lighting in my chicken coop

Discussion in 'Raising Baby Chicks' started by sallyberns, Oct 10, 2015.

  1. sallyberns

    sallyberns New Egg

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    Hi, I am new to the chicken world. My chickens coop does not have any windows, so there is no light getting in. We have a light in there that we turn on in the morning and off at night. Should we put it on a timer and have it come on about 5 am and go off at 8 pm. They have been sleeping outside, so should I shut them in the coop before the light goes out so they will start roosting. I haven't seen any of the roosting. Any advice would be appreciated.
     
  2. ChickenCanoe

    ChickenCanoe True BYC Addict

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    Cut big windows and cover them with hardware cloth. They need ventilation more than they need light, food or water.
     
  3. Folly's place

    Folly's place Chicken Obsessed

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    Welcome! Pictures of your coop will help, but there's no way it should be without big windows, both for light and ventilation. If it's one of those tiny box coops, remember that bigger is always better, and at least four sq. ft. per bird, and walk-in for you. Mary
     
  4. Blooie

    Blooie Team Spina Bifida Premium Member

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    x3 on the windows. They are absolutely critical, especially in winter. Ventilation is key to keeping healthy birds, odors down, and letting as much natural light into the coop as possible. With windows they won't need lights on in the coop, and in fact chickens need a natural day/night cycle. Do they have a run that they are in or are they just outside? That's probably not good if they aren't using the coop - risk of predators is just too great. A secure coop with good ventilation and light is so essential. How old are the chickens?

    Once you have windows in there, then yep, you can start locking them in there for a few days until they learn that the coop is "home base" and will go there on their own come sundown. They don't need light at night. They don't eat or drink when it's dark, they just sleep and poop. So if they become accustomed to the cycle of day and night, they'll go into the coop when it starts getting dark, tell each other a few bedtime stories, and tuck themselves in for the night. Most of us plan to check for issues or catch a bird if we need to for any reason during the night - they just sit on the roost and barely protest. I sweated the roosting part. Went out night after night, caught chickens, and put them up on the roost. It was an exercise in futility! I'd get two up there, reach for the third and the first two would hop back down. Finally I decided that they'd do it when they were darn good and ready and if that wasn't on my timetable, so be it. Sure enough, they started roosting all on their own.

    And welcome to BYC! Good luck with them!
     
    Last edited: Oct 11, 2015
  5. sallyberns

    sallyberns New Egg

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    Mary it's actually a metal yard shed that the people before us had set up for chickens. There is a opening in the side that they come and go into the run through. the run is about 16 feet long and 8 feet wide. They go into the shed where the nesting boxes are and lay eggs and their food and water is in the shed. But at night I notice they stay out in the run and sleep. So if I set up a timer for the light in the shed would that be good enough for now until we can get a window installed. I have 5 hens and get between 3 and 5 eggs a day. Thanks for your input.
    Sally
     
  6. sallyberns

    sallyberns New Egg

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    Thank you for your input it has been very helpful.
     
  7. lazy gardener

    lazy gardener Flock Master

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    Sally, yes, I'd give them a light on a timer. I'm sure you'll be sure it's secure and that they can't touch it or knock it down. Yes, I agree with others that windows and the light and ventilation they provide are absolutely crucial. 1/2" hardware cloth over the window opening for predator safety.
     
  8. ChickenCanoe

    ChickenCanoe True BYC Addict

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    That's why they sleep outside. They need fresh air first and foremost.

    People that keep their birds 'cooped up' lose birds.
     
  9. sallyberns

    sallyberns New Egg

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    Will the chickens get to cold with the big openings covered in hardware cloth. I was worrying about it getting to cold with all the cold air that could get in.
     
  10. 3riverschick

    3riverschick Poultry Lit Chaser

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    That's not necessarily true Canoe. Frankly, I think folk who coop their birds lose them because they put too many in the coop and/or don't have proper ventilation. I keep my Light Sussex coop for weeks at a coop. I also make sure they have 4 sq. ft per bird. I give them extra deep pine shavings. (And no roosts. They snuggle down in the chips. My personal choice).
    Best,
    Karen
     

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