Heat Lamps

Discussion in 'Chicken Behaviors and Egglaying' started by farmgirl02, Dec 29, 2014.

  1. Hello everyone!!

    How many of ya'll out there use heat lamps to make your chickens lay eggs during the winter? I have never used heat lamps before and my chickens have always laid during the winter.... a few laid during their molts and laid during severe ice storms. But this year they are getting older and 2 have really slacked off laying this winter. What did our great great grandmothers do when there was no such thing as heat lamps?
    And do my 2 older hens need a heat lamp now that they are beginning to age?
     
  2. Pyxis

    Pyxis Dark Sider Premium Member

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    You actually don't use heat lamps to get them to lay. It's not the cold that stops them laying, but the lack of daylight hours, so if you wanted to get them laying again, you would use a regular lightbulb or some other light source to provide 14 hours of light a day for them. Heat lamps are actually really dangerous in a coop. They are a big fire hazard, and if your power goes out and the heat lamps go out, the birds can't handle the sudden drop in temperature and they die. I've heard of entire flocks being lost this way. So definitely steer clear of the heat lamps! I use an under-cabinet light fixture to add daylight hours for my birds, and so far it works like a charm.
     
  3. aart

    aart Chicken Juggler! Premium Member

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    Ditto light not heat....it's a little late in the season to bother with winter lighting as the day are lengthening now and it takes a bit to get artificial light to the point where ti work on the hens pineal gland.

    Older layers need 14-16 hours of light to lay regularly thru winter. Last winter I used a 40 watt incandescent light(this year I am using a CFL) that comes on early in the morning to provide 14-15 hours of light and they go to roost with the natural sundown. Last year I started the lighting increase a bit late(mid October), the light should be increased slowly, and the pullets didn't start laying until late December. Here's a pretty good article on supplemental lighting. Some folks think that using lighting shortens the years a hen will lay, I don't agree with that theory but I also plan to cull my older hens for soup at about 3 years old.
     
  4. RonP

    RonP Chillin' With My Peeps

    I posted this on another query, this is how I do it, works extremely well, hope it helps:

    There are a lot of opinions on supplementing light to keep the chickens laying during time period where there is less than 12-14 hours of available daylight.

    My coop gets 16 hours of light 351 days per year.

    I turn lights off for 14 days to have birds go into a controlled moult late September .

    Having had to install electricity for the thermostatically controlled water heater, I took advantage and installed a lighting system.

    My system has two timers. The first is set to turn the lights on at 5:30am, off at 9pm.

    Power goes on, passes through a photocell, then to a 300 lumen LED bulb, 4.8 watts, in the 8x8 foot print coop, and 2 4.8 watt LEDs for the 14x14 foot print outside run.

    I light the run because I found the birds huddled outside the coop door in the dark one 5:30am morning...
    They have access to the run 24/7, as it is as secure as the coop.

    The lights are on only when it is dark enough outside to be necessary.
    The time on very closely mimics my Summer Solstice in NJ.

    The second timer is set to go on at 8:30pm, off at 9:30pm, a diffused 200 lumen LED 4 watt bulb.
    This low light allows the birds to settle in before all lights out and 8 hours of darkness.

    This system costs less than $5 per year to operate..
     
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