Solar Light at night in chicken coop

Discussion in 'Coop & Run - Design, Construction, & Maintenance' started by Ashneel08, Jan 19, 2016.

  1. Ashneel08

    Ashneel08 New Egg

    9
    0
    7
    Dec 14, 2015
    So I've had my hens for about 1 and a half months now and I have been putting in a solar light inside the coop every night so the hens can see where to roost/perch. The main reason is because they tend to sleep on the doorstep area between the ramp where the run is and where the actual roosting area is. My father says that I shouldn't put a light there as according to him, 'the light is bright and it affects their sleeping patterns, which in turn affects their egg production...'. Hearing this i thought to myself that there's no actual evidence that proves this, as they are stable layers, with the odd day off. So i came here to backyardchickens.com to hopefully get some insight into this situation from some experienced keepers haha. All feedback is welcome.

    Cheers,
    Ashneel.
     
    Last edited: Jan 19, 2016
  2. SunHwaKwon

    SunHwaKwon Overrun With Chickens

    4,534
    1,051
    306
    Jul 19, 2015
    Eastern Shore, MD
    I bought a solar powered light on amazon for $13. It goes on each night at dusk (530ish here right now) and last night I was out there putting some new arrivals out there and it was fading by 730ish, which is perfect. I actually angled the panel to keep it from charging as long so it wouldn't stay on 8 hours as advertised. Try not charging it all the way so it discharges faster. Also, aim it as a wall opposite the roosts to diffuse the light and make it not so bright.

    I use the light to help everyone get settled in the evening. It gets dark in the coop before it's completely dark out. My girls aren't laying yet and I wouldn't force them to lay in winter anyway.
     
    Last edited: Jan 19, 2016
  3. SunHwaKwon

    SunHwaKwon Overrun With Chickens

    4,534
    1,051
    306
    Jul 19, 2015
    Eastern Shore, MD
    Also, I'll add that adding artificial light in winter is used to increase egg production, so yours continuing to be stable layers may prove the point he is making. It would not be wise for a chicken to hatch young in the dead of winter, hence why egg production dies down during that time (stimulated by the change in day length).
     
  4. Pork Pie Ken

    Pork Pie Ken Monkey Business Premium Member

    29,678
    17,955
    666
    Jan 30, 2015
    Africa - near the equator
    I read that some members do add light but only for a couple of hours or so. Others prefer to give their hens a break. I live on the equator so don't suffer from variable sunlight hours. If I did, I'd let them have a break from egg laying, but that's just my choice. Do whatever suits you.

    Ct
     
  5. appps

    appps Overrun With Chickens

    4,766
    576
    281
    Aug 29, 2012
    Australia
    People actually add lights for the opposite reason, to trick them into thinking it's longer summer days so they lay more. Personally I think they take a break over winter cause their bodies need it so I don't light.

    I used a solar light however to teach mine where bed was as well because otherwise I would find them curled up on our back step :). It's not needed long term though, once they have been regularly going to bed where they should for a couple months like you've been doing they should have no problem going to bed without the light. You should find now they are older they are actually starting to roost at dusk before it's really dark enough for the light anyway.
     
  6. Ridgerunner

    Ridgerunner Chicken Obsessed

    20,292
    3,596
    496
    Feb 2, 2009
    Northwest Arkansas
    I’m not sure how much light you are adding or for how long. If you look through the Egg Quality Handbook you’ll see a few different potential egg defects that can be caused by improper lighting. That generally means too much light but irregular lighting can also be a problem. You wanted feedback, read the EQH and get feedback.

    Realize that these are potential defects. All hens will not exhibit all of them all the time, just that some hens could have some of these problems. I consider it good practice to not do things that can cause problems.

    Chickens do best with a few hours of dark downtime at night. I don’t know what that minimum is. If you are far enough from the equator that might be a pretty short night if you go all natural. A number I have heard is that turning a light on at night for less than 15 minutes will not upset their “lighting pattern” but longer might. So try to limit your nighttime activities with light to 15 minutes.

    Egg Quality Handbook
    http://www.thepoultrysite.com/ourbooks/1/egg-quality-handbook/

    Light is an important part of egg laying. Days getting shorter can trigger a molt and cause them to stop laying. Days getting longer can cause them to start laying after the molt or even if they are pullets waiting for spring to start. One of the triggers to tell a hen to release a yolk and start the egg’s journey through her internal egg making factory is light. There are other triggers but this one keeps her from starting an egg at a time it would need to be laid at night.

    Good luck!
     
  7. ECBW

    ECBW Chillin' With My Peeps

    812
    34
    133
    Apr 12, 2011
    NJ
    Op's intent is to guide the birds to roost.

    This is not necessary. They will meander to roost as the day light wanes.

    If they are not taking to roost, you might want to check the roost.
     
  8. KCAmelia

    KCAmelia Chillin' With My Peeps

    54
    1
    56
    May 31, 2015
    Also, I had to train most of mine, just by going out at dark and taking them from the nest boxes to the roosts. :)
     

BackYard Chickens is proudly sponsored by