Questions about adding light to a coop..

Discussion in 'Chicken Behaviors and Egglaying' started by Angiebubs, Dec 4, 2011.

  1. Angiebubs

    Angiebubs Chillin' With My Peeps

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    Aug 19, 2011
    Amery, WI WI/MN border
    My hens stopped laying and I am considering adding additional light to get them back on track. According to "Storey" if they miss even a day it can stop them from laying. Is it too late to add light now?

    Also, since we currently have 8-9 hrs daylight, I would need to add about 5 hrs...does it need to be split by lengthening the morning and evening or could I just put a timer in and add 5 hrs at the end of day? Also, does it mess them up if the light is on and suddenly it just goes dark? They wouldnt be roosting etc when the lights went out?

    Any advice would be great-thanks!!
     
  2. Moabite

    Moabite Chillin' With My Peeps

    Feb 24, 2010
    Utah
    Sooner you add light, the sooner you will have eggs. I recommend a timer. Mine comes on in the morning and the evening, but if your chickens have the light turned off on them they might not find their way back to their roost. I like the idea of LED rope lights because they are bright enough and use very little electricity and are unlikely to cause a fire. It seems that any light will work but be very careful about fire. If you use an incandescent bulb, be sure to wire it on securely.
     
  3. Angiebubs

    Angiebubs Chillin' With My Peeps

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    Amery, WI WI/MN border
    Thanks Moabite. I have a timer that will come on at dusk and stay on for 2, 4, 6, or 8 hrs. Im just trying to figure out how to prevent the instant plunge into darkeness so they can find their way to their perch...how do you handle that? I am thinking i will use one of the "Shop guarded hanging" deals...where there is a protective "cage" around the bulb and hang it from the ceiling.
     
  4. ChickenCanoe

    ChickenCanoe Chicken Obsessed

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    Nov 23, 2010
    St. Louis, MO
    Quote:good advice

    I use flourescent but will probably switch to the rope lights. Last year when it got real cold and flourescent wouldn't work I switched to incandescent.

    It's better to start early and let the day end when it ends.
    It can work either way though. I have a timer like yours(2/4/6/8 hours after dusk) It worked for me.
    When they realize the light goes out abruptly they roost early. I watch them the first few days when lights go out and use a flashlight to help them find the way.
    I use evening light with the coops that have roosters so they don't start crowing at 4AM.
     
    Last edited: Dec 4, 2011
  5. FarmGirl01

    FarmGirl01 Chillin' With My Peeps

    Feb 5, 2008
    AR
    I would add the light in the morning. The sudden darkness always keeps mine from finding the roost.
    I had a light on about 20 layers and the timer got messed up after a power outage and they just stopped laying.[​IMG] That was about 6 years ago. Learned my lesson.
     
  6. Moabite

    Moabite Chillin' With My Peeps

    Feb 24, 2010
    Utah
    I use rope lights cause the girls knocked the brooder light off the hook and Stormy, our little leghorn, got her feathers severely scorched and I nearly lost my whole coop. I haven't ever had trouble with my girls finding their roosts 'cause they are already on them before the lights turn off. Fourteen hours total. It don't matter if it's morning, evening or both. I like to extend more in the evening 'cause my coop is by the wood shed and it helps me see when I go grab an arm load for the wood stove. Also, I have my homemade water heater plugged into the same extension cord (It's a Christmas cookie tin with a 40 watt bulb inside that I learn about here on BYC forum).
     
  7. Linn Bee

    Linn Bee Chillin' With My Peeps

    I am guessing it is overkill, but I have a light that comes on in the early morning and again before dark. I also have a red light that is on 15 minutes before and 15 minutes 'lights out'. That way mine have some light for roost finding.

    From what I've seen, they are mostly on the roost before the white light goes off anyway.

    Love, Linn B (aka Smart Red) Gardening zone 5a - 4b in south-est, central-est Wisconsin
     
  8. MKingsolver

    MKingsolver Out Of The Brooder

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    Jun 10, 2011
    Rainy Western WA
    Ok...crazy question! I've been keeping a red heat lamp on my girls the last few nights because it's been below freezing. Would that be considered the same thing as just leaving a light on all night? I sure don't want to shorten their years of egg laying because I used a heat lamp! Any and all advice would be helpful, thanks!!
     
  9. Angiebubs

    Angiebubs Chillin' With My Peeps

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    Quote:So you have two seperate timers set up?
     
  10. Angiebubs

    Angiebubs Chillin' With My Peeps

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    Amery, WI WI/MN border
    What exactly are rope lights? Like a string of xmas lights?
    Also, reading "Storeys guide to raising chickens" it warns about extended light for young pullets? I have 2 laying age hens that stopped laying on Thanksgiving, along with 9 other girls ranging from 3.5 to 5 months old-will it harm them to have the additional light? Will extending the light each day cause the hens to burn out after 2 yrs?
    I am planning on keeping my hens through retirement (pets) age, and am hoping when they all get to be senior citizens (2-3 yrs and older), that with 15-20 hens (eventually) that we will still get enough random eggs to provide for our family with a dozen or so a week-is this realistic?
     

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