Safe Lighting in tractor?

6mutts

Songster
11 Years
Oct 6, 2008
140
0
119
St. Clair, MO
Thinking of lighting in the coop for winter. WE have a very small tractor that we use as a coop. Could I use a 18" flourescent bulb (like the ones for lizards and aquariums) . If so, just regular bulb or UV blulb---ughhh so expensive. I am soooo concerned about a fire in this tiny area, which is why I thought of the flourescent lighting because of the little heat geneerated bby it. Also, how will an extention cord hold up running from the house to the coop(about 20 ft) in snow and cold weather?
 

vfem

Yoga...The Chicken Pose
11 Years
Aug 4, 2008
7,324
21
264
Fuquay Varina, NC
I'm unable to answer this... but what I can say is there are insulating covers they make that are water resistant for power cords outside. Its like a large long flexible foam tube. My husband has a few he uses when he's out in the winter doing carpentry work.... IF (and I do mean IF) there is snow keeps him safe.... but its mostly in case of the ground being wet.
 

patandchickens

Flock Mistress
12 Years
Apr 20, 2007
12,520
253
341
Ontario, Canada
Fluorescent is not necessarily safer -- the ballast creates heat, and it is a heat source much closer to surfaces than a lightbulb would be. I've known a couple barn fires started by fluorescents, and several people who've had the little compact under-the-counter units start melting/smoking/smoldering... whereas I do not personally know of any fires started by, like, a LED light string or a 25 watt incandescent bulb.

However. Be aware that it is hard to winterize small tractors in cold climates -- the small volume of air makes it awfully difficult to maintain sufficient ventilation (to keep humidity and ammonia down) while not ALSO making it too freezy/draft at the chickens. It is not impossible to winter chickens this way but it is not the easiest thing on the chickens or on the chickenkeeper. Have you looked at whether there is any possible other way to overwinter your chickens, like in a shed or something. At the very least, it would help to pull the tractor right up alongside the house (or etc) so you get some thermal buffering and a good windbreak. Also that would be a shorter run for any extension cord you end up using (which is not terribly safe, although if you can ensure it is somewhere it will NEVER be tripped over or shovelled into and only use a single, HEAVY DUTY cord it is less unsafe than it would be otherwise, oh, and make sure it is rigged so that moisture cannot drift or drip into any plug connections)

Honestly I think you are going to have enough challenges keeping chickens happy and healthy over the winter in a small tractor that lighting them to maximize egg production is the least of your worries.

Good luck,

Pat
 

6mutts

Songster
11 Years
Oct 6, 2008
140
0
119
St. Clair, MO
Quote:i wouldn't be lighting for eggs, just thought they NEEDED light, buut if thats not the case then great! Less worry for me!
 

patandchickens

Flock Mistress
12 Years
Apr 20, 2007
12,520
253
341
Ontario, Canada
Quote:Just enough light during daylight hours to see by. As long as they have a transparent or translucent window of some sort that will be plenty fine


Pat
 

WestKnollAmy

The Crazy Chicken Lady
11 Years
Apr 22, 2008
10,061
266
381
upstate SC
I just bought some LED solar panel lights at Home Depot for $10 each to put outside the doors to my coops since it is getting dark so early now. Working good so far and I only need the bit of light to see how to close up at night. No power cord needed and it has an on/off switch.
 

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