- May 31, 2015
Hello BYC Community! This is my first winter with chickens, and I have decided to use supplemental lighting. I also have been keeping feed and water only in the run. I shut them in at dark and let them out at dawn, pretty standard. The light in the coop is coming on about 5:30 a.m. right now, and I am increasing the light by setting the timer earlier every few days. However, in order to get them enough light to maintain a rate of lay (15 hours/day, right?), I would be turning on the coop light at 2:00 a.m.! Is that okay? Does that wake them up? What wattage bulb do you use? Would dimmer be less disturbing? And here is my biggest question: if I turn the light on so early, will they be wanting to eat and drink? Is it wrong to light them as though it's morning but they can't get to food and water? Our run is predator proof, so in nicer weather, I will leave the pop door open the whole time and not worry about it. I've read a lot on here about supplemental light vs. natural light, food and water in the run vs. food and water in the coop, etc., but I don't really have the room in the coop for food or water, and I can't find a post where anyone addresses the food water issue re: supplemental lighting. Does anyone leave their pop door open even in winter temps? If my coop were bigger, maybe I could, but I think they might get a draft on the roosts from it. I have plenty of ventilation otherwise, so that is not a worry of mine. Thank you.