Light in chicken coop

Discussion in 'Managing Your Flock' started by dana134, Feb 3, 2013.

  1. dana134

    dana134 Out Of The Brooder

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    This is the first time that I have used light in my coop in the winter. I would like to hear what others think about what I am using.
    I have put two strands of solar powered blue Christmas lights. Is the blue ok? I do not have electricity to the coop.
     
  2. Den in Penn

    Den in Penn Chillin' With My Peeps

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    The best light to use is a light that mimics natural light. A white light would be better, but blue should help. It should also make the coop light enough to read in.
     
  3. dana134

    dana134 Out Of The Brooder

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    So, You think I should get a stand of white lights?
     
  4. Den in Penn

    Den in Penn Chillin' With My Peeps

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    I think it comes to what you have and can get. Blue lights certainly will work better then no lights.
     
  5. WalkingOnSunshine

    WalkingOnSunshine Overrun With Chickens

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    If you can get white lights, I'd do so. Don't use red, it has the wrong wavelengths to stimulate laying.
     
  6. dana134

    dana134 Out Of The Brooder

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    Thank you both for your input. I am going to keep the blue ones, but try to find some white ones.
     
  7. 1muttsfan

    1muttsfan Overrun With Chickens

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    There has to be a certain amount of light produced (candle power) before it will stimulate laying. The amount needed depends on the size of your coop. Most coops are fine with a 60 watt white light bulb. Blue lights produce less actual light, so you would need more to get the same amount of light as white lights. Enough light to read a newspaper at the level of the floor would probably be enough.
     
  8. fdkaiser

    fdkaiser New Egg

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    I put a 60 watt fluorescent in my coop. I leave it on 24/7. My 11 hens (they are all less than a year old) have averaged 7-8 eggs a day all winter. I am in north-central Missouri. It gets cold here. Down to 0 some nights. I have 7 RIR, 3 Leghorns and one Australorp.
     
  9. CountryBoy44

    CountryBoy44 New Egg

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    If you can afford it my suggestion would be to get 'Warm White' lights (60 watts) and enough to illuminate the coop, they provide the light needed to sustain a healthy laying pattern without being harsh on the eyes of your layers as to not make them aggresive towards eachother. And as for lighting hours I'd suggest probably start with 16-18 hours of light and adjust from there, depending on your coops heat I believe a heat lamp or 2 (depending on coop size) would be a good investment, when chickens, like humans, get cold most of the energy they have goes to warming their bodies instead of egg production so keeping your coop at a temperate temperature will greatly increase your egg production and the overall health of your flock.
     
  10. WalkingOnSunshine

    WalkingOnSunshine Overrun With Chickens

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    Using "warm white" flourescents vs. "cool white" is a very good tip because light wavelengths on the higher side stimulate laying (and lower wavelengths stimulate growth) , but I would have to disagree with you for the rest of it. First, 16-18 hours of light is an awful lot. You really only need 14-16 hours to stimulate egg laying, and it's good for hens to have a nice long dark period so they can sleep. More than 18 hours of light can actually cause less egg production.

    Heat lamps in a coop are fire hazards and they stop chickens from acclimating to the weather--and if you have a power outage during a winter storm and your heat lamps are out, those hens are in trouble. Also, even though the heat lamp is red, it does count as light. If you leave it on all night, and then turn it off in spring, you might depress your egg production because the hens are seeing a decrease in light hours. Check out this thread https://www.backyardchickens.com/t/421122/think-its-too-cold-for-your-chickens-think-again for examples of hens that are perfectly happy with no supplementary heat even in very cold climates.

    My chicken house has been down well below 0F this year, and I don't even have frostbitten combs on my Leghorns and other large-combed breeds. They have a single 100 watt standard light bulb on a timer that gives them 14 hours of light a day, in a 10' x 14' chicken house. I get 42-46 eggs a day from 50 hens.

    Here are some good references for poultry lighting from the University of Maine and University of Connecticut.
    http://umaine.edu/publications/2227e/
    http://www.sp.uconn.edu/~mdarre/poultrypages/light_inset.html
     
    Last edited: Feb 6, 2013

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