and there was...and it was good!
Our carriage house is a wonderful place to keep chickens safe, but with the waning daylight hours of the season, it is a decidedly DARK place to keep them! There is no electricity in there, so it can be quite inconvenient when I have to go out there after sunset. Hiring an electrician to wire the structure was completely out of the question, as well as the budget.
Instead, we purchased a portable power device to run a string of LED holiday lights.It is sort of like a marine battery that has outlets on it to allow you to plug in standard appliances. With the help of an inexpensive timer that we already had, the lights come on first thing in the morning to extend the daylight hours for the hens. This should encourage them to lay eggs throughout the winter and keep me from tripping over my own feet no matter what time I choose to chat with my girls!You might be wondering why we chose to use a string of LED holiday lights, rather than an actual lightbulb... The LED's provide a nice amount of light without using a lot of power. This will enable the portable power device to last a long time between re-charging.
The portable power device can also be used to run a few lights and things inside our home in the event of a power outage and can jumpstart a car! It isn't as powerful as a generator, but it feels good to know that we have a bit of a backup to keep us comfortable.Here is a photo of the one that we bought:
Next, we will try to find a solar power trickle charger to charge the portable power device for free. We are making baby steps, but it is all coming together! Now, if these darn chickens would just start to lay some eggs to earn their keep or at least help to pay for this equipment...