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Is there a downside to putting a light in the coop for the winter months? - Page 3

post #21 of 162
Quote:
Originally Posted by Anicholesz View Post

Nobody has mentioned lighting for warmth.....

 

One person did.  :-)

 

Quote:

Originally Posted by xmonster0 View Post
 

In my experience the down sides are the following

 

less frozen water in the coop

less loss of chickens due to freezing to death

and more eggs in the winter, in fact my hens lay consistantly year round

 

 

hope that helps

 

I kept chickens in northern Utah for 4-5 years and never used lights.  I closed the chicken run so they couldn't go out in the winter and then put opaque plastic over the whole coop making it like a like a green house to keep the wind out and warmth from the decomposition in the litter in.  I was keeping Old English Game at the time which did well in the cold.  They don't have long wattles and our cock bird was dubbed so we didn't have problems with frost bite.  The hen on my then uncles farm in Wyoming was also shut in and fit with opaque plastic in the winter. They had light on in their hen house, so it stayed above freezing all winter (the 4 feet of snow pack around the coops seemed to help insulate too).


Edited by GaryDean26 - 11/12/13 at 12:12pm

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post #22 of 162
I supplement, but then again the day's get really short here in the UK. Closer to the equator there is little reason to supplement. I don't over exaggerate the extra lighting, lights come on at 6am and chickens are roosting for bed by 4:00-4:30, 5:00 on a sunny day, this time of year. If I don't supplement they probably would barely get 8 hours in.
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post #23 of 162

well by light i mean red heat lamps.

 

i shine them down on their water does the same job as a heated base , just from the top as out here heated bases cost $80

 

and the ballast and the bulb cost a total of $15

 

i don't trick them into thinking there is more daylight.

 

i just in essence heat my coop

 

makes them happier and reduces loss as last year i had a hen lose all her nails to frostbite

 

i guess it just depends on where you live, where i live a good storm can kill all your birds in one night if you are not prepared

post #24 of 162
Quote:
Originally Posted by 5chicks4us View Post
 

Adding the light can aggravate them and cause them to peck each others feathers.  Personally, we do not use a lamp for heat and we never will.  Insulating the coop and making it free of drafts is the way to go.  When you make them dependent on heat, what happens during a power outage?  They suffer and can die.  They can also die from a fire, which happens all too often when you add in any sort of light for egg production or heat.  Remember that chickens are birds and they have survived for many years before humans starting putting them in coops. 

yes but chickens are not originally from the US, theyre from the tropics i think so its alot warmer. i dont put a light either its just free of drafts. but i feel it wouldnt end to well if they werent housed during low temperatures

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Barred Rocks, Blue Laced Red Wyandottes, Buff Orpingtons, Black Australorps, Light Brahmas, and Columbian Wyandottes
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post #25 of 162
Quote:
Originally Posted by appps View Post


How does a light stop water freezing?


Personally, though I have no scientific proof for this I think we have already bred these birds outside of normal to be huge producers of eggs rather than just a few clutches like other birds. Add to that not allowing those over worked bodies a slow down over winter by tricking them into doing even more laying cannot possibly be good for them.

Guess you need to decide if you want what is best for you or best for the birds.

 

well by light i mean red heat lamps.

 

i shine them down on their water does the same job as a heated base , just from the top as out here heated bases cost $80

 

and the ballast and the bulb cost a total of $15

 

i don't trick them into thinking there is more daylight.

 

i just in essence heat my coop

 

makes them happier and reduces loss as last year i had a hen lose all her nails to frostbite

 

i guess it just depends on where you live, where i live a good storm can kill all your birds in one night if you are not prepared

 

also i want to add this: i don't know what kind of birds you have but the layers on the market today seem to be bred to lay year round anyways

 

my birds have always layed year round, heated coop or not, and they have always seemed to lay better in the winter

 

and very rarely in the summer, generally in the summermonths their production goes down to 20 percent compared to winter laying.

post #26 of 162

I am in NW Ga and we don't fight temperatures being too low like some of you do.  However, I DO use lights, starting in mid-November.  I only add light in the AM, never the PM.  Light is added and gradually increased such that they get 14 hours of light per day.

 

Now - my reasoning is slightly different than those offered so far.  I have found that LF (I raise Columbian Plymouth Rocks) finish larger if I hatch them in the winter months.  I typically set my breeding pens up in late Nov-early Dec and finish my hatching right after New Years.  It has made a HUGE difference in the size of my birds once fully grown.  Secondarily to this, the birds hatch in winter are much larger when the full blown summer heat sets in and I have lost NONE to heat related issues since I began hatching earlier.

 

For those of you looking for egg production, lights are going to help tremendously.  Egg production is directly related to light.

 

I've done this for many years and I have yet to see an adverse reaction in my birds.  After I am finished hatching I may turn the lights off for a short period, but normally turn them back on so that I can fill orders for hatching eggs in early Spring.

 

Hope this helps

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post #27 of 162

I turn the barn light on and never turn it off until spring. It gets so bloody dark so early and I can't see them to feed them. So it's mostly on for me and them laying eggs is just a bonus. I suppose I could turn it off but it's in a far off corner that I store stuff in front of and I'm lazy so I don't. No ill effects as of yet.

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post #28 of 162
Quote:
Originally Posted by cargilelove View Post

man..... we are torn!

our egg production is very little this week. i'm not sure if the girls have molted or already getting ready for winter? (they are all under a year) it was almost 70 degrees here in denver today. the reason we have chickens is for eggs. we also want to treat them as humanely as possible. not sure what to do!
post #29 of 162
I find that 2 extra hrs of light in morning keeps enough eggs on table in winter.

Wife and mother of 3 boys ages 22, 19, 15. Organic gardener. Caregiver of Easter Egger bantams and RIR bantams. 

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Wife and mother of 3 boys ages 22, 19, 15. Organic gardener. Caregiver of Easter Egger bantams and RIR bantams. 

From Clovis, California

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post #30 of 162
I am new at this too. I read that some chickens don't molt the first year so don't worry if they don't. check out Fresh Eggs Daily she backs all her reasons for not giving artificial lighting. Give you some more info on humane ways to raise your flock.
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