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question about artificial light.

Discussion in 'Chicken Behaviors and Egglaying' started by jermoatc, Jan 11, 2013.

  1. jermoatc

    jermoatc Chillin' With My Peeps

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    My hens are provided with artificial white light as this is supposed to help them continue to lay through the winter. However my birds have begun picking at each other a little. I have heard red light deters this behavior but will red light still stimulate egg laying the way white light does?
     
  2. myfinefeatheredfriends

    myfinefeatheredfriends Chillin' With My Peeps

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    I would say a light is a light. Colored lights are used with quail to continue laying but prevent picking. I use a red infrared heat lamp on my girls in the winter and it helps stimulate laying, as well as keep them warm.
     
  3. cafarmgirl

    cafarmgirl Overrun With Chickens

    How long do you have your light on each day?
     
  4. WalkingOnSunshine

    WalkingOnSunshine Overrun With Chickens

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    Poultry react differently to white lights and red lights. White lights are necessary to supplement light for egglaying. Red lights are used in heat lamps that are on all night because they don't disturb hens as much at night.

    You want to have 14 total hours of daylight a day. Of course, most of that will be actual sunlight. Figure out how many hours of sunlight you are getting per day, then count backwards and set your light to turn on at that time. For instance, our sunrise is around 8am, and the sun is down by 6pm right now. That's 10 hours of light. So our lights are on a timer and come on at 4am and turn off at 8am.

    If you have white lights on all night, that could definitely cause picking. All animals need a dark period, or they get super stressed.
     
  5. jermoatc

    jermoatc Chillin' With My Peeps

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    my light is on a timer, it comes on at 6 AM and goes off at 8. then comes on again at 4 and off at 8:30 for a total of 14.5 hrs.
     
  6. WalkingOnSunshine

    WalkingOnSunshine Overrun With Chickens

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    Have you tried just having it on in the morning? We've done it both ways, and get a much better response when we have it on only in the morning. In the morning, it seems to wake the birds up early. They're up, eating and drinking and laying eggs. When we had the lights on in the evening too, it didn't seem to do us any good. The birds went to roost at the same time they always did. It was like the red wavelengths of the sunset just overrode the light in the coop, whereas the morning light reinforced the yellow light of dawn and made a difference. Just food for thought.
     
  7. jermoatc

    jermoatc Chillin' With My Peeps

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    I have not tried that. The problem I envision with that is that my coop is kind of small and I feed my birds outside. they do have water inside though. I shut them in every night to protect them from the coyotes and let then open their door at 530 AM. I worry that if i turn the lights on too early in the morning they will go stir crazy and kill each other. I suppose I could give it a try though. What do you think?
     
  8. aart

    aart Chicken Juggler! Premium Member

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    My Coop
    Probably need a bigger coop, which will help all troubles.
     
  9. WalkingOnSunshine

    WalkingOnSunshine Overrun With Chickens

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    I don't think they will, as long as you have enough space. My lights turn on at 4:00 am, and I rarely get out there before 8am to turn them loose. Haven't had any trouble yet. Especially if you open the door at 5:30 am, I would be really surprised if you had any trouble in that hour and a half window.
     
  10. jermoatc

    jermoatc Chillin' With My Peeps

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    Thanks. I think I will give it a try. Thanks
     

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