Keeping light on at night

Discussion in 'Managing Your Flock' started by dustbath, Jan 15, 2009.

  1. dustbath

    dustbath Chillin' With My Peeps

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    Does anyone have any thoughts about how many nights in a row you can keep the lights on all night in the coop? I use incandescent bulbs to add some heat in the early hours of the night in winter. Very occasionally it's so cold I leave it on all night. I think it makes them a little weird not having any darkness. I've never done it for more than one night in a row before but this winter is unusually cold.

    Does this cause any problems generally?

    Thanks for the advice, as always.
     
  2. crazyhen

    crazyhen Overrun With Chickens

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    I have kept them on almost constantly since it got cold. I get eggs everyday and when I check at night they are roosting and quiet. I think its what they get use to. I keep the light hung lower than their roost. I did cut it off a couple of nights that were warmer than usual. They did not like it and the eggs turned to soft shelled. When i cut it back on the soft shelled eggs stopped. I have been using it to keep the water from freezing until I can get a heated waterer. the local stores are out of the heated dog bowls like i wanted. when they get them in I will try switching them again. I may still have to have a little heat due to the fact that adjoinning them is another pen with young chicks at 13 weeks. Jean
     
  3. Chipper

    Chipper Chillin' With My Peeps

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    I don't heat my coup at all at night and my chickens do just fine.They can generally take the cold very well as long as there is no draft and not a lot of humidity in the coop.If you feel it's necessary to add heat at night I would use a red infrared bulb or better yet a ceramic heat emitting bulb that gives off no light.Chickens need the periods of darkness at night and keeping lights on all night will disrupt there natural egg laying cycle.Hope this helps. BTW If you decide to try a heat emitter or infrared bulb make sure you use a ceramic based light fixture because they get very hot.[​IMG]
     
    Last edited: Jan 17, 2009
  4. dustbath

    dustbath Chillin' With My Peeps

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    Hey, someone else from Washington County!

    I've kept the light on last night because someone from the Cooperative Extension told me a couple of years ago to worry about them when the temps get below zero. I thought they would be up and active all night but at the usual time, they roosted and quieted down. They were more active later in the night.

    I'm afraid to use an actual heat lamp because of fire risk. A house around here was destroyed recently in a fire started by a heat lamp and my coop is sort of small.

    Thanks for the advice!
     
  5. digitS'

    digitS' Chillin' With My Peeps

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    I used to leave a 40 watt bulb on 24/7 through the coldest weeks of Winter. The birds layed well and they could eat at anytime they wanted, day or night. I thought that was important.

    When it was warmer, I went back to keeping the light on about 14 hours each day.

    This year, I'm allowing them their hours of darkness right thru the Winter. Obviously, I wasn't adding any heat to the coop with only 40 watts. In fact, the light that I'm using now only uses 11 watts (compact fluorescent).

    I have read that there is no benefit for greater than 17 hours of light. Lighting is important to egg production and it is an important expense for the commercial outfits, as well. The poultry scientists have studied the lighting issue exhaustively.

    24 hours of light - - Of course, the hen's laying cycle would be not the same as with natural daylight. A concern is behavior problems (pecking). This is more of a light intensity issue, however. Bright lights cause problems but for commercial purposes, the birds will not get any more light than is necessary.

    For the backyard chicken-keeper, I think the idea if you are using lights for heat is to get them in the infra-red part of the spectrum. Pumping the heat equivalent to a 1,200 watt bathroom heater into a coop as broad-spectrum light would be almost too bright to imagine in most of our small backyard coops.

    Steve
     
  6. Chipper

    Chipper Chillin' With My Peeps

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    Yes,It's great to meet up with someone else on here from good ole Washington County NY.What town are you in and what kinds of chickens do you have?I'm in Granville and have 5 RIR's 25 weeks old.Just started getting eggs last week and they are all doing great.It will be another cold one tonight.[​IMG]
     
  7. cmom

    cmom Hilltop Farm

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    My Coop
    I keep an 11 watt red sign light on in both my coops 24/7. I have a 25 watt regular incandescent light that go on at around 5 am and off at 9 am. I add a 250 watt red heat lamp to both coops when the forecast is for freezing or below.
     

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