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Solar Light To Keep Egg Production Going in The Winter - Page 2

post #11 of 15
Quote:
Originally Posted by bigt447 View Post

I've turned on a light in my pen just before roost time. My pullets still go to roost in their coop when its dark outside the pen. Do I need a light in the coop also in order to extend their hours of light?

I am going to explain a few things here and they will clear up some confusion  about light, winter and laying. 

I provide 12 hours of light for my girls,  because during winter, they are not in their summer coop, but in their winter condo inside  a heated garage.   Garage just has a window that does not really provide sufficient light.   I also keep pigeons alongside my chickens.    I don't want them to go NUTTY , due to darkness.    My chickens have,  at all time....  FOOD AND WATER. available.  The egg production drops off  significantly during the colder winter.    The heating of the garage is only to just above freezing temps. 

Now for the egg laying cycle..    A chicken in full production mode will lay an egg each day.   It occurs in most cases every 25 hours.   ( no need to correct me that yours do it at different intervals,there are exceptions everywhere. )  A chicken lays eggs during daylight.  ( again there are those that laid eggs at night that dropped from the roost and broke below them,)    Lets start a chicken laying on day 1 at 9 AM. Next day should be about 10 AM.  For practical purposes, lets say there are 8 hours of daylight during the shortest days of winter.  ( I'm skipping the  twilight at dawn and dusk,)   This means that for 8 days your chicken will lay daily.    On day 9, it gets dark so chicken waits until next morning to lay her egg.   This mathematically translates to  3 to 4 skipped laying days per month. 

Ok, now you are thinking,,,,,,,,,,   WO WO WO,  MR. CAVEMAN......  According to you I should not have much of a drop off in egg production  due to less daylight.    I did not say that. 

Added   amount of light time, means that the chickens will be eating during  that period.   REMEMBER THIS.  In order for eggs to come out of chicken, food has to go into chicken. 

I do not think it matters  MUCH  whether you add the light in the evening or morning.   It may and you can experiment which way is better for your chickens.    Another thing to consider is the intensity of the light.    If it is quite dim, then it will have less effect than bright light similar  in value to daylight.   Battery hens at egg production farms have lights on 24 hours.  That does not mean that they do not sleep at all.  They snooze  whenever they desire. 

Bottom line.....  There are multiple factors to decreased egg production during winter.   Adding light is good but not the SILVER BULLET.   :caf

post #12 of 15
Thread Starter 
Thanks for all the input. One of the links had a guy on YouTube with a good set up he was using a battery and he also used a timer. I will show it to my husband and see what he thinks. Maybe we can get the stuff off ebay for less as someone said they did.

1 EE Roo (Don)1 BO Cockerel (GoldieRoo)1 Silkie Mix Hens (Buttercup, peaches & Lulu)3 EE Hens (Emma RIP) Dottie & Aunt Bea)1 BO Hen (Wilma RIP) 1 Barred Rock Hen (Betty)1 Pullet Bantam Leghorn (Lady)1 Pullet Silkie (Fancy Pants)1 Pullet Olive Egger (Olive)1 Pullet EE (Frankie)5 Pullet Sex Links (Poppy + 4 )1 Pullet RIR (Lil Red)

Plus 3 Roosters & 15 Hens that I am trying to save (RIP Sweet P)

Reply

1 EE Roo (Don)1 BO Cockerel (GoldieRoo)1 Silkie Mix Hens (Buttercup, peaches & Lulu)3 EE Hens (Emma RIP) Dottie & Aunt Bea)1 BO Hen (Wilma RIP) 1 Barred Rock Hen (Betty)1 Pullet Bantam Leghorn (Lady)1 Pullet Silkie (Fancy Pants)1 Pullet Olive Egger (Olive)1 Pullet EE (Frankie)5 Pullet Sex Links (Poppy + 4 )1 Pullet RIR (Lil Red)

Plus 3 Roosters & 15 Hens that I am trying to save (RIP Sweet P)

Reply
post #13 of 15

I went through every solar solution I could think of before stumbling up with a very simple solution. We have a coup a distance from the house and, like for many people, running electric isn't a viable option. I ended up hanging a camplight (small battery powered lantern with hanging top loop) in a corner of the coup, which lights up about half of the coup and leaves the other half - especially top shelves where the chickens sleep - in darkness. I turn it on at night when locking them up and turn it off in the early morning when leaving for work. I really did not think that this solution would work. The chickens weren't really in the light because they had a huge nearly black area of coup. They weren't really in the dark because half the coup was lighter and they may stress out.  But it was my interim solution until I found a good solar light on a timer (FYI - as far as I can tell, they don't exist and someone could probably do well making and/or marketing them!).  6 weeks in and my chickens are laying as strong as mid-summer, which has never happened before as we are now dropping below 12 hrs of light and it's starting to snow, and seem to settle down and get happier when I turn the light on at night. I have only changed the 4 A-4 batteries once so far. They seem to last about 4 wks. We have set up motion sensor solar floodlights around the coop, which helps with locking up when it gets dark quickly. Another winter coop light option for the do-it-yourselfer!

post #14 of 15
Thread Starter 
Terrific timing! My husband hurt his back and is not in the mood to try and find and set up a system for them!
Do you happen to know which one you are using and I will order it today!
Yay! Thanks

1 EE Roo (Don)1 BO Cockerel (GoldieRoo)1 Silkie Mix Hens (Buttercup, peaches & Lulu)3 EE Hens (Emma RIP) Dottie & Aunt Bea)1 BO Hen (Wilma RIP) 1 Barred Rock Hen (Betty)1 Pullet Bantam Leghorn (Lady)1 Pullet Silkie (Fancy Pants)1 Pullet Olive Egger (Olive)1 Pullet EE (Frankie)5 Pullet Sex Links (Poppy + 4 )1 Pullet RIR (Lil Red)

Plus 3 Roosters & 15 Hens that I am trying to save (RIP Sweet P)

Reply

1 EE Roo (Don)1 BO Cockerel (GoldieRoo)1 Silkie Mix Hens (Buttercup, peaches & Lulu)3 EE Hens (Emma RIP) Dottie & Aunt Bea)1 BO Hen (Wilma RIP) 1 Barred Rock Hen (Betty)1 Pullet Bantam Leghorn (Lady)1 Pullet Silkie (Fancy Pants)1 Pullet Olive Egger (Olive)1 Pullet EE (Frankie)5 Pullet Sex Links (Poppy + 4 )1 Pullet RIR (Lil Red)

Plus 3 Roosters & 15 Hens that I am trying to save (RIP Sweet P)

Reply
post #15 of 15

Just went down to the coop to check out the brand and there wasn't one!  The sticker probably fell off years ago. This is our 10+ year old trusty camping lantern. I think I got it from walmart. It looks a lot like this. http://www.walmart.com/ip/4-Life-Gear-LG447-3-In-1-Glow-LED-Camping-Outdoor-Lightweight-Lantern-35-Lumen/40591845

 

The newer models probably work even better than mine.  Good luck!

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