When chicks are hatched they are typically given 24 hours of light for the first few days and then the light duration is reduced to approximately 20 hours per day by 6 weeks of age if reared in light proof housing.
From week 7 they are typically maintained on 6 hours of light until weeks 18-19. To stimulate egg production, light levels are gradually increased by 30 minutes to 1 hour per week to achieve 14 hours of light at week 23-24.
The gradual increase in light duration stimulates egg production. It is important that the increase is gradual and it takes a number of weeks for the increase to have an effect.
For more information on optimising a farm or environment for egg production, get in contact with Ballyrichard Duck And Goose Hatchery today.
Under natural daylight conditions, hens will receive approximately 9 hours of daylight in mid-winter and 17.5 hours of daylight in mid-summer.
For much of the year, laying hens will not have adequate light for optimal egg production. Providing supplementary electric light in the autumn, winter and spring months is necessary for good levels of egg production. This can be achieved by providing electric light until 10 pm, in the evening. However, if hens are still eating before lights are turned off they could be caught in the dark on the ground. This must be avoided as hen’s feet are very sensitive to the cold and it is important that they are off the ground.
To avoid a hen being on the ground in darkness, dim the lights for a period before turning them off or turn the lights off and on a couple of times until the hens are settled on the roost. Alternatively, the additional light could be given early in the morning using a time switch system.