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Artificial light in the chicken coop

post #1 of 58
Thread Starter 

From what I have read, you should add artificial light in the coop in the wintertime to give the laying hens about 14 hours of light. Do you need to have any light on in the coop in the summer as well?

post #2 of 58

I can think of two possible reasons to have lights in your coop in the summer.  One depends on where you live.  If you are so close to the equator that you get less than 14 hours of daylight even in summer, you might need to add light to maintain maximum laying. 

Depending on the coop and your window layout, your coop might get pretty dark before it gets dark enough outside to trigger the chickens to go to the coop to roost.  If it is too dark in the coop when they do go in, they may not be able to see well enough to get on the roosts.  They may not even go into the coop if it is too dark inside.  A light could help in these circumstances.

Freedom is not the right to do what we want, but what we ought....Abraham Lincoln (Freedom carries responsibility)

The spirit of liberty is the spirit which is not too sure that it is right.....Judge Learned Hand  (The more sure your are that your way is the only right way, the more likely you are wrong.)

 

http://www.backyardchickens.com/a/how-much-room-do-chickens-need

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Freedom is not the right to do what we want, but what we ought....Abraham Lincoln (Freedom carries responsibility)

The spirit of liberty is the spirit which is not too sure that it is right.....Judge Learned Hand  (The more sure your are that your way is the only right way, the more likely you are wrong.)

 

http://www.backyardchickens.com/a/how-much-room-do-chickens-need

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post #3 of 58
Thread Starter 

Does it cause any problems if they get more than 14 hours of light?

post #4 of 58

I've seen where intermittent light can cause meat spots in eggs.  This site mentions it. 

http://www.oznet.ksu.edu/library/lvstk2/ep127.pdf

I've also seen where continuous light is not good for chickens, but I don't know how much darkness they really need or what problems it causes.  You might check out the maximum hours of light you get at your latitude and limit your chickens to that.  If you are in the northern hemisphere and check June 21 for your location, you'll get that information.

Almanac with hours of light
http://www.almanac.com/sunrise/40379

Freedom is not the right to do what we want, but what we ought....Abraham Lincoln (Freedom carries responsibility)

The spirit of liberty is the spirit which is not too sure that it is right.....Judge Learned Hand  (The more sure your are that your way is the only right way, the more likely you are wrong.)

 

http://www.backyardchickens.com/a/how-much-room-do-chickens-need

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Freedom is not the right to do what we want, but what we ought....Abraham Lincoln (Freedom carries responsibility)

The spirit of liberty is the spirit which is not too sure that it is right.....Judge Learned Hand  (The more sure your are that your way is the only right way, the more likely you are wrong.)

 

http://www.backyardchickens.com/a/how-much-room-do-chickens-need

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post #5 of 58

Hawk,
Why would you want to add artifical lighting to start with? You are not running a commerical poultry operation, but a backyard operation. So why not let nature dictate when the hens lay and when they rest?

If you want winter eggs then get some hens from breeds that are good winter layers.
saladin

NPIP 56-378, AI tested Clean, Farm Inspected by Clemson Poultry
Breeding Orientals,Games and Ducks;
With a large selection of Asil
And the largest flock of Cubalayas east of the Mississippi
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NPIP 56-378, AI tested Clean, Farm Inspected by Clemson Poultry
Breeding Orientals,Games and Ducks;
With a large selection of Asil
And the largest flock of Cubalayas east of the Mississippi
Reply
post #6 of 58

Hawk,
There's a lot of passion about this subject here.
Years ago when I first got chickens, I was told that if you added light to the coop it was better to go with light 24/7 unless you could guarantee perfect coordination between natural and artificial light. Sounded too complicated for me, so I've kept a small watt light on ever since. Has not been a problem for me or the chickens. They lay normally, and sleep just fine. I'm not recommending this, just stating my experience.

Imp- I'm small so I can hide very well roll

 

 

If all the beasts were gone, men would die from a great loneliness of spirit,

for whatever happens to the beasts also happens to the man.

All things are connected.
Whatever befalls the Earth befalls the sons of the Earth.

 

       ― Chief Seattle

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If all the beasts were gone, men would die from a great loneliness of spirit,

for whatever happens to the beasts also happens to the man.

All things are connected.
Whatever befalls the Earth befalls the sons of the Earth.

 

       ― Chief Seattle

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post #7 of 58

Chickens have been raised for many thousands of years ...let nature take its course.

Experience.... is what we have left over after we have lost everything !
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Experience.... is what we have left over after we have lost everything !
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post #8 of 58
Quote:
Originally Posted by Imp 

Hawk,
There's a lot of passion about this subject here.


Geez guys! From what I can tell there is a lot of passion about a heck of a lot of subjects here!

If you can't laugh at yourself and in turn, everyone else, when you or they do something amusing, life is far too serious. Some folks just find more things amusing than others.

"Be who you are and say what you feel, because those who mind don't matter and those who matter don't mind." - Dr. Seuss
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If you can't laugh at yourself and in turn, everyone else, when you or they do something amusing, life is far too serious. Some folks just find more things amusing than others.

"Be who you are and say what you feel, because those who mind don't matter and those who matter don't mind." - Dr. Seuss
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post #9 of 58

Understand that commercial operations use artificial light to maximize egg production.  Also, chickens have already been bred to maximize egg production.  There is a lot of feeling on here that doing this further stresses the chickens.  I don't know whether that has been proven or not, but it is evident that egg laying is stressful for them.  "Normal" chickens go broody once or twice a year, and take a vacation from laying for a couple of months or so to raise chicks.

That said, if you want to use light to increase egg production, there are others on here who also do this.  It is suggested you have the light come on in the AM rather than stay on in the PM, to let them wind down in a more normal manner, for sleep.

Ventilation -- may be the most important aspect of coop design

BYC Troubleshooting article -- click here

Worry is interest paid on trouble before it comes due.

14 hatchery and mutt hens

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Ventilation -- may be the most important aspect of coop design

BYC Troubleshooting article -- click here

Worry is interest paid on trouble before it comes due.

14 hatchery and mutt hens

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post #10 of 58
Quote:
Originally Posted by ddawn 

"Normal" chickens go broody once or twice a year


So that's why I don't have a broody!  My chickens aren't normal!  lol
I don't add light.  If I wanted to raise chickens the way the commercial operations do, I'd have my DH re-construct the commercial chicken houses he tore down about five years ago.  hide


Edited by gritsar - 8/3/09 at 4:49pm

If there ever comes a day when we can't be together keep me in your heart, I'll stay there forever - Winnie the Pooh
I'll never develop a thick skin.  Thick skin leads to a hard heart and I never want to be one of those people.
A slave to LF brahmas, seramas, cochins, sebrights, and call ducks.  R.I.P. Dragon, the crossbeak.  Thank you for teaching me so much about life.

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If there ever comes a day when we can't be together keep me in your heart, I'll stay there forever - Winnie the Pooh
I'll never develop a thick skin.  Thick skin leads to a hard heart and I never want to be one of those people.
A slave to LF brahmas, seramas, cochins, sebrights, and call ducks.  R.I.P. Dragon, the crossbeak.  Thank you for teaching me so much about life.

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