1. Come check out hundreds of awesome coop pages (and a few that need suggestions) in our 2018 Coop Rating Project!

light on all night....bad???

Discussion in 'Coop & Run - Design, Construction, & Maintenance' started by lizrndiver, Dec 8, 2009.

  1. lizrndiver

    lizrndiver Songster

    Jul 30, 2009
    South Beloit, IL
    My work schedule has prevented me from picking up supplies to finish winterizing my coop. Today we are at the beginning of a blizzard. 16" of snow predicted with 40 mph winds. It is supposed to get down to -4 tomorrow night. My coop is pretty draft free except for around my side door. I have a 50 watt bulb that I have been using to try to keep them laying. Only one of my four has obliged me.

    Anyway, I am fearful of them being too cold during this storm. So tonight I left their light on. How bad is it to leave the light on 24/7 for a couple of days until I can get a red bulb or bug bulb? ALso does anyone know if a bug bulb really works?



  2. LilRalphieRoosmama

    LilRalphieRoosmama Officially Quacked

    Oct 15, 2007
    Elyria, OH
    I've been too lazy to turn their light off all week; been on 24/7 and they are fine. Mine are in their garage coop with the fluorescents blazing. Good luck with the storm; I think it's heading this way.
  3. Bedste

    Bedste Songster

    Aug 17, 2009
    Cut n Shoot Texas
    I purchased some 100 wt flood lights from walmart and spray painted them red..... I left mine on for weeks.... 24/7...... even with it painted red mine were still awake..

    I also bought a heat lamp light that is red and they have been laying like crazy.... I just turned it off tonight because I realized they really havent slept in weeks... but my point is that I have had no problem with the hens being grouchy or anyone sick etc... and so many eggs.
  4. Ridgerunner

    Ridgerunner Free Ranging

    Feb 2, 2009
    Southeast Louisiana
    If you check the egg quality handbook, the lighting program can effect the the egg. Check out sandpaper shelled eggs, body check eggs, and blood spots on this site. I did not go through the entire list. Excessive lighting might cause other problems as well. Of course, leaving the lights on will not cause all these problems every time. It just increases the possibility of a problem. If you do have serious heat issues, the risk might be worth it. Your choice.

    Egg Quality Handbook
  5. gsim

    gsim Songster

    Jun 18, 2009
    East Tennessee
    You can get red heat lamp bulbs at tractor supply or any farmer's co-op. They will be three times more effective if used with reflectors.
  6. Wynette

    Wynette Moderator Staff Member

    Sep 25, 2007
    They shouldn't need a light for warmth; they have each other. You don't want an airtight coop - check out member patandchickens BYC page on ventilation - very informative.

    As far as lighting 24/7, they do need their rest, and a white light will prevent them from being on a normal sleep schedule. A red light isn't as bothersome in that way; however, trying to force them to continue laying when nature is telling them to stop for awhile isn't a good practice, IMHO. Just my thoughts!
  7. CARS

    CARS Songster

    Leaving the light on 24hrs a day to aid in laying... probably not a great idea.

    In my case, it's -10 out and my cage of quail and 2 cages of rabbits need a heat lamp over their water's to keep from freezing.
    Once I get outside and dig through the 3 foot snow drifts, I plan on making a "visor" if you will to keep as much direct light from getting to the entire cage as possible. Hopefully, it will allow some shade from the lamps.

    I have my chicken coop lights on a timer set for 14 hours, 365 days a year. A cheap christmas light timer (available EVERYWHERE this time of the year) is all I use. Outdoor rated would be better, but not needed indoors.

  8. lizrndiver

    lizrndiver Songster

    Jul 30, 2009
    South Beloit, IL
    Sorry if anyone misunderstood. I normally have the light on from 7am to 7pm. This is partly to help keep them laying. Only one actual is laying this winter so I don't think this is very drastic. As far as leaving it on 24/7, that is just for this storm. We got 18 inches of snow since last night and now it is going to go down to -4 with 40 mph winds. That is like -20 wind chill. So I want to give them some extra warmth. Once it gets back above freezing, I will turn it back off. Does that change the advice?


  9. bigoakhunter

    bigoakhunter Songster

    Jul 29, 2009
    I think you should do what keeps you sleeping well, so your not worried about the chickens....It is a snowy blowy mess and getting cold like you indicated with 30 mile an hour winds. I think I will just shut my insulated coops vents mostly closed tonight so the 30 -35 mile winds and blowing snow are not getting in the coop.
  10. OutdoorFun4

    OutdoorFun4 Songster

    Mar 28, 2009
    Southern Maine
    I think they need rest more than the small amount of heat from the light.

    I give mine a couple of extra hours of light just to make up for being in the great white north. (Dark at 4pm)
    I leave for work in the dark and get home in the dark. It gives me seasonal affective disorder to never see them in the light.
    The timer shuts off the light at 7:00pm.

    When I start to worry about the cold - I visit the BYC page of someone in Alaska.
    Last edited: Dec 9, 2009

BackYard Chickens is proudly sponsored by