Lighting inside Coop

Discussion in 'Coop & Run - Design, Construction, & Maintenance' started by Studio2770, May 11, 2013.

  1. Studio2770

    Studio2770 Chillin' With My Peeps

    Apr 29, 2013

    My mother is wanting to buy a night light for our 4-5 week old chickens, we plan to have it stuck on one of the walls inside the coop. I see that the main reason for lighting is to encourage laying but my mother is really only concerned about them being able to see at night and "not being scared."[​IMG] Would it have to be red??? And here is our coop and chickens(we don't really know what exact breed they are). My dad built it and I helped him out, it exceeded my expectations! These aren't recent as we extended the run and we just put in roosting polls in today. So will a night light hurt them at all? And does it need to be red?
  2. Clackclack

    Clackclack Chillin' With My Peeps

    Apr 20, 2013
    One of the reasons for light bulbs is heat, which probably doesn't matter in the summer. Another is potential defense against predators to give them at least a bit of a chance if they get invaded, but I'm not sure I'm buying this. Finally, perhaps it improves their laying, but their biorhythm might suffer from lack of darkness. I'd say, let them sleep in the dark at night as they would in nature.
  3. KrazyChicks

    KrazyChicks Out Of The Brooder

    Apr 13, 2013
    Well, I agree with your mom, but I'm brand new to chickens too, so what do I know, except this is a great place to find out all you need to know! I just got my strand of butterfly LED lights I ordered from amazon. They are low light, the butterflies over light add color, and best of all they are solar powered on a dusk to dawn tier, so no need to be home to turn them on. When sun goes down, lights turn on. I got these because I've been turning on their battery operated butterflies each night....and I'm on my second set of batteries in 1 week! I think there are practical reasons to have a low light on, mainly being able to see if a predator is near or trying to get in, plus they're used to having a light at night in their brooder. Probably more for us than them though :)
  4. DanEP

    DanEP Chillin' With My Peeps

    May 15, 2010
    Cadiz Ky
    If your girls don't need the heat they don't need the light. I do keep a light on for young birds just learning to coop up but once their trained I don't use the light . And even young birds only get the light for about an hour after dusk. Just make your coop safe and let your girls sleep in the dark. The light may make you feel better but it's not good for the chickens they have been sleeping in the dark for as long as there have been chickens.
  5. Ridgerunner

    Ridgerunner Chicken Obsessed

    Feb 2, 2009
    Northwest Arkansas
    I don’t see any reason at all to put a night light in there. If you look through the Egg Quality Handbook you can see different possible egg defects constant light can cause when they are laying. Day and night light cycles help them set the rhythm of their daily routine, just like it does us.

    I also don’t buy it that it gives any real protection against predators.

    They don’t need to eat or drink at night. Their normal routine is to eat before they go to bed, digest that food overnight, and wake up hungry.

    I don’t sleep with the lights on. I see no reason to do that to the chickens. They need their downtime. Once they are old enough to not need the heat, my light goes off.
  6. Egghead_Jr

    Egghead_Jr Overrun With Chickens

    Oct 16, 2010
    NEK, VT
    Chickens have very little defense against predators. Some added lighting at night wont make a bit of difference. Real protection is to close up the coop every night, let chickens out every morning.

    The first few years we had chickens we lighted the coop in winter for the added egg production. This supplemental lighting is added morning and evening to expand the natural day light to a total hours you want to give them. Commercial operations use 14 hours total light for optimum laying but I didn't see a difference from fall laying to winter using 12 hours total. You put an energy efficient bulb on a timer to turn on at say 5 am then off at 8 am assuming your earliest day is 5 pm naturally in winter that would be 12 hours. Added lighting makes a huge difference in winter production but will shorten the years of productive laying in your hens.

    As for heating that's something I don't do and we live in Northern New Hampshire so know cold. Once chicks are 4 weeks old, fully feathered, they can handle spring weather. Our temps in Spring still get into the mid 30's with occasional frosts until late May. The chicks have been outside since April 20th without any added heat; were 3 1/2 weeks old and warmer than usual Spring.
  7. 4 the Birds

    4 the Birds Chillin' With My Peeps

    Oct 15, 2010
    Westfield, Indiana

    We only add light for about 3 months during the Winter. Without the light the egg production drops way off and the birds appreciate the warmth near the lamp on the most frigid nights. You can use a red bulb or add panels to mute bright light. My coop is large enough that the chickens have several choices as far as being near the light, away from the light, or even in a dark open air area.

  8. Studio2770

    Studio2770 Chillin' With My Peeps

    Apr 29, 2013
    Thanks for all the useful responses! I do think that a night light would be unnecessary and the only real purposes for light in the coop would be protection from frigid cold and maintaining egg production. We live in central Texas so it hardly gets really cold. I guess the heat lamp we already have on hand is good enough. Thanks!

BackYard Chickens is proudly sponsored by