Lighting requirements for healthy growth rate?

Discussion in 'Raising Baby Chicks' started by RavenStorm, Aug 16, 2008.

  1. RavenStorm

    RavenStorm Chillin' With My Peeps

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    Jun 1, 2008
    Southern CA
    Hey peoples, I'm back from a little break. Anyway life got crazy and I wasn't able to pick up my chicks last month and so I am getting them this week. I saw that someone mentioned that chicks born later in the year around this time need artificial light so that they don't grow too quickly and get stressed out when it's time to lay. Can anyone give me a better idea of hom much artificial light they need now? Direct me to good books/websites/articles that discuss this topic and how I can make it work for me?
     
  2. JohnL11935

    JohnL11935 Chillin' With My Peeps

    I copied this from a pamphlet I picked up at Agway this morning. It is called "A Guide to Growing Small Flocks."


    Lighting

    Lighting is of major importance in the well-being and overall health and performance of chickens. As each flock may have different requirements based on breed, type, season, housing, etc., it is best to review your individual needs with your chick supplier. Some general applications of lighting are as follows:

    Broilers -

    -- 24 hours of light for the first 3 days
    -- 23 hours of light and 1 hour of darkness thereafter
    -- 12 hours of light is sufficient under natural conditions to provide adequate feeding times

    For the first week high intensity is recommended, i.e. 60-watt bulbs. Reducing lighting to low intensity (25 watt/15 watt bulbs) after the first week will help in controlling feather picking, improve feed efficiencey, and reduce bird activity.

    Chicks for Egg Production -

    The growing of pullets for egg production requires a different lighting program to achieve the best performance. There are many variations of acceptable lighting programs. For example: Three days of 24 hour light and then reduce the day length between days three and fifteen to 15 hours per day. From three weeks to 18 weeks reduce day length to 12 hours per day.

    At three weeks of age, the light intensity can be dimmed to very low light.

    It should be noted that a lighting program may not be feasible for small flocks of chicks.

    The reason for and effects of light are:

    -- Seasonal increasing day length during growing stimulates early body maturity and early egg production.

    -- Seasonal decreasing day length slows growing maturity and is ideal for the best performance later on. Seasonal decreasing day length during egg production causes hens to begin the molting process.


    Hope this helps.
     
  3. RavenStorm

    RavenStorm Chillin' With My Peeps

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    Jun 1, 2008
    Southern CA
    Thank you, it does help me a lot, I already have a red light for heat so now I'll just set a regular bulb in a lamp attached to a timer in the room where I'm going to be putting the brooder. Anyone else getting chicks late and have plans to alter the lighting? What are you going to do?
     
  4. kmom246

    kmom246 Out Of The Brooder

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    Jul 20, 2008
    Nevada
    I'm a first time chicky baby raiser and I am doing the following based on the various things that I have read/heard...

    I got my peeps on June 18th and after 3 days of medium intensity light, had them on the same schedule as regular day light. They are now outside from just before sun up to just after sundown and that is all the light they are getting. When they get closer to egg laying time, I will start to increase the lighting time until it gets to about 12 or so hours and then maintain that with a timer. The peeps are 8 weeks old and look healthy. The marans seem to be maturing way ahead of my easter-eggers and silver laced wyandotts, but generally, it looks like the girls in each breed are maturing at the same rate.

    Another advantage to getting the peeps so late in the year is that they only needed to spend 2 weeks under lights until the day temps were in the low 90*F range. They've been raised rather "hot" here in the desert, and they seem to be taking the 103*F temps ok as long as I keep the ground watered down (pure sand to 6 feet or more down). They follow the shade around the coop and I make sure they have fresh water on all sides so they don't have to go far to find it.

    Any other thoughts on raising "late" chickens appreciated.
     
  5. JohnL11935

    JohnL11935 Chillin' With My Peeps

  6. RavenStorm

    RavenStorm Chillin' With My Peeps

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    Jun 1, 2008
    Southern CA
    Thank you kmom, I too live in a desert so I'm glad your chickies are doing fine.

    Thanks for the article John! I think I might be with you in avoiding future late-season chicks. Next time I'll just get them in the spring and avoid all of this hassle because I can't get electricity out to my coop without borrowing a long extension cord from my neighbors and I don't want to tell them yet what it is for.
     
  7. silkiechicken

    silkiechicken Staff PhD Premium Member

    Honestly, chicks born year round here are all treated the same. Heat light 24/7 till I steal it from them at 6 weeks old. Out they go at about a week old or so and that is that. I find that the fall birds might wait till spring to lay but I've had some born in August lay in Feb. I don't provide artificial lighting and let the birds rest their bodies in the winter.
     
  8. RavenStorm

    RavenStorm Chillin' With My Peeps

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    Jun 1, 2008
    Southern CA
    Quote:Ok, that also takes a load off of my mind. I wasn't sure, seeing as how I live in sunny southern California. Where I am our winters are a scant 3, maybe 4 if we are lucky, days of rain and about a month's worth of cloudy days and the rest of the time it's sunny. If your birds do alright in WA, I sure they will be fine here.
     
  9. silkiechicken

    silkiechicken Staff PhD Premium Member

    They'll be fine. They are tough little buggars and once you learn them, you'll be able to tell when something is up. At least yours won't have to wake up to frozen water and have to wait for the humans to bring out something warm in the winter. No need to over stress over them. [​IMG]
     

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