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Use strategically... (Housing)

by steve, Western Massachusetts, Wednesday, May 17, 2017, 10:26 (191 days ago) @ Heritage Hens

I think solar lights could be a good idea, but personally I recommend being careful with where you place them and when you use them outside:

Years ago, my flock got stuck on their way back to the coop, b/c they passed the motion detector lights over our garage door. They all stood around there as if they were waiting to be let in the coop. My understanding is guinea fowl will go towards light, and that in most cases are in the habit of a coop with a light on that they will go into at the end of the day.

So, I make sure all the lights are off in my yard until after the flock is in the coop for the night. I once had two lights on the outside of the coop - one over a people door and one over the bird door. Now, I just have the light inside the coop and one over the bird door outside. An hour before dusk, I turn both of those on. They act like "runway lights" for the birds to know where to wander back to (even if some get delayed and don't come in until after dark -- I have one or two of those, and they waddle back through the dark yard to the light over the bird door and go in).

After they're locked in for the night, I have the one over the people door on a timer to be on until I go to bed (so I can look out the window and quickly see if any strange visitors happen upon the coop). I also have flood lights the back of our house and the back of the coop where the pen is -- both on motion detectors. When tripped by motion, they light up the yard like it was an FBI raid, so much so I can even see a bit into the woods behind our houses and watch animals flee from surprise.

This just helped 2 days ago, when a straggler Guinea didn't come back, and at about 11 PM I saw the motion-detector yard light go on. I went outside and the bird was hanging around the front of the coop, and I got him back in.

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