Question about lights for egg-laying in winter

johncampanelli

Chirping
11 Years
Jun 13, 2008
39
0
87
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.
 

al6517

Real Men can Cook
11 Years
May 13, 2008
10,684
143
321
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.
 

speckledhen

Intentional Solitude
Premium Feather Member
13 Years
Feb 3, 2007
78,643
12,145
936
Blue Ridge Mtns. of North Georgia
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.
 

Pumpkinpup

Poultry Princess
11 Years
Jul 16, 2008
4,147
26
256
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.
 

al6517

Real Men can Cook
11 Years
May 13, 2008
10,684
143
321
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.
 

gritsar

Cows, Chooks & Impys - OH MY!
12 Years
Nov 9, 2007
28,906
237
421
SW Arkansas
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.
 
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Beau coop

Songster
11 Years
May 19, 2008
837
0
139
WNY
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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