Monday, November 9, 2009

Let There Be Light...

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...

7 comments:

pdxlisa said...

LED lights, great idea, and I love the look of the carriage house / coop.

TheMartianChick said...

Thanks, Lisa! I was trying not to spend too much money, but we justified the purchase of the power doohickey. I already had the lights from last year, since I'd purchased them at a drug store a couple of days after Christmas. They were marked down to $2 a box but had originally been almost $10!The coop is actually a discontinued child's playhouse that I got from Lowes. We couldn't have built the playhouse coop for the small amount that we paid for it. We've been very fortunate in that the things that we need seem to present themselves at reasonable prices. Now if our good fortune will only continue through the holiday shopping season...

ga.farmwoman said...

I love the coop. The light will help the hens lay also. If they have around 14-15 hours of light a day, they should start laying.

It looks like you have some great ideas on the lights and playhouse.
Good luck.

Have a great day.
Pam

Milah said...

Cute coop! Where did you get the portable power device? I need to get a couple of those. ;D

Becca's Dirt said...

I have not looked at the portable device but that is something that I would be interested in being here on the coast. We had tropical storm IDA come through this morning and over night thankfully no loss of power. I really like your idea about the holiday lights.

The MartianChick said...

Thanks, Pam! We finally got an egg this morning!!!!!

Milah & Becca- I found the portable power doohickey at Amazon.com. The price fluctuated a bit during the week that it was in my shopping cart. We have that Amazon Prime free 2 day shipping because we buy a lot of college textbooks, so I didn't have to pay for shipping.(I might have tried to find it locally if I had to pay extra for that!)

Duracell makes a smaller one that is under $100, as well.The small one has a built in air compressor for inflating tires. I had trouble deciding because I really liked the idea of being able to inflate tires. Oh well, mine has a radio, so I guess that it evens out!

Either one would make a nice "just in case" item to have. You can also charge them with either a car cigarette lighter or with a regular outlet in your house.

Juli said...

I would say it's an excellent investment. I have something similar that we use a lot.

wonderful chicken set up and lucky hens :)