Do they need a light?

Discussion in 'Coop & Run - Design, Construction, & Maintenance' started by jmeeter88, Sep 5, 2008.

  1. jmeeter88

    jmeeter88 Chillin' With My Peeps

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    Aug 18, 2008
    New Hartford, NY
    Once I put my chickens in the coop for the night, do they need a light in there? How well do chickens see in the dark?
     
  2. bills

    bills Chillin' With My Peeps

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    The chickens usualy return to the coop when it starts to get dark, and soon settle on the roost for the night. They don't need a light.

    Now if they are laying hens, you should have a light on a timer, set to come on early am, so that the hens get about 16 hours light a day, including the natural sunlight. Light is important to laying hens to stimulate them to lay. I have mine set to come on at 3.30am-5.30am depending on the length of the natural daylight hours.

    It's better to have the light come on early am, and then let the chickens go to roost with the fading of the natural light. If you have a light on after dark in the coop, then it goes out suddenly, they may have problems getting settled on the roost.[​IMG]
     
  3. Daycare Mom

    Daycare Mom Chickens, Cuddly and Delicious

    Apr 9, 2008
    Conklin, Michigan
    Mine have a light that comes on just before dark and goes out a while after. They like to come in and get a snack and get settled on the roosts. In the winter I will set the timer to come on in the morning for a while also. Chickens can't see in the dark at all. Poor things. [​IMG]
     
  4. jmeeter88

    jmeeter88 Chillin' With My Peeps

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    New Hartford, NY
    OK, thanks a lot guys. I felt really bad putting them out there in the pitch black for the first time... They were squabbling like I've never heard before but quieted down after 10 minutes or so...
     
  5. sugarbush

    sugarbush Chillin' With My Peeps

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    Lexington KY
    Quote:Makes them easy to catch if you need to catch them.
     
  6. Daycare Mom

    Daycare Mom Chickens, Cuddly and Delicious

    Apr 9, 2008
    Conklin, Michigan
    Makes them easy to catch if you need to catch them.

    Very true, that is nice sometimes. [​IMG]
     
  7. MissPrissy

    MissPrissy Overrun With Chickens Premium Member

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    You do not need a light in your coop. The chickens are better off sleeping in the dark and going to roost with sun down.
     
  8. jmeeter88

    jmeeter88 Chillin' With My Peeps

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    Aug 18, 2008
    New Hartford, NY
    So chickens are nocturnal, then?
     
  9. Beekissed

    Beekissed True BYC Addict

    Quote:No, they are not. That is why its so easy to pluck one off the roost...for you and for predators! They do not see well in the dark.


    Bills said: Now if they are laying hens, you should have a light on a timer, set to come on early am, so that the hens get about 16 hours light a day, including the natural sunlight. Light is important to laying hens to stimulate them to lay. I have mine set to come on at 3.30am-5.30am depending on the length of the natural daylight hours.

    Now, if one is letting their hens go through a more natural egg-laying cycle in the winter to avoid early burn out, this is not necessarily true. Providing more light is necessary to increase egglaying in the slower months, but not necessary if this is not a desired action.​
     
  10. patandchickens

    patandchickens Flock Mistress

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    I do get the impression that mine much prefer *some* dim, nocturnal light at night, as opposed to pitch black can't-see-your-hand-before-your-face.

    Just what comes in thru a normal window is perfectly sufficient - but if you have less than that, it could be an issue.

    JMHO,

    Pat
     

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