The timing of a coop heat-lamp

Discussion in 'Coop & Run - Design, Construction, & Maintenance' started by CoupeDeVille, Dec 17, 2010.

  1. CoupeDeVille

    CoupeDeVille Out Of The Brooder

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    Been reading all about heatlamps for the winter season, but I've got a question I haven't found the answer to yet..

    I've got 8 hens ( 4 Comets, 2 Leghorns and 2 Black sex-links) in a 6x6x6 draft-free coop..If the temp really drops here in Connecticut and I use a lamp just to take the chill off and give them some extra light, is it better to come on at dusk and run for a few hours or turn on just before dawn for a little while ? or the heck with the lamp altogether ?

    I know I sure can't sleep with a light on in the room [​IMG] not sure how it affects hens though...

    Thoughts ??


    Thanks !!
     
  2. Bear Foot Farm

    Bear Foot Farm Overrun With Chickens

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  3. Judy

    Judy Chicken Obsessed Staff Member Premium Member

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    The only reason to give them light is to increase egg production, unless your coop is really dark and they need a little night light to come in to roost. They sleep best in the dark. And they don't need heat but they do need some up-high ventilation.

    If I added light for eggs I would do it in the morning. I'd worry that they would get caught off the roost or even out of the coop at night and not be able to go anywhere as they see so poorly in the dark. I figure it would be better to wake them suddenly and let them go to sleep naturally than mess with their bedtime routine.
     
    Last edited by a moderator: Dec 17, 2010
  4. woodmort

    woodmort Chillin' With My Peeps

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    Quote:I agree. Ditch the heating lamp and put the light on a timer that can add another 4/5 hrs on to the birds' day if you want to keep them laying at maximum and/or need to find you way around inside the coop before or after it gets dark. Otherwise don't do either. BTW I give my birds a couple hours more light in both the morning and evening but have no heat except for the waterer.
     
  5. Buck Creek Chickens

    Buck Creek Chickens Have Incubator, Will Hatch

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    Quote:with light use a timer, my barn is dark 7:30 pm to 5:30 am so the timer go's on from about 4:30 pm to 7:30 pm then 5:30 am to 7:30 am by doing that, when you turn off the lights you transition to normal light with out the birds noticing, as for heat it is not necessary, plus by adding heat you will need to heat from that point on. accumulation to the cold, I have a trio of bantam wyandottes outside, (why is a long story) it got to - 10 below (normally we have 30 day, 15 night) the other night. they where not in a building, they where in a wire cage with a tarp under so trees, no frost bite and all 3 are doing OK. (they are in the barn now)

    my birds have no problem with finding the roost, the added light is a low watt twist bulb that is full spectrum
     
    Last edited: Dec 17, 2010
  6. CoupeDeVille

    CoupeDeVille Out Of The Brooder

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    New Hartford, Ct.
    Appreciate the input everyone....[​IMG]
     
  7. marquisella

    marquisella Chillin' With My Peeps

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    New Hartford...is that in NY? I'm in Vernon.

    I have lights on timers that come on at 1am and off at 7am. That gives them enough light for laying. If you suddenly cut off the light at night, they might get caught on the floor of the coop and won't bother to roost. I think its better to wake them up with lights, and let them go to roost naturally.

    Sometimes I've caught them outside in the dark when the lights are on, but not in the dead of winter. If the light bothers them, they will go outside in the dark & sleep...when the weather is not that cold if I leave the doors open.

    I have gone into coops at night when the lights are on, and found the birds roosting facing the walls, asleep. So much for lights, etc...LOL

    Sue

    ps I forgot to add that I only use a heat lamp for chicks. Once the birds are about 4 months old, they don't need additional heat.
     
    Last edited: Dec 17, 2010
  8. Buck Creek Chickens

    Buck Creek Chickens Have Incubator, Will Hatch

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    a little off topic, not much, when you put your light on at lets say 1am do you use light in the summer to? you are really messing up your birds internal clocks. how did you start those lights, slowly, or just turn them on? did you lose egg production? I'm wondering if the old wives tale, that your birds production will be less because of lights, is because of early morning only light?
     
    Last edited: Dec 18, 2010
  9. marquisella

    marquisella Chillin' With My Peeps

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    Quote:I start the lights in the fall about mid September when the days are shorter than 15 hours. Then as the daylight decreases I push the timer to come on earlier. Its dark here by 4:30pm, so they get almost 8 hours of sleep. Which is more than they get in the summertime.

    I turn the lights off in the spring, usually mid March.

    I don't get "a bushel" of eggs by keeping the lights on in the winter. Probably half or more stop laying even with the lights.

    And, the different breeds react differently. My Ameraucanas lay more often, and usually my Wyandottes are 2nd, but lately, the Marans have been laying more than the Wyandottes which is a mystery...

    Although, now that I think of it, the light in the Wyandottes pen is not as bright as the lights in the Marans pen, so mybe that has something to do with it.

    I live in the NE and during the hot summer months, egg production almost stops, so its not like my chickens are cranking out eggs every day of their lives. They get a lot of rest periods. I also take the roosters away from the hens for 2 months during the summer, so they get to relax from breeding as well.

    Sue
     
    Last edited: Dec 18, 2010

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