Red Light for Chickens

The importance of red light for chickens has been demonstrated in several scientific studies and research. Your farm’s success depends on a red light, which prevents cannibalism, improves growth rate, keeps chickens active, increases egg production, and much more. Let’s explore how red light improves your chickens’ well-being and boosts your financial gains.

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Why Lighting is Crucial for Chickens

Did you know that light exposure significantly impacts chickens’ health, growth, and productivity? Light affects their sleep-wake cycles, behavioral patterns, and hormone production. Surprisingly, chickens perceive light differently than us humans, responding to variations in intensity, duration, and even color.

There’s a spectrum of light types used in poultry farming, including incandescent, fluorescent, LED, and more. Each type has its benefits and drawbacks, and choosing the right one can feel like finding a needle in a haystack. But what if I told you there’s one type that stands out? Enter the red light.

Red Light vs. White Light

Chickens have an extended range of vision which includes seeing ultraviolet light. This means that the luminosity emitted from bright, white lights can be intense and cause stress for these creatures. It’s equivalent to us constantly being exposed to overly bright light – not a pleasant experience, right? In contrast, chickens’ ability to perceive UV light does not extend to a higher sensitivity to all light colors.

Red light comes into play here as a more optimal choice. Red light’s longer wavelength provides a less intense, more comfortable environment for chickens. It’s akin to the comfortable feeling of being in a room lit by a warm, soft light. This quality makes it a more suitable and humane lighting choice for your coop.

Not only does it contribute to the general well-being of the chickens by reducing stress, but red light also has various physiological benefits, such as reducing cannibalistic behavior, stimulating growth and egg production, among other benefits.

Benefits of Red Light for Chickens

The advantages of red light for chickens extend beyond what one might initially presume. The power of red light encompasses behavioral, physiological, and overall wellbeing aspects that contribute to healthier and more productive chickens.

One of the key benefits of red light is its calming effect. Chickens under the influence of red light tend to exhibit less stress and more peaceful behavior. This subdued atmosphere also has the advantage of reducing aggressive interactions, including pecking and fighting, which are detrimental to both the chickens’ health and farm productivity.

Perhaps one of the most enticing benefits of red light is its potential to enhance egg production. This could significantly boost the economic output of a poultry farm, making red light an effective and simple investment with measurable returns.

Furthermore, red light plays an essential role in maintaining the chicken’s circadian rhythm – the internal biological clock that regulates sleep-wake cycles. This rhythm is vital for the overall health and happiness of chickens, as disruptions can lead to stress, disease, and decreased productivity.

red light for chicks

The red light, with its longer wavelength, is less disruptive to this rhythm, allowing chickens to maintain a natural, healthy sleep-wake cycle.

Potential Drawbacks of Red Light

While the benefits of red light for chickens are plentiful, it’s essential to note that anything used to an extreme or misused can bring about unwanted consequences. The same applies to the application of red light in poultry management.

Firstly, red light’s calming and behavior-modifying effects, while generally beneficial, can inadvertently mask symptoms of distress or illness in chickens if used excessively. Chickens might appear calm and less aggressive under red light, but these placid behaviors could potentially cover up early signs of health issues. Hence, it’s vital for poultry keepers to remain vigilant and continuously monitor their chickens’ health, regardless of the lighting environment.

Furthermore, excessive or continuous use of red light may interfere with chickens’ natural behaviors. Chickens, like many other animals, rely on natural day-night cycles for their sleep-wake rhythms, reproductive behaviors, and general activity patterns. Continuous exposure to red light, especially at night, could disrupt these natural rhythms, leading to potential stress and health issues.

Lastly, while red light does have a calming effect and can reduce aggressive behaviors, it does not completely eliminate these issues. Aggression and stress in chickens can be caused by a variety of factors, including overcrowding, poor diet, disease, and inappropriate environmental conditions. Red light should not be seen as a cure-all for these issues but rather as a supplementary tool in an integrated approach to poultry welfare.

While red light offers substantial benefits for chickens, a balanced approach is key. Regular health and behavior monitoring ensures effective, humane use of red light for optimal poultry welfare.

When to Use Red Lights

Red lights can be used year-round, but they’re particularly beneficial during shorter winter days. By extending the perceived daylight with red light, you can ensure consistent egg production throughout the year.

Installing red lights in your chicken coop is straightforward. LED red lights are a popular choice, thanks to their energy efficiency and longevity. Ensure the lights are evenly distributed to avoid shadowy areas, and connect them to a timer for controlled exposure.

Remember to monitor and adjust light intensity and duration. Too much light, even red light, can overstimulate chickens, while too little can hinder their productivity. Aim for a balance that mimics natural light patterns.


Red light, with its calming wavelength, can significantly boost the welfare and productivity of our chickens. From reducing aggression to enhancing egg production, the benefits are multi-fold. But this isn’t to say the process is without its challenges. Implementation requires careful consideration of light intensity, duration, and installation, alongside regular monitoring for changes in your flock’s behavior. And while transitioning to red light might present some adaptation challenges for you and your chickens, with patience and persistence, the benefits far outweigh these hurdles. Whether you’re an experienced poultry farmer or a newcomer, integrating red light into your chicken coop can revolutionize your approach to poultry care, leading to a healthier, happier, and more productive flock.


Is red light harmful to chickens? While too much red light can potentially stress chickens, when used properly, it can have significant benefits including increased calmness and boosted egg production.

How long should I leave the red light on for my chickens? Ideally, you should mimic a natural light-dark cycle for the best results. This may vary depending on the time of year and specific needs of your flock.

Can I use red light for baby chicks? Absolutely. Red light can help reduce pecking issues common among baby chicks, making it a suitable choice.

What type of red light should I use in my chicken coop? LED red lights are commonly used due to their energy efficiency, longevity, and even light distribution.

Can I use red lights for other poultry too? Yes, red lights can be beneficial for other poultry species too, but it’s always best to research or consult an expert about specific requirements for different types of birds.

Kate King

Kate King

My experiences in sustainable living aim to contribute positively to our environment and community. This shared wisdom fosters respect and love for nature, emphasizing our place in the broader ecological framework.

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