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Originally posted on  January 3, 2013 at 12:20 PM

For those with chickens you probably know that egg production goes way down in the winter months at least for those of us who have more or less aux naturalle coops. I’d known that light played a role in the disposition of hens to be active and possibly produce but I didn’t know quite how significant that role might be.

I’d rigged a power line from the house to the coop, a distance of about 75 feet, with intentions of providing a heater if temperatures dropped too low but the weather has been reasonably mild most of this season. Our six hens were behaving very sluggish and egg production was down to about .666667 per day with one valliant hen following through with the goods. Last Saturday I bought a high intensity reading lamp with one of those newfangled bulbs which draw only 20 watts of power. I hung the lamp from a coop rafter with a piece of wire and we plugged the power line into one of those nifty light switch sockets that let’s you turn things on and off without bending and unplugging. We’ve been turning on the chicken light in the morning sometime before 8:00 and letting it burn till about 8:00 PM. Immediate results; Chickens are active, seem happier. Egg production is up to more like 1.75 a day (Those fractional eggs are a bit messy but we’re hoping for an even number any day now!) I’ll keep you posted on the recovery rate of egg production and mental health of hens.