How do I add lights for my free ranging girls?

Discussion in 'Managing Your Flock' started by Arielle, Sep 23, 2011.

  1. Arielle

    Arielle Chicken Obsessed

    16,711
    532
    408
    Feb 19, 2011
    Massachusetts, USA
    Egg production has noticably decreased the last 2 days. it reminded me that they need lights to keep laying into fall and winter.

    My girls are kept cooped until sunrise, then they free range. At twlight, they start to gather on the stacked wood near their coop and slowly the numbers dwindle as they seek their roosting spot in the coop.

    I've read several posts and still feel lost. Coop is 6x8, and I would like to use low energy use bulbs. Sunrise is about 6am and sunset about 7 pm.

    Any suggestions?
     
    Last edited: Sep 23, 2011
  2. ChickenCanoe

    ChickenCanoe Chicken Obsessed

    21,686
    2,625
    466
    Nov 23, 2010
    St. Louis, MO
    It's best to use a timer and start turing it on earlier in the morning - figure 12 hours before dusk so whatever time you need to turn it on. Eventually it will need to come on at 4 or 5.
    My timer comes on at dusk and I can set it for 2/4/6/8 hours (christmas light timer I already had) it works OK.
    I use a CFL just out of reach from the roost, but when it gets real cold I have to switch to incandescent.
     
    Last edited: Sep 23, 2011
  3. Arielle

    Arielle Chicken Obsessed

    16,711
    532
    408
    Feb 19, 2011
    Massachusetts, USA
    I've been reading old posts and the CFL have me confused. SOme people use them. SOme say they don't work. Are there different types of CFL's?

    WHat time should I start the lights on--jump right to 14 hours ? OR slowly increase by 15 min per weeK?

    I'm at 13 hours/day right now.
     
  4. shanshan51

    shanshan51 Chillin' With My Peeps

    761
    4
    111
    Sep 7, 2011
    Vacaville, CA
    What types of lighting do you suggest? White or red? Just a regular bulb or something special?
     
  5. ChickenCanoe

    ChickenCanoe Chicken Obsessed

    21,686
    2,625
    466
    Nov 23, 2010
    St. Louis, MO
    It only needs to be enough light to barely be able to read a newspaper at roost height.
    I would go with white.
    You really don't need to be gradual. However, if you start you need to be consistent. 2 or 3 days in a row of short daylength can disrupt things.
    CFLs (or any flourescent) doesn't work in extreme cold.
    I started with an 18" flourescent and when it got cold it quit. I thought it was burnt out but it worked when it warmed back up.
    CFLs don't generate heat so they can be used in a cheap plastic socket and use way less energy.
    I think a 12watt is about the same as a 50watt bulb.
    So even an 8 watt CFL should put out enough light.
     
    Last edited: Sep 23, 2011

BackYard Chickens is proudly sponsored by