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Chickens at work

Chickens at the feeder

The Shaver Red Sex-Link laying hens are doing fine in the fairly chilly chickenhouse, eating up a storm, looking and sounding healthy and happy, and producing away. They’ve been in artificial light days for the last couple of months, about 16 hours made up of daylight extended by a 60W bulb on a timer that’s on till 11pm. I’m curious whether at least some of the girls would really stop producing for the winter if the light dropped below 15 hours for even a single day. I don’t actually want to see it happen, but what if there’s a power failure? Hmmm… Kerosene lamp? In any case, fall egg production has so far stayed steady at about 20-23 a day for the 25 girls… Chickens are easy, you don’t have to know a lot to raise them casually, but there is a lot you could know. And of course, the more you know, the less you need! My winter chicken reading is Storey’s Guide to Raising Chickens.



  1. Thats’ great production…20 – 23 a day for 25 girls! We have 18 girls right now and get maybe 12 eggs. We have a light on so that they get 14 hours a day, maybe we need to bump that up somewhat. We have our light come on early in the morning….so that when it goes off, daylight has started. We thought that may be better than to do it in the evening…and have the light suddenly go off and the girls find themselves in total darkness instantly….


  2. Last year was my first winter with chickens and I found that they kept laying all winter. I wrote it off to my going in and turning on the light before and after work while I checked on them. So I am not sure how rigiddly they react to light their first year.  My 2 cents anyway.

  3. mmm, hollandaise sauce followed by chicken pot pie.

  4. Hi! you inspired me to look into this a bit further for my chickens. We’ve not added any artificial lighting, and are down around a 9 1/2 hour day. We still get eggs, just not a lot of them. We don’t produce for sale though, just our home use.
    Good post, and best of luck! I posted on this over at my place as well
    I’d love your input on it.

  5. candace

    I have the same kind of  hens, they lay all winter with no artificial light- no drop in production at all!

  6. The last three days have been 22-23-25 eggs from the 25 girls, so they haven’t slowed down. I may reduce the light in the next few weeks and see what happens. I’m still not sure what I want to do with chickens as a tiny farming thing. Meat birds, if so, White Rocks? Eggs, if so, continuous production?

    There are some interesting comments on P~’s blog: EGGS – The Natural Way.

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