Cocoon Chicken Coops today. Call our friendly team on 01273 978 487 or visit our contact page to fill in an enquiry form.