Lights, Winter and egg laying

Discussion in 'Chicken Behaviors and Egglaying' started by roosmom, Nov 5, 2008.

  1. roosmom

    roosmom Chillin' With My Peeps

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    Jun 3, 2008
    upper peninsula
    I just wanted to post this. We allow our chickens light in the coop. We have been doing this for a few weeks. The light is on a timer so we dont adjust their day to much. They get an extra hour and a half in the am (sun rises at about 730-soon to be eight) and the same in the pm ( sun sets at 630pm-soon to be 530 or 500pm). So they get 14 hrs daylight and 10 hrs night.
    The biggest comment I have is what happened tonite. Because of what I read on here, I switched out the bright light for a red light. I am not happy with it but the chickies love it.
    They are not hiding their faces from the lights, they are not crowding on the roost and they are actually relaxing around on the floor of the coop. Not all, but a few.
    WOW what a difference that little RED light bulb made. I would suggest that if you are going to put a light on your chickies because of the lack of eggs in the winter or for whatever reason, make it a red one.
    *I was just informed that a red lite is not the same as a white light as far as egg production goes. It may allow the production to go down.*

    I will be watching to see if the egg production goes down because of the red lite. Be kind to them and get a timer [​IMG]
     
    Last edited: Nov 5, 2008
  2. Quail_Antwerp

    Quail_Antwerp [IMG]emojione/assets/png/2665.png?v=2.2.7[/IMG]Mrs

    Aug 16, 2008
    Ohio
    Is a red light a dimmer light? I am trying to understand why it makes such a difference?
     
  3. gritsar

    gritsar Cows, Chooks & Impys - OH MY!

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    SW Arkansas
    Red light is not as hard on their eyes as a white light is. The difference is kinda like us humans going from a comfortably light house into bright sunlight. However, you may find that it doesn't help increase egg production all that much. To a chicken a red light is not the same thing as daylight/white light.
     
  4. Pumpkinpup

    Pumpkinpup Poultry Princess

    Jul 16, 2008
    North-West Georgia
    The red light is a very soft light. It is also what is reccomended for brooders to keep chicks from picking.
     
  5. roosmom

    roosmom Chillin' With My Peeps

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    Jun 3, 2008
    upper peninsula
    Quote:OOOHH, good point gritsar. I will keep an eye on the egg production. That has been on the increase. I think I will change a few words in my first post and maybe the heading. Thanks [​IMG]
     
  6. lesterlu

    lesterlu Chillin' With My Peeps

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    Oct 26, 2008
    maine
    i thought that chickens cant see red light. i was planning to use a low watt red light in the coop during the night to keep the water from freezing and to add a little warmth without keeping them awake, emulating a thermal bulb. but, oops, Storey's Guide to Raising Poultry says that their peak sight is in the red orange spectrum.

    "red lights in the coop make birds less cannibalistic" according to an anecdote that i read, in Storey's. a company in Mass makes red contact lenses for certain breeds-see below.

    also from www.colormatters.com/optics.html:

    "A
    company* that markets red contact lenses for chickens (at 20 cents a pair), points to medical studies showing that chickens wearing red-tinted contact lenses behave differently from birds that don't. They eat less, produce more and don't fight as much. This decreases aggressive tendencies and birds are less likely to peck at each other causing injury. A spokesman said the lenses will improve world egg-laying productivity by $600 million a year.

    (Perhaps everything looks red and they cannot distinguish combs, wattles, or blood. Or ...perhaps the chickens are happier because they're viewing the world through rose colored glasses.)"

    or maybe they feel safer when they are experiencing peak vision!
     
  7. gritsar

    gritsar Cows, Chooks & Impys - OH MY!

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    Nov 9, 2007
    SW Arkansas
    lesterlu, you do make a few good points. Using red light is good for preventing pecking issues. My SO (a commercial chicken farmer for 30+ years) just explained the whole spectrum thing to me, but I doubt that I could type what he said and have it make sense. What I can tell you is that in the egg production houses (battery houses) around here they use regular white lights, but of course the hens are caged in very small spaces so they can't do a whole lot of pecking; although they do some.
     
  8. Quail_Antwerp

    Quail_Antwerp [IMG]emojione/assets/png/2665.png?v=2.2.7[/IMG]Mrs

    Aug 16, 2008
    Ohio
    This is all good information for me. We are fixing to run electric out to the two coops and put lights in for the chooks. One reason was predator deterent. My FIL said that is what my MIL used to do to keep nocturnal animals out of the coops. (I recently lost 6 chicks to mink.)

    My girls are only about 7 months old, and haven't really started to lay yet. I am getting on average 1-2 eggs a day. I am hoping adding a light will help bring them on to laying.
     
  9. lesterlu

    lesterlu Chillin' With My Peeps

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    if you want to get really technical, the first 2 pages on this site are interesting-1. red light use can be complicated to egg production, and 2. on a different note, special needs of incubating larger eggs from older layers:

    http://www.hybrobreeders.com/templa...ec&PHPSESSID=ad9aff0cfcc79f5ac57a436cf3924dec

    warning-its one of the commercial egg pages about chicken and egg production-weirds me out to think of the large scale production but it does add to my understanding of my chickees.
     
  10. congohelium

    congohelium Out Of The Brooder

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    Sep 5, 2008
    Monroe, WA
    We converted half of our greenhouse to a chicken coop. We use a timer and two fluorescent light fixtures to provide 16 hours of "daylight". From what we have read about egg laying, the light should be bright enough to read a newspaper by and towards the red spectrum. So we use one full spectrum tube and one plant/aquarium tube in each fixture. The plant tube is optimized towards the red spectrum so appears to be warmer and less white. The fixtures and tubes are cheap and do not draw much power. You just have to remember to dust them periodically. Our 5 hens lay 4 or 5 eggs a day, and daylight is down to 9-3/4 hours now.
     

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