Thinking of turning off the light.

Discussion in 'Chicken Behaviors and Egglaying' started by jstlitlome, Jan 7, 2014.

  1. jstlitlome

    jstlitlome Songster

    Mar 11, 2013
    I am a first year chicken owner, and my chickies are 10 months old.

    I have tried not to have a light so far this winter, but with these freezing temps, I just felt the need to provide one. It is a heat bulb on a 20-30 degree thermostat.

    A couple days ago, I went out to find my Flossie Mae (my only white chicken) covered in blood and her wattle all beat up. She has spent the last few days in isolation in my garage after a bath, and has healed up just fine. She just went back outside since its going to be 35 today. My little Buff Silkie is missing half of her hat feathers. These are the two lowest chickens in the pecking order in my coop. I've never had a problem with pecking and everyone has always gotten along swimmingly. I can only assume the light is stressing them out and they have resorted to pecking. I'm not sure who is the culprit. I have two that would rather roost outside when the light is on, and I have had to pick them up to put them inside in order to close the door. (come to think of it, the two who want to be outside are the two top birds.)

    I know they don't need the light, I was just trying to pamper them a bit through these bitter temps. Thinking it might be better to turn it off for good. Their coop is tight and draft free though not insulated and well ventilated as well.

    Anyone else have this problem? Think its the light, or the cold?

  2. foreverlearning

    foreverlearning Songster

    Aug 4, 2013
    When my birds were younger they would stay up most of the night when there was a heat light on and aggravate each other. As they got older (over a year) and I had to put one out there because of sudden drops in temps they would sleep with it on. I would suggest to either wean them off of the heat or get a heat source that doesn't put out much light.
  3. jstlitlome

    jstlitlome Songster

    Mar 11, 2013
    Yes, I think I will do that. I don't really need to wean them off the light as the temps went up over 30 and the light went off on its own. Think I will unplug it for now and only use it in the worst of temps like the last week.

  4. azygous

    azygous Free Ranging

    Dec 11, 2009
    Colorado Rockies
    It's definitely the light causing the conflicts. For two years, now, I've forgone the light in winter because it causes the chickens to have much too many waking hours, thus stressing them. I was doing the light for heat and to stimulate egg laying. As it turns out, they begin to lay again in January, with or without any additional light.

    I now bring the temp in the coops up just above freezing with oil-filled electric heaters. Much safer.
    1 person likes this.

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