Lights On In The Hen House Reduces Losses To Predators

Discussion in 'Predators and Pests' started by Cowboy_Shamblin, Aug 15, 2010.

  1. Cowboy_Shamblin

    Cowboy_Shamblin Out Of The Brooder

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    Its been my experience that rats and weasels make more attacks in the darkness. In addition chickens squak loudly if they can see the predator. In the dark they usually die quite silently and the predator makes many kills.
     
  2. krcote

    krcote Chillin' With My Peeps

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    I find this statement to be very true and interesting!
     
  3. tigerkitten45

    tigerkitten45 Chillin' With My Peeps

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    I have been raising chickens since March, and keep a light on in my main coop each night. We live out in the country and have many predators around, including bears. I have had only one attempt from a predator to get into my coop, and that was thwarted by me, but people who live on the same road have lost many chickens. Needless to say i will be keeping the light on....Just call me Hotel 6!! [​IMG]
     
  4. tigerkitten45

    tigerkitten45 Chillin' With My Peeps

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    Feb 22, 2010
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    I have been raising chickens since March, and keep a light on in my main coop each night. We live out in the country and have many predators around, including bears. I have had only one attempt from a predator to get into my coop, and that was thwarted by me, but people who live on the same road have lost many chickens. Needless to say i will be keeping the light on....Just call me Motel 6!! [​IMG]
     
  5. Gallo del Cielo

    Gallo del Cielo La Gallina Resort & Spa

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    My Coop
    Quote:Hey Cowboy Shamblin, I think you're right on.
     
  6. ivan3

    ivan3 spurredon Premium Member

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    We have LED's in both the coop and turkey shed (very minimal light so it won't interfere with their normal cycling - lights are in upper areas and shielded). A shielded 15w is more than enough. We also have baby monitors in both the turkey shed and coop. This is sufficient to cause them to `panic' instead of sitting quietly in the dark as a opossum opens up their crops.
     
  7. vicki2x2

    vicki2x2 Super Chick

    Feb 9, 2008
    Central Michigan
    I wouldn't use to much light, like someone said, it can mess up their normal cycle. However, I use a radio and leave it playing 24/7 and haven't had any problems since I started using it. No more coons [​IMG]
     
  8. jjthink

    jjthink Overrun With Chickens

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    If one is striving to keep hens healthy as long as possible, it is far better to pred proof exceptionally well because excess light (i.e. light during hours when it is naturally dark) does not allow a hen's body a crucial rest from egg laying. Her body churns out eggs in accord with the amount of light in a day, and hence, for example, the important slow down in winter egg laying. Excess light will wear a hen out before her time.
    JJ
     
  9. ivan3

    ivan3 spurredon Premium Member

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    jjthink wrote: If one is striving to keep hens healthy as long as possible, it is far better to pred proof exceptionally well because excess light (i.e. light during hours when it is naturally dark) does not allow a hen's body a crucial rest from egg laying. Her body churns out eggs in accord with the amount of light in a day, and hence, for example, the important slow down in winter egg laying. Excess light will wear a hen out before her time.

    Exactly:

    Siopes has found that photoperiod plays a pivotal role in regulating quail and turkey immune systems. Exposing birds to 24-hour periods when the dark period is considerably longer than the light period boosts the birds' immune systems.
    "We've developed a way to regulate the immune system of an animal in a simple, inexpensive way without pharmacology," says Siopes.

    The immune response to the light-dark cycle occurs quickly. "We can see effects in one to two weeks," Siopes says. The immune systems of birds kept in short-day conditions are much more robust than birds living under longer light regimes.

    Siopes explains that exposing turkeys to the light equivalent of short days stimulates the pineal gland, which produces melatonin, a hormone that is a powerful immune system enhancer. The more daily darkness, the more melatonin.

    It seems that 3 to 5 percent of turkey hens develop spontaneous ovarian tumors. Siopes first noticed the cancers a number of years ago when doing necropsies on turkeys. When he confirmed the masses he found in some of his birds were cancerous tumors, Siopes decided to see whether photoperiod had any effect on the cancers.

    What he found was startling. By adjusting photoperiod for a shorter day length, Siopes was able to eradicate tumors. When he put the turkeys whose tumors had completely disappeared back on longer days, the tumors returned.

    "We can literally make these cancers disappear and reappear by manipulating photoperiod," Siopes says. He's also found that melatonin injections will slow tumor development.

    From: http://www.cals.ncsu.edu/agcomm/magazine/spring05/night.htm

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    enough to see one's hand in front of one's face is enough. Low light during the day (during winter on a constant basis) can lead to blindness. While treating injured birds, indoors, a low light level will keep them calmer.​
     
  10. kingpartyof5

    kingpartyof5 Out Of The Brooder

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    May 21, 2010
    Central Indiana
    I actually found a nightlight that is motion activated, so it turns on when there is movement and the birds can see. We also turned the coop over and fastened hardware cloth to the underside of the coop, therefore, nothing can dig its way in.
     

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