Light for my Girls and cooling ideas

Discussion in 'Raising Baby Chicks' started by heyjami, Aug 16, 2008.

  1. heyjami

    heyjami Out Of The Brooder

    Jul 7, 2008
    We've had the girls out in the coop since they were about 5 weeks old. They're about 8 weeks old now and doing great.

    After reading too much info in the books, I'm totally confused about the light/heat. It's very warm here now and no additional heat is needed at night. In fact, we've been leaving the coop door open to keep the airflow up (it's all secured with an outdoor play area).

    We have the light on at night starting around 10pm. So, they have dark from about 8pm-10pm.

    At what point if ever do we stop with the light? I thought I read that we should leave on the light for good development? But my hub thinks I'm nuts. He says barn chickens don't have night lights.

    Also, they pant a lot in the day even though there is a lot of shade. Should I put a fan out there so they can get cool? We only let them free range in the evening when we can watch them to insure our labs don't misbehave. So in the day they're in their fairly large coop/outdoor play area.

    Thanks for your help! We found a raccoon near our deck the other night and I was so nervous for the girls. But he was going for the catfood and stayed away from my girls.

    The girls are cuuuuuute! You should hear their cute noises.
  2. gritsar

    gritsar Cows, Chooks & Impys - OH MY!

    Nov 9, 2007
    SW Arkansas
    If your chickens are 8 weeks old, they no longer need the light. Once they start laying, if you want them to continue to lay well in the wintertime, you will need to supplement the natural light to get a total of 14 hours of daylight. If you want to give them a rest from laying, then simply don't provide the supplemental light.
    I strongly believe that all living creatures need periods of light and dark. Constant light leads to stress; stress leads to illness.
    As for keeping them cool in the heat of summer, a fan is a great idea. If it gets really hot you can freeze water in 2 liter bottles or gallon jugs and lay them around their coop/run. When we hit a stretch of 100 degree days here I added poultry electrolytes to my chicken's water to help them cope with the heat.
  3. chickensonthefarm

    chickensonthefarm New Egg

    Aug 24, 2008

    Speaking of putting a fan in the coop, that's exactly what I have done. Our "house policy is that if temp is forecasted to be 80 or above for the day the fan goes on. If not, the fan doesn't come on. At night we always unplug the fan. What we did is just run a long outdoor extension cord from the outlet at the back of the house, out to the coop. At the coop I have an extension cord connected rigged up along the ceiling of the coop, connected to the fan. It's as simple as unplugging the extension cord at the back of the house. Doesn't help a whole lot, but at least it blows air around.

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