Light in coop to extend laying in winter ....

Discussion in 'Managing Your Flock' started by familyguy, Oct 27, 2009.

  1. familyguy

    familyguy Out Of The Brooder

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    Oct 27, 2009
    Ok ... another question. If I decide to use a light in the coop to artificially extend daylight so as to keep the hens laying WHEN should the light be on? Should I have it on a timer to come on at around 5am to make it seem like the sun has come up earlier or should it be on from. say, 5pm to 9pm to make it seem like the sun is up later? Or does it matter? AND... on a related note, if I am going to use a light to help keep the coop warm in the winter, how does that effect the laying, since the light would be on most of the night?
    thanks
    Jim
     
  2. patandchickens

    patandchickens Flock Mistress

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    Personally I think it makes most sense, for most people anyhow, to put your light on entirely pre-dawn. Thus if the sun rises at 7 and you want to add 3 hours of light, set the light to come on at 4 am and go off at 7. Not only does this give the birds a natural twilight to go to bed by in the evening, it also gives you the use of the light's heat during the time of day when the birds need it most (the coldest time of day is almost always just before, and when, the sun comes up).

    There are other ways of doing it, of course, and they work too, but particularly if you are contemplating using a lamp for heat *anyhow*, you may as well do the entirely-predawn thing to make fullest use of that electricity [​IMG]

    Good luck, have fun,

    Pat
     
  3. Big Chicken Little

    Big Chicken Little Chillin' With My Peeps

    Quote:I agree 100% ... early morning heat they get from a light bulb or two is a good stimulus for them. Put it above their water and feed area.
     
  4. cindy leigh

    cindy leigh Out Of The Brooder

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    Jun 24, 2009
    we put ours on a timer to extend a bit in the morning and again in the evening. MAINLY so we could SEE when we got out before and after work to feed the girls, clean up, and gather eggs. It's working just fine, all our pullets are laying now. I guess I can start calling them chickens instead of pullets.
     
  5. Akane

    Akane Overrun With Chickens

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    The problem with evening light is if there isn't another dimmer light source when it goes off your chickens are suddenly in the dark. They can't see in the dark much better than you can. Some will go so far as to panic and smash into the walls. Many will just end up sleeping on the floor. If it doesn't lead to injury or freezing on the floor it will at least add stress and only harm your attempts to make them lay more.
     
  6. gottalovemychickens

    gottalovemychickens SaveAChickenRideACowboy

    i just keep all my heat lamps and lights on 24/7 , yeah ok maybe not great to do . But im getting a great amount of eggs and it keeps the preds away
     
  7. LynneP

    LynneP Chillin' With My Peeps

    I use a 250Watt cone lamp in the heat lamp receptacle, and have it on from 5 am-8 am. Getting 10-12 eggs now after a soft moult in 12 hens. I like this timing because when I arrive at the coop at about 7:45 each morning, most of the eggs have been laid and the hens are ready for treats and to be let out.

    I also like seeing the light from the house on my way to the coop- very comforting.
     
  8. BeardedLadyFarm

    BeardedLadyFarm Chillin' With My Peeps

    May 31, 2009
    Cobleskill NY
    My light comes on at 7, when the construction site across the street starts. I tried earlier, but this led to the "egg song" occurring well before my neighbors wake up, which led me to be even more fearful that someone would report me!

    I would prefer to turn them on early, rather than extend the evening, but the chickens don't seem to mind. Two just started laying 2 weeks ago, with 3 more about to start any day now.

    From 7-9pm they just roost and preen, and are generally silent.
     
  9. patandchickens

    patandchickens Flock Mistress

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    Quote:This has been my experience with occasionally leaving the light on (by accident)... *however* there was a fairly recent thread on the subject in which several people whom I'm willing to beleive are not just making stuff up [​IMG] swear that when chickens are *used to* lights being left on in the evening and then going out all at once, the chickens adapt just fine. They say that the chickens get up onto the roost by themselves before the light goes out (chickens do seem to have a reasonable sense of time, I will grant that) and so there are no problems.

    So it is not *necessarily* the case that an evening timer will cause problems.

    Just sayin',

    Pat
     
  10. Akane

    Akane Overrun With Chickens

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    I had some bantams under lights on the porch for many months. Probably 6 months or more getting eggs from fall through spring. They never learned to go on the roosts before it got dark. Every evening there was a mad scramble, very loud squawking, chickens banging into things, falling back off roosts, knocking down the rabbit bottle, etc.... They finally just slept on the floor of the cage every night. So I started turning the light on in the house around that time and they started using the dim light from the small porch window to get on the roosts after their main light went out. During this past summer the bantams had gone back out to the coop and I put a couple young bantam pullets that I didn't want to move to the coop yet in that cage but in a spare room with no windows and put a light on a timer over them. When the light went out the first night they panicked and I ended up with a pullet that had an injured leg and another I found with it's wing stuck through the bars in the corner panting.

    Some chickens might get used it. Alot of chickens won't get used to it. In one night you could end up with injured chickens. So why risk it? All you have to do is set the light for the morning or put in a night light or red heat lamp. All risk of stress and injury solved with little effort on your part.
     

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