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Question about lights for egg-laying in winter

Discussion in 'Chicken Behaviors and Egglaying' started by johncampanelli, Oct 4, 2008.

  1. johncampanelli

    johncampanelli Chillin' With My Peeps

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    Jun 13, 2008
    Hudson, Ohio
    If I install a low-wattage red heat lamp in my coop to keep my girls warm this winter, will they still need a white light in addition to lay or will the red heat lamp be enough?

    Thanks so much. My first birds -- eight hens -- are 12 weeks old and doing really well.
     
  2. al6517

    al6517 Real Men can Cook

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    Yes you will also need a white light too, if you want to extend laying into the winter. 14 hrs of daylight should do the trick, and the light needs to be wide ranging to avoid dark spots.
     
  3. speckledhen

    speckledhen Intentional Solitude Premium Member

    Just know that there are serious downsides to providing artificial light during winter to keep them producing at a high rate. That has been linked to reproductive cancers in hens. They may lay like gangbusters for a couple of years, but you could be severely shortening their lives. I did it the first year I had chickens and I'll never do it again. Their bodies need to slow down sometime.
     
  4. Pumpkinpup

    Pumpkinpup Poultry Princess

    Jul 16, 2008
    North-West Georgia
    I agree completely with speckledhen. A hen's system is designed to slow down in winter so that it gets a recooperative rest from the riggors of everyday laying. It's not healthy for your flock so think about it carefully before making the decision to use artificial light.
     
  5. speckledhen

    speckledhen Intentional Solitude Premium Member

    Hey, it's an excuse to get more chickens to make up for the reduced output in winter! [​IMG]
     
  6. al6517

    al6517 Real Men can Cook

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    I don't use this method as I am not concentrating on egg production. but the health of my birds is more important, letting them rest makes very good sense.
     
  7. gritsar

    gritsar Cows, Chooks & Impys - OH MY!

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    I too agree with speckled hen. Added to that is the fact that a hen only has so many eggs to lay in her lifetime (I can't find the exact # right now), just like human females do. If you add light to get them to lay in the wintertime, you'll get more eggs but for a shorter period over the hen's lifetime. So you have a choice. Alot of eggs and then having to replace the hen or less eggs but having your hen for a longer period of time.
     
    Last edited: Oct 4, 2008
  8. Katy

    Katy Flock Mistress

    I don't add light either....I figure they deserve their natural vacation. I can do without so many eggs for awhile for their sake.
     
  9. johncampanelli

    johncampanelli Chillin' With My Peeps

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    Thanks guys. I'm going to reconsider.
     
  10. Beau coop

    Beau coop Chillin' With My Peeps

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    May 19, 2008
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    What wattage red light do you use for heat? At what temp do you start heating? I have 5 bantams and it was COLD here last night - 35 degrees! They were ok this am but brrrrrr...
    Where do you place the light? Meaning how far from the birds and the ground- over roost or over the waterer?
     

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