how much light to hens need for egg-laying?

Discussion in 'Coop & Run - Design, Construction, & Maintenance' started by kslatta3382, Apr 9, 2009.

  1. kslatta3382

    kslatta3382 Out Of The Brooder

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  2. LynneP

    LynneP Chillin' With My Peeps

    What about roofing it with some PalRUF or some polycarbonate panel?
     
  3. calgal98

    calgal98 Chillin' With My Peeps

    It isn't about direct sunlight, more just light. The light works on a part of the brain. In winter it can be as simple as a small lightbulb. The tractor will have plenty of light as long as you don't cover the sides. I believe the hours are about 14 per egg laid. I used to use a timer to turn on the light in the morning and off at daylight. I compensated to make up for anything less than 14 hours. V.
     
  4. patandchickens

    patandchickens Flock Mistress

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    They don't need sunshine per se, just 14+ hrs of light (like, enough light for you to comfortably read the newspaper by).

    I don't know what this tractor looks like -- I am on dialup and have tried several times in the past to access that link and am not even going to *bother* this time [​IMG] -- but if it's just a tarp, most tarps allow light through, plus there is presumably an open part that is *not* tarped through which light would enter. It is not obvious that a tarped shelter on a tractor should affect laying.

    Make sure you are clear on the predatorproofness of this thing, though, and also not relying on a tarp for the chickens' sole protection from weather (even in a mild climate). Tarps rip or blow off.

    Good luck, have fun,

    Pat
     
  5. Ridgerunner

    Ridgerunner Chicken Obsessed

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    Chickens do not need a bright light to lay eggs. They need light for a long time. The standard I keep hearingis 14 hours of daylight a day, but I think that may be a little long as a minimum requirement. manyof us don't get 14 hours a day for much of the year. I think whether the length of day is decreasing or increasing also enters in to it.

    An Agricultural professor at the University of Arkansas who happens to breed chickens said all they need in a coop is the equivalent of one of those small christmas tree lights and the light is strong enough. it is the length they see light that counts.

    I'd be careful using clear or translucent panels on an enclosed coop to make sure you don't create a greenhouse that will cook the chickens. If you are building the coop I think I saw in your link and are using wire (hardware cloth for predator protection, I hope)
    you should be fine.
     
  6. kslatta3382

    kslatta3382 Out Of The Brooder

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    Thanks for all your help. I started building today and did decide to go for the tarp roof, with a nesting box/enclosed coop area and a run.

    I tested the predatorproofness of the tarp by throwing my cat (my cat is as fat and mean as any possum or raccoon that'll come around) on it, and it did fine. Its a 10mil tarp, so its pretty hefty.

    I am using the hardware cloth, though it was REALLY expensive. I wasn't expecting that. Maybe I'll put pictures up when I finish the tractor tomorrow.

    I think my chicks will be giving me more eggs than I know what to do with anyway, so I'm not so concerned about them not having exactly 14 hours of light a day.

    Thanks again for your advice!
     
  7. patandchickens

    patandchickens Flock Mistress

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    Quote:Um, no, sorry, a dog or raccoon (probably even a possum, if it wanted to) will go RIGHT through a tarp, honest. However if there is hardwarecloth behind that tarp (no areas of just tarp), you are fine.

    Good luck, have fun, post pics when you get it done b/c I'm curious to see this tractor that several people have mentioned but the link won't work for me [​IMG]

    Pat
     
  8. calgal98

    calgal98 Chillin' With My Peeps

  9. patandchickens

    patandchickens Flock Mistress

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    It's not a link problem, it's that I'm on dialup which gags at the page itself [​IMG]

    Pat
     
  10. kslatta3382

    kslatta3382 Out Of The Brooder

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    Ok, I worked on the tractor all day yesterday and today, and I've got it pretty much finished. I'm sure I'll need to modify it for security issues. Here are some pictures:

    These after yesterdays work. I've got most of the framing done, and the tarp roof that I'm second guessing finished.

    [​IMG]

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    Here's a picture from the work today, I've finished the coop area, and am installing the hardware cloth.

    [​IMG]

    And here's the finished product (Sort of.) I designed it to fit on my raised beds, like the "Garden Girl"'s. My tractor is significantly heavier than hers, but I think that makes it more secure. Plus, she uses 2 x 3 dimensional lumber? I've never seen that before.

    [​IMG]

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    I'm kinda proud of how it turned out, but security is still an issue. I think I'm going to leave a can of cat-food in there over the next couple of nights to see if I have a break in. I've heard that's a good way to test it.

    I still have awhile to get it perfected - my chicks are only a week and a half old! I thought I would spend five weeks or so working on this, and I finished it in two days! Now what do I do?
     

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