1. If this is your first time on BYC, we suggest you start with one of these three options:
    Raising Chickens Chicken Coops Join BYC
    If you're already a member of our community, click here to login & click here to learn what's new!

Supplemental light (not heat) in winter

Discussion in 'Raising Baby Chicks' started by SusanD, May 29, 2015.

  1. SusanD

    SusanD Chillin' With My Peeps

    Hi,

    I'm trying to think ahead to what my parents on I will need to do to overwinter our chickens, and was wondering if we will need to provide them with supplemental light. My understanding is that my parents plan to keep them for life, so I don't believe the rate of egg laying is a factor. However, I did noticed that our chickens are on the go from when we let them out (around 6) to dusk (around 9). So, I can't imagine they would be happy running around just from 9-4 (which is what our daylight hours are in December). Do we let them out regardless of how light it is, or do we need to plan to compensate for the lack of daylight?

    Thanks, Susan
     
  2. SilkieNation

    SilkieNation Chillin' With My Peeps

    376
    21
    151
    Oct 26, 2007
    Rhode Island
    They go to bed at dusk, just the same, just like the rest of the diurnal critters. No need to supplement light unless you are concerned about egg production. They are likely happier without it. Definitely don't put them out in the dark; they have poor night vision and there are predators!
     
  3. Blooie

    Blooie Team Spina Bifida Premium Member

    12,423
    4,565
    408
    Feb 25, 2014
    Northwestern Wyoming
    My Coop
    x2 I don't supplement heat or light. They are perfectly adapted to following the sunset/sunrise, no matter how long or short the time between is. I want my girls to get a break from laying in the winter, as their bodies are programmed to do. That doesn't mean we don't get any eggs at all in the winter and very early spring. But the only reason for supplementing light is for egg production. So I just let them follow what they are programmed to do - rest in the winter. They don't have watches, so they don't notice what time it is anyway. [​IMG]
     
  4. ImNotYogi

    ImNotYogi Chillin' With My Peeps

    319
    17
    83
    Dec 8, 2014
    Eastern NC
    Im on my first flock and don't plan on using any lights in the coop. I'm worried more about frostbite.
     
  5. jalovestar

    jalovestar Out Of The Brooder

    42
    4
    24
    May 16, 2015
    you can put patroliom jelly on there feet and skin without feathers
     
  6. jalovestar

    jalovestar Out Of The Brooder

    42
    4
    24
    May 16, 2015
    to keep from having frost bite
     
  7. jalovestar

    jalovestar Out Of The Brooder

    42
    4
    24
    May 16, 2015
    like vasoline
     
  8. Blooie

    Blooie Team Spina Bifida Premium Member

    12,423
    4,565
    408
    Feb 25, 2014
    Northwestern Wyoming
    My Coop
    We have winters of 20 and 30 below zero. With adequate ventilation in our coop, we had no frostbite.
     
  9. SusanD

    SusanD Chillin' With My Peeps

    Thanks all for your replies. I will not worry about supplemental light then, and I may try the vaseline trick depending on how cold it gets.

    Susan
     
  10. jalovestar

    jalovestar Out Of The Brooder

    42
    4
    24
    May 16, 2015
    The key is to not
    the key is not to build up moisture so that means clean the coop more often and at night take the water away till the morning
     

BackYard Chickens is proudly sponsored by