Thursday, November 10, 2011
Let there be light
I thought about this for a while, and what I really wanted to do was a solar setup for the coop light. How cool would that be, to have my back yard chickens go solar-powered? But since I also wanted their light on a timer, that just complicated things unnecessarily - what if there wasn't enough power stored in the solar battery to keep the timer on time? In the end, I had my handyman install an outdoor outlet by my back door, something I've been planning to have done for close to a decade anyway.
We picked up a work light at Lowe's, one of those bulb-in-a-cage deals, so my brilliant ladies don't attempt to peck at the bulb. On Sunday, since it had just turned daylight savings, I decided it was time to get to it. The bulb cage got zip-tied to the wire above the door, so that it shines up into the enclosed coop when it's on. It's also right above the waterer, so the heat from the bulb will keep the water from freezing. From there, we cut a small hole in the wire and ran the plug through, up and over the roof (and under the tarp), through the lilac tree and into the timer, which was plugged into the outlet by the back door.
Egg production is still slow, because Bonnie is now moulting. I told her she'd better get a move on; a Philadelphia winter is not the time to be a naked chicken. She just looks at me, flaps her wings, and feathers drift slowly onto the ground.
Another note: do NOT try to take an egg out of the nest box when your chickens have gone to roost on the perch above said nest box. And if you insist on trying, wear long sleeves so that their pointy little beaks don't do too much damage.