Winter Lighting - First winter with chickens
I'm going into my first winter with 20 chickens and am preparing to put up the coop lighting. I've got a bunch of questions so I do it correctly if someone can help :)
I know I need 14-15 hours so they keep laying, so I'm planning on turning it on about 2:00AM in the coop. Currently, my two older hens (8 months) have been laying their eggs when they are still on the roosts and I think it's because it's so dark inside that they can't see to get by the other 4 month old chickens and into the nesting boxes. I'm hoping this will eliminate that habit and they'll start using the boxes again?
I have a SECURE 12x16 run attached to the coop and have been leaving the exit door open for additional ventilation during the summer months. This also allows them to exit into the run once they wake. Should the run also be lit so they can continue this habit, or should I now be closing that door nightly so they have to stay inside for those additional 4-5 hours before I wake and open the door?
I currently have hanging food and water inside the coop as well as in the run. Should I continue the inside food so they have something to do and don't get bored especially if I start closing the door?