How early do your chickens leave the coop? light therapy?

Discussion in 'Chicken Behaviors and Egglaying' started by Tool, Nov 23, 2011.

  1. Tool

    Tool Out Of The Brooder

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    Apr 25, 2011
    I have noticed a few mornings lately that my girls are out side of the coop well before sunrise. I get off work at 6am and go out there from time to time to check on them. Last week 15 of the 16 girls were outside with a bit of frost on their backs, and the roo and 1 hen was in the coop.

    I can only assume he kicked them out and was standing guard inside the door. Some mornings he is out there with them, but not always. There was only that 1 morning that I saw frost on them, telling me they had been out there a while. Probably since about 5am (Utah).

    IS this normal, or is my roo being more aggressive and kicking them out earlier than neccessary?

    Sinse then I have added a 65w bulb on a timer to lengthen the "daylight" It kicks on at 5pm and off at 7pm, then on again at 530am and off at 730am. This seems to help with there mood, and maybe warms it up a bit. we have had some lows in the 20s and its only gettin colder. I hard wired the lights to boxes and outlets, to reduce any chances of fires. I have an additional box wired in for a heat bulb if it comes to that.

    Has any body used lights to help mood and egg production? does it seem to work for you?

    Thanks
     
  2. centrarchid

    centrarchid Chicken Obsessed

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    Holts Summit, Missouri
    From what I have seen the rooster does not kick hens out. The adult / dominant rooster is typcially the first bird off the roost, especially when hens are laying eggs. My birds can be induced to come off roost by three stimuli. First is predator. Second is going roost with less than full crop the night before. Third is light levels setting up too quickly.

    Consider setting up you light source to increase daylength on evening side. Birds will still go to roost based on decreasing light levels outside but will not be as motivated by need for food and be inclined to stay on roost or in coop.
     
  3. Tool

    Tool Out Of The Brooder

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    Apr 25, 2011
    Quote:Makes sense. I will give that a shot.

    I really like my roo, but am getting tired of him being such a jerk. he likes to attempt to assert his dominance toward my kids. He is put in his place quick, but forgets a couple of days later.

    We started out with 17 chicken all straight run, and lost one at a couple months. ended up with only 1 roo and 15 hens. Not to bad. He is a RIR and I would like to try hatching some next spring so I have kept him around, but I am starting to question whether it would just be better to get another when Im ready to breed and hatch.

    Anyways I got a bit off topic..... Anybody know any cons to using a red heat bulb for only a few hours at night? (other than poss fire hazard) I was thinking about having the timer kick on at about 3am or so. Like mentioned before, its all hard wired in and NOT on a clamp style set up, so I am not too worried about fire.
     
  4. Mikee1948

    Mikee1948 Chillin' With My Peeps

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    May 19, 2011
    I have to "get up with the chickens" as the saying goes. I lock them in at night due to predators (around 8 - 9 PM), but by 5 AM, they are ready to come out and eat.
     
  5. aoxa

    aoxa Overrun With Chickens

    My chickens were out at 7:15 this morning. They have a coop attached to my garage that I converted into a winter space for them to enjoy during the day. It is predator safe, so I don't close a pop door from the garage to the coop. They were all up and around with only a tiny bit of light.

    I've tried turning the light of the garage off at 5pm and it is so funny to watch them all call eachother over to the pop door of the coop. I leave the light on to the coop until I see they are all in and roosting. Usually takes about 10 minutes. The rooster will show the girls where to go. He makes calls like he found food near the door. He's such a good rooster [​IMG]
     
  6. kidd42

    kidd42 Chillin' With My Peeps

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    Valley Springs, Ca.
    Our girls are out at 4:00 am every morning.I have a string of white Christmas LED lights strung through the hen house on a timer. This comes on at 4:00 am, and provides enough light to get the girls and their Roo up and moving and help to keep the egg production up. The timer is set to shut off at 8:00 am when it is light out. They are always out in the run in the morning hours long before it's light from the sun.
     
  7. centrarchid

    centrarchid Chicken Obsessed

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    Holts Summit, Missouri
    Concern I have about birds roaming about before sun up is that it is not natural and they are extremely vulnerable to predators. The birds can not see predators well enough to evade them nor can they see well enough to effectively forage.
     

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