I put a light in my chicken coop in the winter at night when it gets really cold to help with some heat it gets pretty cold here in Idaho for 2 months I never thought about it keeping the chickens in laying, I have a huge window on the south side of my coop that we cover in plastic, my coop is very old and drafty that's why we use the light.
There is a way to tell if a hen is no longer laying something to do with measuring their pelvic bone with your fingers, if you take a chicken and hold it upside down and feel where there pelvic bone is, on the OUTSIDE if it is 2-3 fingers wide then they are laying if its only 1 finger wide then they aren't, this is all according to my mother in law. I currently have 22 hens and I know that not all of them are laying but I don't do the finger check, all of my hens stick around till their dying days weather it be they die of old age or the rascal roaming coyote, the only chicken that we butcher is roosters if we get to many from incubation this year I ended up with 12 roosters and they were killed and processed and given to my brother in law, I can't eat my chickens after butchering them.
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