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Let there be light (in the chook house) and other solar shenanigans

Chickens get down on cloudy, grey days just like the best of us.

They like a bit of supplementary light and as our chook house faces away from the Sun so that the girls are happier in Summer we needed to give them a little boost.

More light equals happier chooks!
More light equals happier chooks!

I gave some thought to what I had laying around and found a length of 12V LED strip lights. As the Summer fan for the chook run was already connected to a solar panel, it was an easy job to connect the lights to the same junction box. A bit of clear silicone to help the sticky backing on the light strip to stay where it is and all was good.

I installed the strip diagonally across the covered side of the run to get the maximum amount of LEDs active. It’s supplementary daylight, not night time lighting and will keep the girls a bit happier I hope.

The girls and Ihad fun while I was installing the strip. It’s a long flexible rubbery thing and I didn’t realise until too late that it is just lika a very long strip of bacon rind. Our girls love it when we give them lengths of rind and run around chasing each other, grabbing it and running to a quiet place to savour it. Pappy and Demeter kept grabbing the end of the strip and trying to run off with it!

Next, I’ve got to put the solar box heater back onto the run roof and the girls will have a life of luxury.

While I was in a solar kind of mood, I tapped into another panel and added a junk 12V computer fan fan to the fodder greenhouse. I’ve been having a little trouble with mold because of the humidity and the increased airflow should do the trick.

The fan on the fodder greenhouse should reduce mold
The fan on the fodder greenhouse should reduce mold

In my scrounging, I found a 6V panel from a defunct pond pump. This replaced the 12V panel that was on the experimental mini greenhouse. The reduced voltage means that the repurposed 12v computer fan turns slower and I could remove the speed controller. That simplifies the setup a lot as there is only a panel and a fan. The electronics have been removed and will probably find a home in the upcoming mushroom house.

A 6v panel reduces the need for a speed controller.
A 6v panel reduces the need for a speed controller.

As you may have realised, if you’ve been following our website for a while, I like to fiddle with 12v DC stuff and have a bunch of small systems located here and there that keep things ticking along nicely. The house stays responsive even if the power goes off. Later on, when we get a big solar system, these peripheral bits and pieces will stay as demonstration pieces and just in case the grid and our battery fail… 🤔

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