lighting wisdom??

Discussion in 'Coop & Run - Design, Construction, & Maintenance' started by tarutgers, Feb 27, 2013.

  1. tarutgers

    tarutgers Chirping

    Feb 16, 2013
    Please, I have lighting questions regarding laying hens. We are planning to use a heat lamp only in the coldest of winter with our mature laying hens connected with a thermostat plug in so that it only comes on at 35 degrees and shuts off at 45the degrees to keep them laying through the winter. Will the red light coming on once in awhile bother them? What about a blue light? And I am planning on keeping a very small nightlight on in the barn to help ward off nighttime critters. What if I use a red xmas light bulb in the nightlight to get them used to it? Thanks for any feedback!

  2. Hokum Coco

    Hokum Coco Crowing

    Dec 6, 2012
    New Brunswick,Canada
    The minute you run electricity to your coop; Fire is your Unforgiving Enemy; Regardless what you may think. Feathers, dust, dry shavings, and unpredictable chickens, all supply the necessary components to complete the combustion triangle.

    That being said the Thermo cube approach you described is good for keeping your water thawed (lots of post on heated water containers on this site). However heating your coop may do more harm than good if the heat source is cut off due to circumstances beyond your control (power outages in Sub Zero Conditions for example).

    Giving 12 - 14 hours of light does apparently increase egg production. This same effect can be done without risk of heat & fire with LED Type bulbs at a fraction of the operating cost of incandescent bulbs.

    My motives are most likely different from yours for raising chickens.

    Here is a link to give you some insight into my set up:
    1 person likes this.
  3. Tigertrea

    Tigertrea Songster

    Feb 10, 2012
    LaSalle Ontario Canada
    For me the question came down to why I have chickens. For me a huge part is self-sufficiency. Now, having electricity in my coop would defeat that purpose unless I used alternative sources of energy. I do not so, if the power goes out (even for a short period of time) my chickens would suffer. I would rather allow them to adjust to the environment rather than adjusting their environment for them.

    That said, I have had an extention cord out to my coop this winter with a heat lamp running on cold nights. I did not build my coop. My hubby built it and refused to listen to me when I said what I wanted him to do. (it was a case of "honey, you research what you want me to build and tell me. Then, I'll build what I want even though you did the research and I didn't look at even one plan"..UGH!) This summer we are revamping the coop and adding to it for more space. I hope he will listen to me this year LOL.
    Last edited: Feb 28, 2013
    1 person likes this.
  4. tarutgers

    tarutgers Chirping

    Feb 16, 2013
    This whole lighting and laying thing is VERY confusing. I already have electricity hooked up in the barn so I thought why not use it. We live in Minnesota so on some days I would like to add alittle heat with the thermostat plug. Planning on using red heat bulb in lamp. Will the red light coming on and off upset them? I read in the Chickens for Dummies book that having a soft light on in the coop at night help with predators at night. Is the red light soft enough?
  5. debid

    debid Crowing

    Jan 20, 2011
    middle TN
    A red heat lamp puts out enough light for them to come down off the roost. When it suddenly switches off, that could be a problem. If you want to heat on a thermostat, I'd use a non-light option like a ceramic heat emitter or a panel heater instead. Adding light hours for laying is different. That's best accomplished with a timer and a light fixture. The idea is to give a consistent day length (13-14 hours) to prevent a drop in hormone levels that stops laying during the short-day months. It's entirely independent of temperature.
    1 person likes this.

  6. 4 the Birds

    4 the Birds Songster

    Oct 15, 2010
    Westfield, Indiana
    You can use a red heat lamp bulb or a standard white. How about just extending the evening light? This way a light kicking on in the morning will not be an issue. You can set your timer to increase the evening light and shut off after a few more hours of light. I use a brooder light and it is on 24/7 during the winter months. It adds a warm zone (they hang out near the lamp in sub zero temps!) and the hens are happy to keep laying eggs at steady numbers as with the Summer months. My coop and run is large enough to have choices for the birds regarding warm/cold and light/dark areas. Probably can be acheived with a smaller coop as well with some creative panels and so forth. Hope this helps.

    1 person likes this.
  7. Etw321

    Etw321 In the Brooder

    Jul 21, 2012
    I have a single hen who lives in my barn due to blindness, and in order to keep possible predators away at night, aside from also locking the barn, I keep a light on in the corner away from her cage and roost. I also turn on a battery operated radio at a low level.

    I live in KY and have weather that is all over the place, I like to keep a red heat lamp hooked up to a timer for the really chilly nights. My babies outside seem to really appreciate it. They will naturally develop more down feathers if you let them adapt, but when the water is able to freeze it can be scary to leave them out in that low of temps.
    Hope this helps!
    1 person likes this.

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