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How do you do winter light?

Discussion in 'Chicken Behaviors and Egglaying' started by Jodizon, Nov 15, 2016.

  1. Jodizon

    Jodizon Just Hatched

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    This is my fourth winter as a chicken owner. I have never tried adding light to the coop, but I am considering it. I don't need heat - just light to increase egg production. I would appreciate any tips.
    Specifically should the chickens walk around and behave like it is daylight with the artificial light? Or it just keeps them awake, but they stay on the roosting bars?
     
  2. SleepyHollowFnF

    SleepyHollowFnF Out Of The Brooder

    I've heard its better to use a red light at night because it prevents the hens from pecking at any injuries, and it also is easier to sleep in a red light.

    Good Luck!
     
  3. azygous

    azygous Chicken Obsessed

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    Any low wattage light will do. You do need to avoid harsh, bright white light.

    I just recently discovered rope lights. They're about 6 feet long, encased in a flexible, plastic tube, look like holiday lights, low wattage, but the best thing is they are safe from getting shattered by sudden activity in the coop and they take up virtually zero space.

    They can be plugged into a timer to come on a couple hours before sunrise just like any light. I paid $10 each at Ace Hardware, and got one for each of my two coops. I really love how they are invisible during the day, and still put out plenty of the kind of light I need.
     
  4. Jodizon

    Jodizon Just Hatched

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    Should the chickens act like the artificial light is sunlight? I tried putting a light in the coop once this week, and they just staying on their roosting bars. The seemed to wake up a bit - but not get down. Is that normal? I wondered if I was doing something wrong with the light
     
  5. ChickenCanoe

    ChickenCanoe Chicken Obsessed

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    Pretty normal. If they're hungry or thirsty and those are in the coop, they may come down.
    To increase egg production, the light just needs to be detected by the optical nerve or penetrate the skull, so even blind chickens are aware of day length.
     
  6. lazy gardener

    lazy gardener Chicken Obsessed

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    I use 7W CFL, and split it. comes on at 6:30 to 10 AM, and again 3:00 PM to 8:30 PM. Have not started it yet this season. Most folks start it late summer or early fall. If I continue to get enough eggs to meet my needs, I may try this season without it. I have a stash of eggs in the fridge, and will rotate them out, so may be ok. If I start to run low, I'll start the light. It usually takes about 2 weeks from start to light before you start seeing any increase in production.
     
  7. ChickenCanoe

    ChickenCanoe Chicken Obsessed

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    That's what I always did but usually only with one flock or 2 after they had regrown feathers.

    I used cfls for energy efficiency but I quit using fluorescent light since it provides little in the red spectrum (650nm) which is more effective at stimulating production.
     
  8. lazy gardener

    lazy gardener Chicken Obsessed

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    So, what do you use instead of CFL?
     
  9. ChickenCanoe

    ChickenCanoe Chicken Obsessed

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    Incandescent, though not energy efficient provides a good amount of red spectrum wavelength.
    A better option is if you can find an LED bulb in the range of 650nm.
     
  10. lazy gardener

    lazy gardener Chicken Obsessed

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    thankyou.
     

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