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Optimizing Poultry Egg Production in the Fall: A Gradual Approach to Supplemental Lighting

Updated: Nov 18, 2023


As the fall season approaches, poultry farmers often face a common challenge: a decrease in egg production due to reduced daylight hours. Chickens, like many other birds, rely on the changing length of daylight to regulate their internal biological clocks, which in turn affects egg-laying patterns. However, with the right strategies, it is possible to maintain egg-laying capability in the fall and ensure a steady supply of fresh eggs. In this article, we will discuss how to use supplemental lighting during the fall and explore the benefits of gradually increasing the amount of daylight your poultry receives.

The Role of Daylight in Poultry Egg Production

Understanding the relationship between daylight and poultry egg production is crucial. Chickens are photoperiodic animals, which means they are sensitive to the duration of light and darkness. As the days get shorter in the fall, hens receive signals that trigger a reduction in egg-laying activity.

Supplemental Lighting in Fall

To counteract the natural decrease in daylight, poultry farmers can introduce supplemental lighting in the coop or run. This artificial light source serves to extend the perceived length of the day, fooling the hens' internal clocks and encouraging them to maintain egg-laying activity.

Here are some key points to consider when using supplemental lighting:

1. Select the Right Lighting: Use low-intensity, red or orange-colored bulbs to simulate the warmth of natural light. Avoid bright white or blue lights, which can disrupt the birds' circadian rhythms.

2. Set a Consistent Schedule: Implement a consistent lighting schedule to mimic natural day length. Ideally, hens should receive 14-16 hours of light each day.

3. Avoid Sudden Changes: Gradual transitions are less stressful for the birds and reduce the risk of causing health problems or a sudden drop in egg production.

Gradual Increase in Daylight

One effective strategy for maintaining egg-laying capability in the fall is to gradually increase the amount of supplemental lighting each week. Instead of introducing the full 14-16 hours of light all at once, you can add 30 minutes of light per week until you reach the desired lighting duration. This approach helps the chickens adjust to the changing conditions and reduces stress.

Benefits of Gradual Increase:

1. Reduced Stress: Chickens are sensitive to abrupt changes, and sudden increases in lighting can stress them. A gradual approach minimizes stress and encourages more natural behavior.

2. Improved Health: Rapid changes in lighting patterns can lead to health issues such as feather picking or aggression among birds. Gradual adjustments can help maintain a healthier coop environment.

3. Consistent Egg Production: By allowing your hens to adapt slowly to the increased light, you can achieve a more consistent and sustained egg production rate throughout the fall.


Maintaining egg-laying capability in the fall requires careful management of lighting conditions. Supplemental lighting is a valuable tool for poultry farmers, and a gradual increase in daylight hours can be a smart approach to support your flock's well-being and productivity. By considering the chickens' natural needs and behavior, you can ensure a steady supply of fresh eggs throughout the autumn months. Remember to monitor your flock and make adjustments as needed to create the best conditions for your hens.

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