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post #11 of 12

You never "need" to add a light to the coop, although it should have some natural light, so that they see when it is getting dark or light outside.  They do indeed sleep better when it is dark.  Just sit outside the coop for a night with a light on, then without, and see how much restlessness and chirping goes on when there is a light.

 

Some people add a few hours of light so that the total lignt period is about 14 hours a day, which can increase winter egg production.  If you do this, use low wattage (one 25W bulb, for example, is plenty) and put the light on a timer so that it turns on in the early morning, giving them a sudden "sunrise" but a natural sunset.  It is natural for them to gather on the roost during the half hour or so between sunset and dark, and you do best not interfering with this.

 

Commercial egg farms" use light to increase production during the first two years or so of a hen's life -- but the hen is then removed from production and replaced with young birds.  A hen only has a certain number of eggs in her.  If you keep her all her life, at least theoretically, she will lay as many eggs over the long run with or without a night light.

post #12 of 12
Quote:
Originally Posted by newby101 View Post

Well I was telling my husband he needs to add a light to the coop but we were wondering what time of day you turn it on? (Early early morning? Or do you leave it on all night?) it seems weird to light up their cool when they are trying to sleep. Also a friend told me just a regular 40w build would be fine and that they don't need a heat lamp, correct or no?


If one uses supplemental lighting it is generally better to time it so that the light comes on early in the morning (use a timer and then set it to go off after the natural daylight is there to save your electric costs) and the birds have a natural "dusk" to cue going to roost.  You want to have about 14 hours of "daylight" so you just set the light to come on early enough to go with the natural day length to reach that goal (if you are not currently lighting and the days are already fairly shot you want to work up to the goal length in increments).  Birds do need a period of darkness to roost and sleep in, so you want to be sure to allow at least 8-10 hours darkness. 

You are correct, no heat lamp.  the lighting used for laying is not the same as the lighting used for heating.

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