Coop lights for winter!? Help! I’m pulling my hair out.

Karridoll

In the Brooder
May 2, 2019
26
19
44
So my girls have just started really getting in the swing of laying. I would like to get some light for their coop for winter. Ideally I could set the timer for a few hours in the early morning before the sun comes up. I have no source of power at my coop. All of the solar lights I have found do not have timers. All the timers I have found do not work with solar lights.

Ideas?
 

wamtazlady

Crowing
8 Years
Jul 18, 2013
1,713
2,136
316
Kalispell MT
When I had pullets I had no lights in the coop and they laid all winter long. That is rather normal for their first winter. Next year your pullets will be hens. They will molt and stop laying for a time. Anyway, you probably don't need to worry about getting some sort of lighting out to the coop this year. You have time to research what you can do.
 

Cryss

Crossing the Road
Nov 12, 2017
4,492
11,183
757
Northwest New Jersey
When I had pullets I had no lights in the coop and they laid all winter long. That is rather normal for their first winter. Next year your pullets will be hens. They will molt and stop laying for a time. Anyway, you probably don't need to worry about getting some sort of lighting out to the coop this year. You have time to research what you can do.
Agreed.
 

Folly's place

Enabler
9 Years
Sep 13, 2011
23,271
38,601
1,096
southern Michigan
For lighting on a timer, it takes electricity. Also for unfrozen drinking water if you are in snow country, unless going out there three times daily with fresh water sounds like fun. And, an all weather hydrant for water all year, right next to the coop.
Mary
 

blackdog043

Crowing
Feb 19, 2017
2,383
4,066
416
SE PA
You should be fine with your pullets laying through winter without added light. There is no solution that I know of without electricity running to the coop.
Can you run a heavy duty extension cord to it?
Are you in a location where your water will freeze? If you are, you will have to figure something out or take water to them multiple times a day.

Adding your general location to your profile will help us answer a lot of questions easier, without asking all the time.
 

ValerieJ

Straw parade on snow day
Premium Feather Member
5 Years
Jul 24, 2016
10,552
63,210
1,287
Washington State
Our first year we ran an extension cord to the coop. It worked great. We even had to connect 2 100 foot cords to make it from the garage to the coop. We were extremely protective of the junction between the two cords and of course used outdoor extension cords. That being said, if there is any way to dig a little ditch and run electricity out, that is so much better. Have had that since year two. I'm fortunate to have a DH who can do such things for me. The water is the biggest issue in the winter for me. Changing out frozen water a few times a day is tedious, although I do it even with the heated waterer. I add small dishes of water everywhere that I change out every few hours. I like the small dishes because I can just pick them up and set down new ones that are filled with warm water. I started off early thinking my chickens needed food and water sources throughout the coops and run, and have never changed that. Not sure it's necessary at all. Just what I do.
 

ValerieJ

Straw parade on snow day
Premium Feather Member
5 Years
Jul 24, 2016
10,552
63,210
1,287
Washington State
Oh, one more thing. I also think I have probably run out my luck on heat lamps in coops. This year I'm looking at warming plates. If one of my girls wants to get warm she can stand next to that. I've heard that every now and then those heat lamps will start a fire in the coop. I would be too devastated if that happened to make it worth my while to risk it again. If I don't get eggs, so be it. The girls will take a rest and I'll go back to pay $6.50/dozen for eggs from the Happy Egg Farm. BTW, they are cheaper than the ones I get from my hens by far! :lau:lau:lau
 

Folly's place

Enabler
9 Years
Sep 13, 2011
23,271
38,601
1,096
southern Michigan
We aren't doing this for 'cheap'!!!
I don't heat my coop, just have heated bases for the waterers. It likely gets colder here than in Washington, and the coop is fine without extra heat.
I do have breeds that are fine in this climate...
Mary
 

Folly's place

Enabler
9 Years
Sep 13, 2011
23,271
38,601
1,096
southern Michigan
Yesterday I had a nice chat with a neighbor, and tried to explain the actual cost of home raised eggs and especially 'freezer birds'. Raising those poor little Cornishx at home, the 'cheap ones', compared to raising red rangers or heritage birds, and grocery store prices. A revelation to all who think that food grows in packages at the store!!!
'Cheap'!
Mary
 

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