Light in coop for winter laying

Discussion in 'Coop & Run - Design, Construction, & Maintenance' started by Holmes' Homestead, Nov 22, 2011.

  1. Holmes' Homestead

    Holmes' Homestead Out Of The Brooder

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    Dec 14, 2010
    Schuylerville NY
    I haven't visited here in a while, I hope everyone enjoyed the summer.

    I've tried searching the forum regarding this topic but couldn't find much. We have 6 hens that we got in the middle of May, and I'm surprised that only one has begun laying so far. I'm going to put a light in the coop in the hopes of activating something in the others since we're loosing light daily. Is there anything wrong with putting a brooder lamp in the coop? I already have it and not only would it provide light, it would also put out some heat for them in these cold, cold months approaching. I'm aware of the fire hazard, but we used to keep it on all night when they were just chicks. A regular bulb would give off a little heat, but nothing compared to a heat lamp.

    What are your thoughts and suggestions? I'm looking out for their well being and safety, so please don't be afraid to tell me that this is a dumb idea! Thanks in advance for your recommendations!
     
  2. Fred's Hens

    Fred's Hens Chicken Obsessed Premium Member

    Well, there are dozens of threads on both of these subjects, some currently running. But, anyhow.

    Heating the chickens isn't necessary, but some pet owners do anyhow. The cost is a killer and yes, I won't sugar coat the fire hazard, but you know that already.

    For the price of a cheap timer at WalMart and a drop cord, you can hang a bulb for light. Many use mini Flors because they only cost pennies to operate. My suggestion is to have the light come on for 3 or 4 extra hours, of pre-dawn light. It seems to quite effective. Click the tabs to add 15 minutes of additional light each day. It will take a week to get fully up to 3 or 4 hours, but the ever increasing light triggers what you want to trigger.
     
  3. Chick-n-itis

    Chick-n-itis Out Of The Brooder

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    Oct 3, 2011
    The Mountains of WV
    We are using regular light bulbs. Our girls aren't laying as much as they used to. We are only getting about 5 eggs a day now instead of 9. We don't know if the extra light is doing any good yet. I think we have to wait a few weeks for them to start laying more. From what I understand giving them heat may not be a good idea because they need to get used to the cold in case of a power outage. Also, watch out for dampness which can cause frostbite.
     
  4. FarmerMel

    FarmerMel Out Of The Brooder

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    Aug 22, 2011
    We use a warmer light for our coop. It works great! I have it set on a timer for 12 hours of daylight in the winter.
     
  5. nanaimochick

    nanaimochick Out Of The Brooder

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    Nov 17, 2011
    nanaimo, b.c.
    We purchased 3 chicks in the middle of May as well and only one has started to lay but the interest in the nesting box has increased a lot! HOpefully that is a sign that they will all start soon. We do not add any extra light / heat, I just let them out as soon as it is light enough outside. I do get a couple of eggs from two other (older) chickens so I have enough eggs for our family, so I don't see the need to pay for lighting and I think keeping them on natural light may extend their normal cycle of laying (but not sure about that!). Hope that helps.
     
  6. Holmes' Homestead

    Holmes' Homestead Out Of The Brooder

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    Dec 14, 2010
    Schuylerville NY
    Fred's Hens :

    Click the tabs to add 15 minutes of additional light each day. It will take a week to get fully up to 3 or 4 hours, but the ever increasing light triggers what you want to trigger.

    That's good to know. I was planning on putting it on a timer, but increasing it slowly everyday until the desired amount is smart.

    Thanks everyone for the suggestions! I always like reading what others are doing. I apologize if this topic has been talked to death, but I tried searching for past discussions on it. I'm more interested in putting a warming light out there, but I'll probably just put a regular bulb in the coop instead and keep an eye out for frostbite and such. Thanks again to all for the suggestions.​
     

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