Separate names with a comma.
Discussion in 'Chicken Behaviors and Egglaying' started by bubba576, Oct 3, 2011.
Now that it is getting cold at night and dark earlier should chickens have a light at night?
Depends on the breed for the heat. I like for mine to get around 12-14 hrs of light
do you add any artificial heat in the winter, occassionall it will freeze here in No. Calif
There are a few problems that I see when lighting or heating a coop for your flock:
One, if your coops not actually wired for it, you'll be running an electrical cord out. That can significantly increase your electrical bill as you won't only be running the electric at various hours, but even when the light/heat is turned off the power through the cord remains active while plugged in and all that electricity escapes into the ground. (That's what our electrical company guy informed me of this past week when they were out to work on our lines.)
Two, if your coops not wired for it and you're running an electrical cord there's a greater risk for a fire (and I know several people who've lost their flocks for this reason) - not only a risk from the cord itself, but also the bulb and lamp you'll have to temporarily hang up in there (this gives the flock an opportunity to knock it around some, possibly down into the bedding, and causing a fire).
Three, if you're heating your coop for the winter months, what happens if and/or when there's a power outage? Your girls won't be acclimated to the cold (the artificial heat may cause them not to grow their winter down in properly) and they could die as a direct result.
Do you have a south, east, or west facing window in your coop? That can help garner them as much natural sunlight as possible without having to actually light the coop. Does your coop stay dry during inclement weather? Or does it get drafty? If it's dry and draft-free, your girls should be able to keep themselves warm at night. They will still need proper ventilation while enclosed in the coop during the winter, but there is a difference between "ventilation" and it being "drafty". Damp and drafty coops and lack of proper ventilation can increase the odds of frostbite in your flocks combs and on their feet.
I, for one, do not add the artificial light or heat to my coops (we used to have four smaller coops set up and now have just one big one for all the girls to reside in). We even got over 20" of snow last year. Our girls weathered it just fine without either and they continued to produce their eggs.
We don't heat the coop. We do heat the water, to keep it unfrozen. We also use fluorescent lighting to supplement day length in the winter. Our coop is wired.