1. jthornton

    jthornton Crowing

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    Providing extra light to stimulate egg laying has been discussed to death but a few variations I'd thought I'd ramble on about.

    @aart mentioned that she does not start extra light until the end of December to allow them to moult which makes sense. So rather than hijack that thread any more I thought I'd start a new one. At my latitude November 23rd is 10:00 hours of daylight. So if I start my extra light then and add 10 minutes per day it will take me 24 days to reach 14:00 hours of daylight. @aart mentioned she added 30 minutes a week which would be 8 weeks for me or 56 days.

    As mentioned before unless you can simulate the sunset it's best to add the light in the AM and use the sunset to allow them time to get comfortable on the roost.

    As a side note I noticed my infrared lights on my camera was waking the hens up way too early so I now turn them off at night and they sleep right up to lights on time.

    JT
     
  2. SueT

    SueT Free Ranging

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    Question--when lights come on in the morning, are they still locked in the coop? Or do you light the run as well?
    When I turn on the lights inside and open the doors, they'll all just go out into the dark, except the top hens who get some light on the 'porch' where I have an outdoor light. My coop isn't big enuf to have everyone up and milling around with doors still closed.
     
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  3. aart

    aart Chicken Juggler!

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    Mine are locked in coop until natural daylight arrives, with feed and water, and light when the times comes.....with my weather I need large coop space anyway.
    Light needs to be fairy bright to effect pineal gland.
    Here's a pretty good article on supplemental lighting.
     
  4. jthornton

    jthornton Crowing

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    Hi Sue,

    When the lights come on the door to the run opens up and I have a couple of LED shop lights in the run that also come on. The run is secure so I don't let them out of the run until a bit after sunrise on a normal day. If it's real dark and cloudy I might make them stay inside a bit longer. The lights currently stay on until 15 minutes after sunrise but I'm thinking I want to extend that some for winter.

    At this time they are getting 13 hours a day of light and I'm reducing that by 10 minutes a day until they only get extra light from dawn till 30 minutes after sunrise. The plan is on November 23 to start adding 10 minutes a day until they reach 14 hours per day.

    I'll get a shot of the run and coop in the morning before the sun comes up so you can see what I'm doing.

    I'm in the process of re-writing the code for the Raspberry Pi 3 that controls the lights and door to be a bit more bullet proof.

    JT
     
  5. jthornton

    jthornton Crowing

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    Here is a photo of the lights before dawn this morning.

    lights-01.jpg lights-02.jpg

    JT
     
  6. aart

    aart Chicken Juggler!

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    ...and all the chickens are like
    upload_2018-10-1_19-29-7.png
     
  7. jthornton

    jthornton Crowing

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    Actually they don't move much when the lights come on, they just kind of stretch a bit then hop down after a few minutes. Of course you know they are on camera...

    JT
     
  8. OlympicChick

    OlympicChick Chirping

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    Is there a reason why you don't leave the door between the coop and run open all the time?
     
  9. aart

    aart Chicken Juggler!

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    Was kinda kidding.....just looks SO bright!!
     
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  10. jthornton

    jthornton Crowing

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    Aug 30, 2017
    Poplar Bluff, MO
    My Coop
    Rats and mice and possibly weasels could be in the run at night as the biggest mesh is 1" x 2", the coop is secure down to a 1/2" mesh. Of course they have to get past the hot wire on the chain link fence but hey anything is possible. After loosing my entire flock to a couple of dogs I have become very protective of the current hens. So in a nutshell if the run was as secure as the coop no door would be needed.

    Speaking of the weasel family I need to make some weasel box traps to add to my collection...

    JT
     

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