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Confused about winter lighting

Discussion in 'Chicken Behaviors and Egglaying' started by desertgirl, Nov 27, 2009.

  1. desertgirl

    desertgirl Roo Magnet

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    Mar 29, 2009
    Albuquerque,NM
    I finally have my first eggs, but we have had much less than the 14 hours of daylight I've heard about. I haven't used supplemental lighting, having heard that the girls need to toughen up. Now I'm confused...should I turn on the red/heat lamp at night so they will lay? Or do I need to get a different (non heat) light?[​IMG]
     
  2. dacjohns

    dacjohns People Cracker Upper

    It is a matter of choice.

    They need light as in "white" light to get the lay eggs hormones active. Some folks feel they will do with fewer eggs and a longer lifespan for their chickens. Others feel that keeping them laying during the winter won't make a difference in their lifespan. Others feel that they will get the eggs and turn the chickens into another protein source when egg production slows down.

    The red heat lamp is for heat, it won't really help with egg production.

    If your coop is well insulated and protected from drafts you shouldn't need supplemental heat unless your birds are getting frost bite and their water is freezing.
     
  3. desertgirl

    desertgirl Roo Magnet

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    Mar 29, 2009
    Albuquerque,NM
    Thank you! I supplement their lights with white light for a few hours a day starting tomarrow. Appreciate the advice![​IMG]
     
  4. dacjohns

    dacjohns People Cracker Upper

    Morning seems to be the preferred time for supplemental lighting. Using a timer makes things easier.
     
    Last edited: Nov 27, 2009
  5. desertgirl

    desertgirl Roo Magnet

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    Mar 29, 2009
    Albuquerque,NM
    I wonder why....[​IMG]
     
  6. dacjohns

    dacjohns People Cracker Upper

    I think it has to do with getting the chickens back in the coop at night.
     
  7. Akane

    Akane Overrun With Chickens

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    Chickens can't see in the dark any better than humans can. They don't have the night vision of other animals. If your coop doesn't receive any light after the sun goes down and you leave a light on for a few hours they won't get on the roosts. When the light goes off they are caught on the floor of the coop unable to see the roosts well. At best that results in chickens sleeping on the floor and at worst they can panic or try to get on the roosts in the dark and injure themselves. If your coop gets light from something like street lights or flood lights on a building then that's not a problem. Otherwise it's best to either leave a dim night light in there or only add light in the morning so when the sun goes down they get on the roosts in the coop before all light is gone.
     
  8. dacjohns

    dacjohns People Cracker Upper

    Thanks Akane. I just couldn't quite remember that.
     
  9. desertgirl

    desertgirl Roo Magnet

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    That makes sense.Thanks again!
     
  10. Plain Old Dee

    Plain Old Dee Chillin' With My Peeps

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    Oct 30, 2009
    Seminole, OK
    We turn on our light at about 3 pm and turn it off about 9 pm. By the time we turn off the light, the chickens are all already on the roosts and snoring away. I guess that with the east side of the henhouse completely open (opening is covered by welded wire) they can tell it's dark outside anyway and head for bed. They start getting on the roosts about 8 pm, so I guess they know when bedtime is even with the light on... [​IMG]
     

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