Lighting and Heating advice please

Discussion in 'Managing Your Flock' started by chicChickChick, Nov 21, 2016.

  1. chicChickChick

    chicChickChick Out Of The Brooder

    Apr 21, 2015
    It a red bulb heat lamp sufficient light to keep hens laying all winter?

    Is keeping the red bulb heat lamp on all night too much light for the ladies?
  2. Sally Sunshine

    Sally Sunshine Cattywampus Angel <straightens Halo> Premium Member Project Manager

    Aug 23, 2012
    My Coop
    Hi! Welcome to BYC!

    A red heat lamp is NOT sufficient unfortunately.

    If you want them to keep laying you must provide about 15 hours of light daily.

    Setting up a simple light, controlled by a timer, solves the problem of waning sunlight. The same silver reflector lamps used for brooding chicks work well for winter light. A nine-watt compact fluorescent bulb is all that’s needed for a typical backyard coop. Plug the light into a timer and have it come on early enough in the morning to give the birds 15 hours of daylight. Some even use a strand of rope lighting in the coop again you will need a timer.

    Good Luck! Any other questions just ask!
  3. maryluker

    maryluker Just Hatched

    Nov 2, 2016
    I'm glad you said Ladies and not GIRLS
  4. ChickenCanoe

    ChickenCanoe True BYC Addict

    Nov 23, 2010
    St. Louis, MO
    In answer to your first question, no. And a heat lamp uses way too much electricity to be efficient. Heat is unnecessary. A better option is an incandescent lamp of about 40 watts (depending on size of coop) or an LED in the range of about 650 nm.
    It isn't a question of temperature but the difference in day length vs. length of darkness.
    The other side of the coin is, how old are your hens/pullets and what breeds? Most breeds of pullets going into their first winter may lay right on through. Hens in their second and subsequent autumns will molt, during which time, laying will and should cease. They can't build a new winter coat that is 93% protein while also ovulating and creating a protein bundle that is the equivalent of a woman having an 8 pound baby every day.
    Plus they need that off time to allow their reproductive tract to rest and rebuild.
    They aren't egg machines but are animals that just happen to have been developed to produce way more eggs a year than their ancestors.

    I respectably disagree with Sally in that, IMHO, 15 hours is excessive. I find that 12-14 hours is sufficient. The reason being that if one has 15 hours of light through winter and then stops it in, say March when days are about 12 hours, that sudden decrease could temporarily inhibit laying.

    More important than day length is whether it is increasing or decreasing.

    Keeping a light on all night is a problem. They need sleep and, like all earthbound animals, need hemeral lighting. A light/dark cycle daily.
    Last edited: Nov 22, 2016
    1 person likes this.

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