Question on Lighting - First (of many, I'm sure) Questions

Discussion in 'Incubating & Hatching Eggs' started by PacsMan, Feb 9, 2009.

  1. PacsMan

    PacsMan Chillin' With My Peeps

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    Feb 8, 2009
    Salt Lake Valley
    [Be easy on me. First time chicken farmer, first time poster]

    I've been reading all I can, and I'm on about my 5th book. We got 10 chicks last week. One died (from as near as I can tell, a stuck poop. We took it out, but it was too late)... The rest of the chicks were so warmly received by my 4 boys and wife, we replaced the 1 with 3 more last weekend. We're at an even dozen and they all seem to be doing great.

    Here are pics of them and the chicken tractor we're making.
    http://www.facebook.com/album.php?aid=2015069&l=7b92c&id=1410121213

    Anyway, I came across (in Storey's Guide to Raising Poultry) the subject of lighting for laying hens. They say that you shouldn't have light on chicks 24/7. I guess I never thought of that.

    We use the light for heating (now down to 75 watts).

    Any suggestions for heating if we turn the light out for darkness?

    Thanks
    Marty
    In Utah - Snowing today.
    Do I really have to wait until July for eggs? *sigh* [​IMG]
     
  2. 98 gt

    98 gt a man of many... chickens

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    Jan 14, 2009
    Marshville NC
    They makeceramic heaters that screw into the light sockets... Look in the reptile section at petsmart or walmart. Could also use a red bulb as chickens can't see red light.
     
  3. pbjmaker

    pbjmaker Overrun With Chickens

    May 9, 2008
    Central Iowa
    We've alway used the red heat lights. I have a white one on my baby chicks right now but think I'll switch it out to red. My red one just blew in a power outage and I never replaced it.
     
  4. bigzio

    bigzio Overrun With Chickens

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    Wisconsin
    [​IMG] That applys for adult birds that should receive 4 hours of darkness daily.

    Chicks do fine with the heat lamps 24/7, I've been doing it for years, as do most folks. My flocks also have longevity.

    Sometimes even with my adult flock they receive light 24/7 for weeks at a time when the weather is extremely cold. It's in their best interest.

    bigzio
     
  5. rebelcowboysnb

    rebelcowboysnb Confederate Money Farm

    First off [​IMG]

    As far as lighting an heat, your best bet is a red bulb but black lights work to.

    I like your chicken tractor but not knowing your predator population where you are I have some advice. It looks like you have chicken wire on it. Chicken wire is good at keeping chickens in but raccoons an dogs can rip threw it. Hardware cloth is much more secure. Also for digging predators(dogs mostly) I would lay a 1 foot strip of wire around it on the ground an attach it to the bottom. If something trys to dig in they will right at the edge of the tractor an the wire will prevent it.
     
    Last edited: Feb 9, 2009
  6. PacsMan

    PacsMan Chillin' With My Peeps

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    Feb 8, 2009
    Salt Lake Valley
    So, assuming I get a red light, or a heat lamp, how imperative is it at this stage, to keep exact time on lighting?

    Book says;
    “Start chicks on 22 hours of light for the first week of age. Reduce day length to 18 hours in week 2 and 16 hours in week 3. Light intensity during growth should be 5 to 10 lux (.5-1 foot-candle) at bird level”

    Anyone have any experience with timed lighting?

    =-=-=

    We've got the 1 foot wire ready to lay on the ground for diggers, and plan to close them in the coop portion at night. We have a fenced yard, and may(?) let them out during the day.
     
  7. bigzio

    bigzio Overrun With Chickens

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    Wisconsin
    Books are a good reference, however one can easily hang the light 18" from the floor. Providing enough room for the peeps to move under the light when chilled and away when to warm.(it works best that way )
    Taking the light away from peeps that aren't feathered yet can result in chilled peeps, and a whole lot of other problems. I vote for leave the light on.

    bigzio
     
  8. rebelcowboysnb

    rebelcowboysnb Confederate Money Farm

    [​IMG]

    You just need light on them for heat till they get all there feathers. After that light wont matter unless you wont to keep them laying all winter. For that you will turn a light on early in the morning an off just after sun up to lengthen there day to about 14 hours.
     
  9. azelgin

    azelgin Chillin' With My Peeps

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    Jan 18, 2008
    S.E. AZ
    Here's my experence with lighting for chicks:
    Our first bath of chicks arrived last year in early Feb. and the brooder was in an unheated feed room, so, the red heat lamp had to be on 24/7. It was still a little cold when we moved them to the coop, so, the light followed along. The only problem we had was they would freak out when it got warm enough to shut the heat lamp off at night, so, I put a red light bulb in the coop on a dimmer and lowered the light level over a few days. That work out great with no stress for them getting used to the dark.
    The secound batch of chicks came later in the year, when weather was not an issue. The heat lamp was on an adjustable thermostat, so, they became accoustomed to the light blinking off and on from an early age. When this batch moved to their new coop, lights out at bedtime didn't bother them a bit.[​IMG]
     
  10. minna

    minna Chillin' With My Peeps

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    Oct 15, 2008
    Burnsville, MS
    I also have a regular heat lamp with a thermostat. As long as it is needed, it stays on. I do prefer red heat lamps, but sometimes I use white, depends on what my dh has in stock at work and what he brings home. You can't always go by the book, b/c there are millions of books out there and they all say different things.
     

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