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Old 12-08-2015, 01:47 PM
c.r.tactical c.r.tactical is offline
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Default ok another chicken question...



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The days are getting shorter and egg production is slowing down.
I have heard to put a light in the coop, and have done so. Its a little pathway solar light. So far not difference.... so I added a solar rope light from HF. I thought it would be brighter but its not that bright.

So the question is; how bright should it be?
Super blinding, death ray style? sexy, baby making, low light? Working on a project in the garage light? or???

Anyone have luck with this? If so what was the ideal lighting? Thanks yall!!!

edit:
I have 5 laying hens, I was getting 3-4 eggs per day, now I'm getting one.... maybe...... They have a 4'x4'x4' coop. 3 laying boxes on one side at the bottom (they only lay in one box, but I have 4+ pullets that will be ready to join the flock in a few months so I wanted enough space.) Oh and one is molting, so we can cancel her out.
I will post some pics when I get home from work and figure out how to do that
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Old 12-08-2015, 03:03 PM
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The light is not needed for its light function, but for it's heat output. A light burning is a lot cheaper on the electric bill than a heater, and the light's heat is enough to overcome freezing, given that it is installed at the right height and enough for the coop size.

Go to tractor supply company and ask for a heat lamp. They are red, the size of flood light bulb, and give off loads of heat. I think they are around the $7-10 range.


My coop was roughly 6' x 8' and no insulation at all. Concrete floor, 3 roosting poles. When the outside temps starting dropping low enough I would thicken the straw on the floor and hang up two heat lamps. One was about 18" above the middle roost pole and about 18" in front of the top one. The second lamp was about 24-30" above the straw height on the floor, in the middle of the open area. I hope that makes sense.

EDIT: Forgot the say that one heat lamp in your coop will suffice, hang it in the middle, approximately 12-18" from the top.

And also, make sure the coop is not drafty. Chickens can't handle much draft, hardly any at all. I had to take extra steps insuring the door sealed good, and the siding didn't allow air flow through the cracks. My rule: If I wouldn't spend the night in the coop (clean of course, lol), I won't make my animals stay there.
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Old 12-08-2015, 03:20 PM
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Default pdf: Proper Light Management for Your Home Laying Flock

While a light may provide some heat to a coop, most people use one as a supplemental light source to keep "daylight" hours close to the 14-16 hours of light a day optimal for egg production. It is more about number of hours than absolute brightness and our girls do well with a simple warm spectrum bulb on a timer that add a couple of hours in the morning and then again at night.

https://www.hort.purdue.edu/tristate...Management.pdf is a helpful extension pamphlet on the topic.

HTH
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Old 12-08-2015, 03:22 PM
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Exactly ^

Light is for the heat and those LEDs are not gonna cut it.
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Old 12-08-2015, 03:27 PM
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If You want to Push Egg Production, Dylight replacement for around 14 Hours a Day will do the Job. I let My Girls Take it easy over the winter, Keeping Warm required more feed, treats.

Infrared Lamps work well for Heat, and Don't disturb the Diurnal Cycle the Chickens Naturally Need.

Lots of Coops Have Burned Down (With Attached Homes!) because of Heat Lamps. Be Sure there is sufficient Secure Hanging Means for the lamps!

Without Windy Conditions, My Buff Orpingtons are good to around -20 Degrees F.
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Old 12-08-2015, 04:00 PM
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Yeah in Central TX, you probably don't need more heat. The light he is trying to add it to keep his hen laying eggs, I let mine rest thru the winter, the Mallards have picked up where the Barred Rock have left off. I use 8' Fluorescents for my quail to start them laying in Feb, but that is because I can sell the eggs to stupid people that want to hatch quail eggs before they normally start laying in April. Sometimes it goes to $1.00/egg early on.

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Old 12-08-2015, 04:01 PM
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I was going for the extended daylight idea.
but the heat idea could make sense. It has been getting down into the high 30s/low 40s at night, then jumps to 60-70 in the day.
The lights I have put off little to no heat at all. The reason I chose these lights is mainly because the coop is too far away from the house. It would take a 300ft extension cord to get a plug in heat lamp out there. I have looked at the Tractor supply ones but with no way to get power out there I'm kind of stuck. maybe I can look into a solar heat lamp option. I have a couple of 17watt solar panels, a charge controller and some 12v deep cycle batteries... guess I would just need an inverter... hopefully they are cheap.
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Old 12-08-2015, 04:04 PM
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I use a 60 watt bulb on a timer that comes on at about 4:00 in the morning and it does seem to help.
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Old 12-08-2015, 04:16 PM
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If You are only running one Heat lamp or One Timer and a 30-60Watt Lightbulb, 300' of Cheap Extension Cord is OK! Will make the Heat Lamp run a bit cooler, but will still be Warm. Just Don't go and Hook Up An Electric Chainsaw up at the end of that 300'!
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Old 12-08-2015, 05:01 PM
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Put a small skylight in the coop (or make windows made of pexiglass) for actual light (I recommend it). For heat, use an actual heat lamp... they work better. Most important is to prevent drafts. I would close all vents at night to prevent a cold draft. Open them up in the morning when you open the coop up and let them out...
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Old 12-08-2015, 05:40 PM
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I haven't heard of simulating daylight by use of artificial means for the purpose of egg laying. That's interesting. When I had chickens (plan to again in the future), they were Black Sex Link Pullets from 4H. With about 12-18 chickens for the length of the year, we had about a dozen eggs a day, for about 6 monthes and about 3-6 eggs a day for a month or two on each side of that 6 months. We had no need for more eggs, couldn't eat and sell them fast enough. We gave a lot away.


BTW, chickens have to feel "safe" to lay eggs also. If they are bothered by an animal outside the cage, they will stop laying. I was plagued by that problem once or twice.
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Old 12-08-2015, 06:06 PM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by cviola2005 View Post
The light is not needed for its light function, but for it's heat output. A light burning is a lot cheaper on the electric bill than a heater, and the light's heat is enough to overcome freezing, given that it is installed at the right height and enough for the coop size.
Uhh ... no.

While the temperature does have a large impact on egg laying for many breeds, the light is there for light production. Many animals biological functions, such as breeding (which egg laying is part of), are influenced heavily by the amount of light they are exposed to.

A light bulb is not a cheaper way of producing heat than a heater, because it is "wasting" much of the energy it consumes making light, instead of heat.

If you can keep your chicken coop heated with a lightbulb, you have a very small chicken coop, or live somewhere with a very mild winter.
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Old 12-08-2015, 07:45 PM
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Well.... I must say Dragonid, you obviously didn't read everything in my post because I wrote "heat lamp", not light bulb; nor did you read every post in this thread because I followed up after others input stating "I haven't heard of simulating daylight by use of artificial means for the purpose of egg laying." I suggest you read everything before voicing your opinion, or even facts for the matter.

You start off with a "no" and then contradict that by saying "While the temperature does have a large impact"? Basically saying that I'm wrong while still being right. I will admit that I was wrong stating "The light is not needed for its light function."

How does a 100W heat lamp compare to a 1500W heater with a thermostat?? Some math can be used, but it would leave out a lot of variables, for instance: size of space to be heated, insulation value, temperature differential between outside temp and temp requested, time required for heater to raise temperature, time the heater will be kicked off, and with those last two values: amount of energy used by heater, vs 100W heat lamp.

So please tell me how much energy a heater would use in the OP's chicken coop. I will tell you that the heat lamp will use 100W times however many hours the OP will have it on.

While I may have been off base regarding light vs heat and the OP's intentions, I am still correct.


The point of asking questions on a forum is to get real life feedback, which will include topics related to the original question(s) that the OP is/was not thinking about or didn't know about.

Btw, I am in Tennessee, if that answers your question about mild climate. Can get cold and windy, but nowhere nears as bad as your great northern plains.

Who am I kidding, it's not like you are really gonna read all this......
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Old 12-09-2015, 07:00 PM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by cviola2005 View Post
Who am I kidding, it's not like you are really gonna read all this......
The OP asked about light, to which you explicitly stated something that was wrong in regard to the purpose of the light, as well as a few other things that were patently incorrect. I pointed that out, get over it.

Quote:
The point of asking questions on a forum is to get real life feedback, which will include topics related to the original question(s) that the OP is/was not thinking about or didn't know about.
Yes, but misinformation ought to still be corrected. Believe it or not, I could have gone in to much greater detail about why you were wrong, but I chose not to because I was trying not to be too mean about it, and I didn't think it would be necessary or pertinent to the OPs questions.

Quote:
I suggest you read everything before voicing your opinion, or even facts for the matter.
If you had bothered to do that, I wouldn't have needed to correct you. Or to write this.
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Old 12-09-2015, 08:09 PM
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Default Chickens and egg laying

We raise 7500 chicks each year and sell them to families who want their own egg supply. What you need to maintain production is:
1. Minimum of 14-16 hours worth of light each day...whether it is natural or artificial.
2. Good feed such as Purina laying CRUMBLES (not pellets)
3. Fresh water
4. Good ventilation in their good coop
5. Monthly worming with Wazine in their water 1oz per gallon for 2 days then throw it out and replace with just water.

Also be aware that they lay best at 1-2.5 yrs old. After that the amount of feed you have to give them isn't worth the eggs you get back. Bring in new girls to your flock every 2 years and you will always have laying hens.
Also I suggest good layers i.e. Leghorns, Sex links, Barred Rocks, Rhode Island Reds to get maximum productivity.
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Old 12-09-2015, 08:37 PM
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Got 15 laying hens. Laying was slowing to 2-4 eggs a day. Did 2 things. Removed young roosters that were stressing out hens (chasing and mounting constantly) and installed 60 watt light in coop on timer on at 6 am and off at 10 pm. Back up to 8-14 per day.
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Old 12-10-2015, 09:48 AM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by c.r.tactical View Post
So the question is; how bright should it be?
Super blinding, death ray style? sexy, baby making, low light? Working on a project in the garage light? or???

Anyone have luck with this? If so what was the ideal lighting? Thanks yall!!!

You are right that light matters. It's not heat, but light. The hens naturally slow down in winter and the trigger is day length. Day length gets shorter in the winter.

I don't know the ideal about of light. I do know that last year I put a heat lamp in their coop during the winter. It was on a ThermoCube switch (turns on a 35F and off at 45F, or something like that). The hens didn't really slow down their laying at all. I will do that again this year.

However, this year, my hens (over a dozen hens) ALL stopped laying for a few months. They have just recently started laying a little bit. We had to buy eggs for the first time in years! I think they were molting, but it wasn't very noticeable. I have several friends and acquaintances who have chickens and complained of the same. Perhaps it's something about the weather. Dunno.

Hope that helps!


--- Lobanz
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Old 12-10-2015, 10:58 AM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by lobanz View Post
I do know that last year I put a heat lamp in their coop during the winter. It was on a ThermoCube switch (turns on a 35F and off at 45F, or something like that).
ThermoCubes are great stuff, I have mine feeding a floor mat heater, like you would use in a manufacturing plant where the workers stand on bare concrete.

Rancher
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Old 12-10-2015, 11:17 AM
c.r.tactical c.r.tactical is offline
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Thank you all for your input and advice!

Here is what I plan to do after going over everything here.

Amount of daylight seems to be my issue, not cold.
I have a small 17 watt solar panel with a charge controller and 12v deep cycle batteries. I will be purchasing a light timer, 60watt equivalent LED bulb and a light bulb base.
I will wire the the solar to the charge controller, then wire the charge controller to the batt, then wire the light base to the charge controller with the timer spliced in the wire. Hoping that will do the trick

Attached is a simple diagram of my proposed set up. Any one see any issues with this set up???
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File Type: pdf CHICKEN SOLAR LIGHT SET UP.pdf (14.7 KB, 17 views)
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Old 12-10-2015, 11:29 AM
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Light makes them want to. Heat keeps them from stressing out due to the cold. They go hand in hand. I live in the south (Texas), my Plexiglas windows and skylight provide all the light they need. The heat lamp keeps them nice and comfy (no stress). If you are not in a place that gets enough light, use artificial. Even then, it's my opinion that you still use a heat lamp for proper heating and use LED for lighting since they use less power.
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