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Let there be light!

post #1 of 6
Thread Starter 
I turned off the night light in my coop two day (and nights) ago. The reason is because two hens started to be reluctant to go in the coop at night.
Observations after two nights without light:
1) 3 hens, no eggs yet today (not common), all 3 layed yesterday.
2) my most vocal hen was quiet, and all were strangely calm this morning (in the run). I opened the coop cautiously because they were so quiet. I thought there might be a surprise inside. So? ...were they quiet because they had a good nights rest?

I know the light stimulates egg production, but does it keep them awake?

I also like to have the light on because it might keep unwanted predators away?

Just some questions and some observations...
post #2 of 6

It doesn't take much light to stimulate egg production. A very low wattage bulb will suffice. If the light you had burning before you turned it off was 100 watt or more, then yes, it was probably disrupting the hens' sleep. They could easily have been suffering stress from it and not getting enough sleep.

 

As for light keeping away predators, it affects them little or not at all, so save your utility bucks.

I know this for a fact because I've observed bears and raccoons and foxes when I shined a light on them, and it was as if the light wasn't even on, that's how little reaction to it they showed. A radio set to a talk station, turned down very low, will work better than light at discouraging predators.

post #3 of 6
Thread Starter 
Thanks for the advice! I was using a blue bulb and im not sure if it is 40 or 60 watt. I have a heater but was also hoping it would suppliment the heat.

My main predator concern is from racoon. One got into my coop and killed one of my chickens a few months ago. I researched the most likely suspect and it was racoon. ...then i saw racoon tracks on the garbage can in the alley. They were dry muddy prints, probably from the night of the attack.
Anyway, racoons are very sly but i think that makes them more aprehensive, and thats why i was thinking a light might keep them away?
post #4 of 6

Nope. It just makes it easier for them to see the chickens.

post #5 of 6
Thread Starter 
I see.
You know the racoon returned. I could tell that it tried unsuccessfully to squeeze in the same place. I know they cover a lot of territory but i put razor blades attached to the wire where it squeezed through. I saw no blood or fur but i wonder if it got sliced? AND i wonder if getting wounded would keep it from returning?
post #6 of 6

Raccoons are intelligent to the point that yes, they would respond to unpleasant or painful deterrents, but don't count on it 100%.

 

If you have good coop and run security, solid fencing, good locks and fasteners, the coons should eventually give up. Or the current ones, anyway.

 

I would try to trap them and execute them - the bast way to insure they won't keep returning. The forum on predators and pests has lots of great advice if you have time to go there. You can also use the search to discover ways others have dealt with raccoons. 

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