An important factor in the proper development of chicks in a hen house is a sufficient level of heat and a correctly selected light regime. All this can be achieved using special lamps.
The duration of daylight hours is very important when raising young chickens - proper lighting largely regulates the physiological activity of chicks. In the early days, the temperature should be kept at 33-34 degrees, since even a slight hypothermia can lead to the death of chickens. To prevent this from happening, special lamps are used, they not only illuminate the chicken coop, but also heat it, creating all the conditions necessary to maintain the normal vital activity of birds.
In the first month of the chicks' life, the aviary should be illuminated evenly - a wakefulness zone is set up around the drinkers, lamps are always on there, it is desirable that they be low-power (no more than 15-20 W) and be supplemented with reflectors.
Thus, chickens will be able to see the feeders and drinkers around the clock and, as needed, drink water and peck on grain feed, but young birds prefer to sleep in the twilight.
Keep in mind that there should not be complete darkness in any area of the chicken coop - recent studies have shown that during the first 20 days of a chick's life, it needs round-the-clock lighting, since this way stimulates the growth of muscle mass and increases the physical activity of the bird. As the birds grow, constant illumination begins to oppress the birds.
The fact is that darkness is considered to be as fundamental a factor for the health of birds as light. The time of darkness in the lighting program for young animals is determined by two basic parameters - the duration of daylight hours and its frequency during the day. Until recently, it was believed that the best ratio for chickens would be 23 hours of light and 1 hour of darkness. However, recent studies have shown that for full growth of chickens, they need at least 4 hours of darkness, this ratio can significantly reduce the mortality of birds.
This effect is largely due to the fact that in complete darkness in chickens, melatonin is synthesized, which affects the balance of daily fluctuations in body temperature and other metabolic processes. In addition, melatonin affects the release of lymphokines, which are responsible for the state of the immune system.
That is why the most comfortable for birds will be the cyclical change in lighting phases during the day.
Several types of lamps are used for installation in an aviary.
- Incandescent bulbs are cheap and affordable, but highly impractical. These lamps are easy to break and injure young birds.
- Luminescent - the main advantage of such equipment is reduced to their efficiency and low cost. However, at the same time, they are characterized by frequent flickering, which is imperceptible to the human eye - in chickens, vision is much sharper. Such lighting annoys birds, they become restless and apathetic.
- LED lamps are slightly better quality lamps that do not have a flickering effect. Such equipment has a rather long service life, is equipped with a high level of protection and can emit light of several spectra.It is best to use lamps of the white spectrum, but if possible, you can combine them with light sources of the blue green spectrum - the first calms, and under the influence of the second chickens grow better. But the cost of LEDs is quite high, so not every poultry house can afford such a lighting system.
- Infrared lamps are considered the best option. According to experienced poultry farmers, this type of lighting is most desirable in a chicken coop, it is most suitable for birds, it has the ability to light and heat at the same time, it can significantly reduce energy costs and at the same time has a fairly affordable price.
Infrared lamps with heating control - heat emitters used when raising a large number of birds at the same time. The operation of the infrared heating lamp is somewhat similar to the principle of the sun. Its rays touch objects, illuminate them, and then begin to heat the latter, in turn, give their received heat to the environment and thereby contribute to warming up the air.
Technical parameters of infrared lamps:
- power - 50-500 W;
- limiting temperature - 600 degrees;
- IR wave range - 3.5-5 microns;
- mains voltage - 220 V;
- working period - 6 thousand hours.
The most effective are mirror lamps, as well as lamps made of red glass. Typically, these warming light sources are installed with special fixtures equipped with ceramic sockets - this is important to ensure the safety of the chicks and prevent them from burning, and they also minimize the risk of quickly flammable straw or water entering the lamp.
During the operation of such a lamp, electrical energy is converted into the infrared spectrum. Its design is reliable, since a rather thick glass is usually used for the manufacture of a can-flask, which protects against impacts. The inside of the lamp is usually coated with a reflective pigment, which allows the light to be focused and directed towards the chicks.
Usually one 250 W lamp is enough to illuminate a chicken coop or brooder of 10 square meters. m, however, experienced breeders prefer to install several lamps in a brooder at once in case one of them burns out or fails. If this is not done, then in your absence the chickens may be left without light and heat, which often ends in the death of the young.
The advantages of infrared lamps are obvious:
- soft and calm light - this kind of lighting does not irritate the birds and reduces the level of their aggressiveness;
- The IR spectrum helps to increase the appetite of pets, improves the digestibility and assimilation of feed;
- the radiation of such a lamp significantly increases immunity;
- the heater has a high efficiency, due to which the cost of electricity is reduced by 3-4 times in comparison with other heaters;
- Infrared light can dry out the bedding and thus make the microclimate more suitable for birds.
Infrared lamps work absolutely silently, while they heat objects and living things very quickly - the heat reaches after only 27 seconds. This is an environmentally friendly device that is absolutely safe for both the birds themselves and their breeders.
However, it was not without its drawbacks. With a prolonged stay in the working area of the lamp, the mucous membrane of the eyes begins to dry out in a person, and in case of careless handling, burns are not excluded from accidental contact. However, these disadvantages are insignificant, and all risks are reduced to zero if the safety rules for working with lighting equipment are observed.
The red lamp for hatched chickens should be placed at a distance of 30-40 cm.
To understand whether they have enough light and warmth in this case is very simple - you just need to take a closer look at the behavior of the young. In comfortable conditions, pets are evenly distributed throughout the enclosure. But if you notice that the chickens are huddled together and tend to be closer to the lamp, then they are cold. In this case, it is necessary to lower the light and heat source a little lower or add its power.
When the birds are hot, they begin to crawl to the sides and breathe heavily - this will be the first signal to raise the lamp a little higher or turn down its power. When working with IR lamps, it is very important to follow the safety rules.
To remove dust and dirt, wipe the cooled light bulb with a soft damp cloth - it is strictly forbidden to clean the connected device.
When using budget models with a thin glass bulb, it is necessary to protect the lamp from active chicks with a metal mesh. During the use of the equipment, the state of the cartridge should be kept under control, while the use of plastic models is undesirable - they melt too quickly. Try to avoid wiggling the lamp, in this case, the operating time will be significantly reduced.
Important! The main task of any infrared lamp is to heat the young, so it makes sense to use them only in the room where the chickens are kept. Older hens can be seriously injured by such equipment.
See the next video for more on infrared lamps.