Chicken coop lighting is one of the simple but major issues new chicken farmers are having problems with. Improper chicken coop heating may result in the deaths of chickens especially if you are growing young broilers.
Should you add supplemental lighting to your chicken coop? Will hens overwinter? Learn why you might want to add a light bulb to your chicken coop.
Chicken coop lighting for laying hens
Hens naturally lay eggs when the days are long, and they slow down when the days get shorter in winter. This is because daylight stimulates the pituitary gland, which stimulates the hens’ ovaries to produce eggs. Hens lay when they have daylight for at least 12-14 hours per day, and egg production drops significantly and may even stop once the days are shorter than this.
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A 40-watt light bulb suspended about 7 feet above the ground will provide enough light intensity to replace daylight in a small chicken coop about 100 square feet (10 feet by 10 feet or so). For a larger chicken coop up to 200 square feet, use a 60-watt light bulb.
With a timer to ensure at least 14 hours of light, you can program it to turn off when “natural” daylight floods the coop or keep it on if your coop is not getting adequate daylight; the hens will lie down throughout the winter.
When setting the timer, lengthen the day in the morning rather than the afternoon, if possible, because if the light in the hen house suddenly goes out and it is very dark outside, the chickens may become disoriented and not be able to find their perches. in the dark.
Consistency of light is important. If you choose to act as a timer instead of buying one, you should turn the light on and off at the same time each day.
Popular chicken coop lighting
Chicken coop lighting: Should you use the light?
Some chicken farmers believe that it is important to give the hens a break in the winter, opting to deal with the lack of eggs during the shorter days of the year rather than using supplemental lighting. It is important that you decide what you are comfortable with.
If you have a sustainable and natural approach to agriculture, you may decide that it is important to respect the natural laying cycles of the birds, and you are willing to give up winter eggs so that they live longer as they would in the wild. If you are producing eggs commercially, this may not be a viable option for your business plan, and supplemental lighting may become part of your bird management.
You certainly don’t have to use the light; you can take a hybrid approach. Give hens a natural break in the fall as they go through molting and egg production slows and then stops. Then sometime after the winter solstice, prepare the light and give them long days again. They can go a few months without eggs, but not all winter.
Chicken coop lighting vs heating
Chicken coop lighting is different from heating. Heating is used to maintain the temperature inside the chicken coop and to keep the chickens warm especially for young broilers. Chicken coop lighting is used to give the energy needed by the chicken especially the laying hens. Lighting is also needed 24 hours when raising broilers because they need to eat all the time.
Below are some of the most common chicken coop heaters