lighting and space question

Discussion in 'Coop & Run - Design, Construction, & Maintenance' started by jbethmann, Oct 23, 2010.

  1. jbethmann

    jbethmann Out Of The Brooder

    Mar 10, 2010
    Hi! I have been reading all of the various posts on winterizing your coop and coop is small, and I have 3 hens, so I am ready for an little wisdom from the experts!

    I just installed a 50w light as a clip on light into my coop. It is on from 6-7am and 6-7pm. The coop is small 3'x5' with a nesting box off the right side...

    I'm concerned about the light b/c it is confusing the hens and whether I should keep food in such a small coop. They want to be outside and are perplexed by the dark outside and don't seem to know where to go. If I didn't have the light they would just be roosting now.

    Right now I do not have food ior water in the coop. I did just get a few metal bird dishes I could mount to the wall to add some food and water. The coop is attached to a larger run and I have an external tractor in the yard where they spend a good chunk of time each day.

    I'm open to suggestions including removing the light. They are not laying at all since I've installed the light (just 2 days now) so it isn't really helping there. I thought it might help with some heat and wanted to get them used to it.

    Thanks for your thoughts! [​IMG]
  2. Olive Hill

    Olive Hill Overrun With Chickens

    Apr 19, 2009
    If it's causing them confusion I'd go ahead and remove it. Personally, I'm not a big fan of forcing egg production to begin with but in addition to that if you acclimate them to the heat from the light and your power goes off mid-winter it could make things quite rough for them as they didn't get the opportunity to acclimate slowly to the cold.
  3. patandchickens

    patandchickens Flock Mistress

    Apr 20, 2007
    Ontario, Canada
    One possibility, if you really really want to use the lights, is to put them on only once a day (for, at the moment, two hours at a time) instead of splitting the lit time between morning AND evening. I don't know where you live but if you do it only in the morning (pre-dawn), that also gives you a heat boost at the time of day when they need it most.

    That is a very bright light for such a small coop, also I would worry about safety (not clear to me how it is attached, I am *hoping* not just clipped onto something, but moreover there is nothing preventing a chicken bumping into it and either burning her comb -- yes, they DO stand their with their combs against a lightbulb til they get burnt, sometimes -- or breaking the bulb and starting a fire from the hot filament).

    Personally I would not do the light. Ta da, problem solved.

    If you feel you *have* to get all possible eggs you can out of the hens -- like if economics is a big consideration -- you might at least consider switching to a lower wattage bulb. All's you need is something bright enough to read a newspaper by. Also possibly aim it at a wall rather than right into the chickens' eyes -- it would annoy ME being in that coop with the lightbulb blaring in my eyes no matter where I was, although I can't prove that chickens necessarily feel the same [​IMG]

    Good luck, have fun,

  4. jbethmann

    jbethmann Out Of The Brooder

    Mar 10, 2010
    thanks to both of you for your responses... Pat, I have read all of your pages and they have been such a great help in thinking through the winter!

    I am not stressed about the number of eggs I am getting (since it has never been regular...) and will skip the light for now. Maybe I'll just keep the materials in the garage for when and if it gets super duper cold.

    It IS just clipped onto a beam in the coop and totally too bright! duh! [​IMG]

    Thanks for helping ME see the light--

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