Does a coop need a light?

Discussion in 'Coop & Run - Design, Construction, & Maintenance' started by lulumammato2, Mar 22, 2011.

  1. lulumammato2

    lulumammato2 In the Brooder

    Feb 7, 2011
    Tulsa, OK
    I am wondering if a coop needs a light during the spring/summer? I know they need one in the winter for warmth, but I was just wondering what everyone else does:)

  2. hennyannie

    hennyannie Songster

    Mar 12, 2011
    North Carolina
    I did not put lights in my coop, but I have wish I did about a million times. I do run a cord from my building in the winter to run a lamp mostly to keep the water from freezing. This time of year it is not so bad but when the time changes in the fall and for some reason you have to feed later it is a bummer.
  3. Fred's Hens

    Fred's Hens Crowing Premium Member

    We have lights in the barn so we can see to do chores. Daylight hours, in the winter, are very short.
    We don't use heaters in winter or summer. The feathered hens don't need it and our electric bill is high enough running heated dog dishes for their water. We do provide 11 hours of a single 40 watt mini-florescent light, on a timer, to give them some normality of "day" without pushing them in the winter.
    During the summer none of the above is required.
  4. teach1rusl

    teach1rusl Love My Chickens

    Unless you're trying to extend the daylight hours for better winter egg rates, you don't even NEED a light in the winter. A light is nice to have for the humans, [​IMG]

  5. AinaWGSD

    AinaWGSD Songster

    Apr 2, 2010
    Sullivan, IL
    Not at all. My coop doesn't have a light, ever. My birds did just fine over the winter, and we had some bitter cold nights here too. Now I will say that there is a street light a few yards over, so it isn't as dark as it would be if we lived in the country or even in the front yard vs the back yard. But the only real advantage to having a light (unless, as teach1 mentioned, you are trying to increase winter egg production) is that it makes it easier for you to see if you ever have to go out to the coop when it's dark.
  6. Dixiedoodle

    Dixiedoodle Songster

    Apr 14, 2007
    Since, I am scared of a fire, I choose not to have electricity run to my coop. I have only had frozen water twice (it was in the tens for two weeks this winter..), I use the deep litter method. I do have two stick up lights that run on batteries.. You press the face of the light and it comes on.. One on each side of the coop--they are plenty of light for counting fluffy butts and getting eggs after dark...
  7. happycountryhens

    happycountryhens Songster

    Jun 17, 2010
    Central NY
    We have very short winter hours here also and do not have a light in the coop. However, we do bring a battery lantern to the coop to do chores at night and get all the chickens up for fresh food and warm water (in the winter). They eat, drink and go back to bed. Of course, it is nice now we have had some warmer weather and the water doesn't freeze as much. :)

  8. motoclown

    motoclown Songster

    May 27, 2010
    New Castle, PA
    No light here just two windows for light.
  9. SlowRiverFarms

    SlowRiverFarms In the Brooder

    Mar 19, 2011
    Rescue, CA
    Lights, but mostly for us humans. I use LED bulbs, so there is no heat generated and thus no fear of fire.

  10. Oscgrr

    Oscgrr In the Brooder

    May 14, 2010
    Cape Cod
    There are no lights to speak of in my coop. I do have a solar light that charges during the day and light's up three LED spotlights, but they're not at all bright and don't last long. I put them in the coop/run when the chickens were just little things and wouldn't go into the coop at night, they just huddled up near the door to the run. Once I put the light in, they went in to the coop at night but I still need a flashlight to count fuzzy butts. I could take the light out but I got used to it. As for heat in the winter, not at all. The LED lights don't give off any heat and we survived a frigid New England winter just fine. I admit, I was a little concerned at first, but all the BYCers from Alaska that testified that chickens aclimate just fine to winter temps reassured me that I had nothing to worry about. Next winter, I'm going to run a chord for a heated water dish so I can sleep an extra hour in the morning.

    If anything, I would rather have a darker coop at night to possibly discourage them from pecking at each other. I tend to believe that if it's dark, they sleep and not so much in the light. Maybe a light outside the coop would help deter nocturnal predators, maybe not.

    Remember, folks have been keeping chickens a long time before electricity. We tend to project our ideas of comfort on them but, for the most part, we're nothing like them. The only light you really NEED is a good flashlight.

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