1. jbtcajun

    jbtcajun Chillin' With My Peeps

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    Seeing a $8.00 15' solar rope light at Harbor Freight I made a impulse buy; witch I don't normally do. Now is the wrong time to do my research but hell its 8 bucks and cost more than that to go back to get one. The question is will it create a problem for the chicks if there is light in their coop an additional 8 hrs? Here in the south dead winter it will cut on at about 5:30pm and run to about 2:30 am. Getting light again in about 3 hours. Is this to much light?
    Should I use this on the worm bed and find something with a 4 hr timer?
     
  2. ChickenCanoe

    ChickenCanoe Chicken Obsessed

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    They need a longer dark period. There's no place on the planet with that short of night except the poles. I like them to have at least 8 hours of light.
    Are you sure it will be on that long? You could shade the collector a bit and it will run out of power sooner.
     
  3. craigcarter79

    craigcarter79 Out Of The Brooder

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    My personal opinion is leave them to the natural light its mother nature's way of giving the chickens a break. A well deserved one too I think. It all depends if you've had them just for egg production or as pets too. Good luck either way.
     
  4. tcstoehr

    tcstoehr Chillin' With My Peeps

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    I would think 21 hours is too much. In any case it is simply unnecessary. 14 hours of light is plenty, and sleep is very important. You want them to be able to have a nice, long, deep sleep every night, just like you want to have yourself. I have my lights pop on at 5:30 in the morning right now, my hens will be having 12 hours of light in the dead of winter. I let them go to roost naturally at nightfall. I've done some research and cannot find any credible information that 14 hours of daylight year-round is harmful or that it shortens their laying years or that it slows down their laying cycle earlier. Only intuition, heresay, and conjecture. I really wish the Mythbusters guys would tackle this one.
     
  5. ChickenCanoe

    ChickenCanoe Chicken Obsessed

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    Near the equator, there isn't a short day period.
     
  6. tcstoehr

    tcstoehr Chillin' With My Peeps

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    Yes, I've thought of that. But they don't have a long day period either. I think some folks intuitively feel that the long days in temperate regions are more taxing to the chickens and must therefore be compensated with rest during the short days. I don't think this has any basis in fact but I am open to being proven wrong.
     
  7. MeepBeep

    MeepBeep Chillin' With My Peeps

    The domestic chickens we raise and breed are not their wild counter parts, almost all breeds have been breed for higher overall egg production... So direct 1:1 comparison to wild birds and/or what happens in natural is flawed... In nature the chicken would lay a clutch of a few eggs and then sit on them (or start another nest if destroyed) for a month, raise the chicks and do it again usually in the area of 20-50 eggs a year total for a wild chicken, they would not be laying 200 or 300 eggs like domestic chickens thus they also don't need or require anywhere near the same amount of light hours a year...

    With that said commercial egg hatcheries have found that 14-16 hours is the optimal amount of light per day for egg production in domestic breeds, and thus it also means that the 8-10 hours of sleep is also optimal for egg production as they go hand in hand... This number wasn't just grabbed out of the air, it was figured out after decades of hands on study, really little point in arguing it's validity or trying to re-invent the wheel...

    Also chickens are more sensitive to light, you only need 5 lux during the day period, but most places suggest at least 10 lux, this is equivalent to a very, very dark overcast day so not much light at all to stimulate egg production...
     
    Last edited: Oct 4, 2014
  8. RonP

    RonP Chillin' With My Peeps

    There are a lot of opinions on supplementing light to keep the chickens laying during time period where there is less than 12-14 hours of available daylight.

    My coop gets 16 hours of light 351 days per year.
    I turn lights off for 14 days to have birds go into a controlled moult late September .

    Having had to install electricity for the thermostatically controlled water heater, I took advantage and installed a lighting system.

    My system has two timers. The first is set to turn the lights on at 5:30am, off at 9pm.

    Power goes on, passes through a photocell, then to a 300 lumen LED bulb, 4.8 watts, in the coop, and 2 4.8 watt LEDs for the outside run.

    I light the run because I found the birds huddled outside the coop door in the dark one 5:30am morning...
    They have access to the run 24/7, as it is as secure as the coop.

    The lights are on only when it is dark enough outside to be necessary.
    The time on very closely mimics my Summer Solstice in NJ.

    The second timer is set to go on at 8:30pm, off at 9:30pm, a diffused 200 lumen LED 4 watt bulb.
    This low light allows the birds to settle in before all lights out and 8 hours of darkness.

    This system costs less than $5 per year to operate..
     
    Last edited: Oct 6, 2014

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