Light/heat for chickens?

Discussion in 'Chicken Behaviors and Egglaying' started by robynandbatman, Sep 24, 2013.

  1. robynandbatman

    robynandbatman Out Of The Brooder

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    Jul 6, 2013
    Anchorage, AK
    Hi all,

    I know you don't want to add too much heat to the coop, but I am concerned about light. My girls are noticing that we are getting less light everyday (I'm in Alaska) and a few are now only giving eggs every other day. It was recommended to put a light bulb in the coop on a timer and that heat should be enough for them should they need it, but won't be too hot. Correct? I've plugged in the water dish since there was a layer of ice on top this morning...... Winter is coming! Other suggestions? Our coldest is January when it's been down to -20 below zero, but that only lasts a few weeks.
     
  2. BantamLover21

    BantamLover21 Overrun With Chickens

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    Jul 24, 2013
    Yes, if you want egg production, go ahead and put in a light bulb. Your hens won't necessarily need the heat, but they'll probably still enjoy the minor heat that the bulb gives off.

    Chickens don't require that many special preparations during the winter, but here are a few suggestions:

    • If you have a wire run, staple plastic around the perimeter to keep out the wind. You can also put straw bales around the coop to insulate it and keep the wind off.
    • If you have any single-combed birds, I would put some Vaseline/Petroleum Jelly on their combs. This will help prevent frostbite, which is a somewhat common problem in unheated coops during bitterly cold weather.
    • Feed your hens some scratch grains before nightfall. Doing so will give them some energy rich foods to keep them warm at night.
    • Perhaps put some plastic over part of any windows you have to prevent wind from blowing in. Don't seal off the coop, as that can lead to ventilation problems; just decrease the drafts a little.
     
  3. robynandbatman

    robynandbatman Out Of The Brooder

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    Jul 6, 2013
    Anchorage, AK
    Thanks for the info!
    Yes, we have an enclosed coop with good ventilation. It's raised with an area underneath that is wire enclosed. We plan to cover the two prevailing wind sides with plastic and leave the other two sides open. We also have a large run some of which is covered. I did not know about the vaseline, so will keep that in mind.
     

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