Chickens need a lot of sunlight. I think that the steady supply of light in the coop contributes to good wintertime egg production and Happy Chickens!
I do two things to help with light for my hens:
1. See above. My dad and I enclosed the outdoor run in clear corrugated plastic, so it is both warm and sunny all day. I have seen coops where the outdoor run is closed in during the winter with wood, so the coop is dark all day. I try to get as much light to them as possible. The indoor coop is well lit because the roof of the barn has some clear panels as well.
2. I set up a crazy light / timer system for the indoor coop.
- Set a plug-in timer to come on at 4pm and off at 8pm.
- Then I clip these industrial lights on the overhead beams of the coop and the light comes on when it gets dark outside. Hens need anywhere from 14-16 hours of light a day.