Any tricks for working and less daylight?

Discussion in 'Homesteading Questions' started by deberosa, Oct 21, 2004.

  1. deberosa

    deberosa SW Virginia Gourd Farmer!

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    I have been mulling this around in my mind recently and thought someone here might have come up with a great idea.

    I am fairly new to Washington and from my first winter here I noticed how dramatically shorter the days get this time of year. Combine that with dreary weather and you get alot of darkness.

    This is my first year with livestock and chores every day. I work full time and can perhaps adjust my schedule but I am not sure which way to adjust it!

    Right now it's dark when I leave and almost dark when I get home. Daylight savings will hit and that will change.

    I stumble around in the duck area before heading off to work with a lantern to find the eggs they lay at night so that the crows don't get them, I have to do that in the morning. Right now I save the rest for the evening, but soon it will be very dark by the time I get home!

    Does anyone have some great ideas on this?
     
  2. Jen H

    Jen H Well-Known Member

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    Battery-powered lanterns and head lamps.

    Honestly, other than running electricity to all your sheds and barns for electric lights that's about the only option you have.

    If it's any consolation, I'm in the same boat with you.
     

  3. Mike in Ohio

    Mike in Ohio Well-Known Member

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    For outside stuff that is not too far from the house/garage (outlet) I use one of those twin head halogen worklights. We even use it when we are raking leaves after dark.

    Mike
     
  4. MorrisonCorner

    MorrisonCorner Mansfield, VT for 200 yrs

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    We use the truck lights and head lamps. I can't say enough positive about head lamps! I can't imagine lambing without them. I can't imagine how I survived before I had one!

    Put one on your Christmas list!
     
  5. sisterpine

    sisterpine Goshen Farm Supporter

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    Greetings from Montana- another place with little daylight this time of year! We use headlamps with rechargable batteries and when that is not enough we drive something over to near the area and turn on the headlights. But I still hate shoveling snow in the dark!
     
  6. diane

    diane Well-Known Member

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    twin head halogen worklights work very well. If I were to buy something for what you are doing I would sure buy the headlamps. Sure wish I had had one when I was kidding all hours of the night.
     
  7. deberosa

    deberosa SW Virginia Gourd Farmer!

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    I knew I would find some tricks here! I was thinking of the head lamps but didn't know if they would work. Also got a battery charger for the fence and extra batteries for flashlights, but carrying them and working just didn't work. Even the lantern is a pain because I need to scout around for those duck eggs!

    Hadn't thought about pointing my truck in that direction - DUH!

    I have a single halogen light - will actually have a use for it now - but I can see where one of those tall ones on a stand would be great!

    I just might make it through my first dark winter with livestock - thanks!
     
  8. Little Quacker in OR

    Little Quacker in OR Well-Known Member

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    :) Welcome to the Northwest! LOL I don't know if this will help you or not but one of my biggest boons is a yard light. I know that won't give off enough specific light for those duck eggs(a head lamp is still the way to go with that)but with the yard light other lights don't scare my ducks so much and sure make life easier in general.

    I will mention that if your ducks are in a place where crows can get in to get the eggs, other predators can get in too which means you are likely going to lose your ducks.

    I know it is really hard when you go to work so early and get home after dark too!

    good luck with things...LQ
     
  9. deberosa

    deberosa SW Virginia Gourd Farmer!

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    My ducks are inside electric mesh netting. They have a lean to and a stall in the barn but I am unable to round them into either one at night. I noticed they did go in there a couple of time lately, but mostly they refuse to go in there no matter how much rounding up I try to do. I've lost one young duck, I think to an owl, but no adult ducks.... I have a live trap I keep bated with tuna outside of the netting to test the waters - so far have only caught one chicken.

    I already have a yard light by the house - was thinking of having it moved out to the duck yard, but I go back and forth about that. They will move it for free. I really don't like the light - I want it to be on a switch!!! I have been waffling about that one for almost a year - one of these days it will become clear what to do I guess!
     
  10. icewytch

    icewytch Member

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    here (orkney) we use paraffin lamps outdoors and in the barns. we also have gas lanterns, storm lamps, essential here because of the winds. i also find the head lamps useful! :D
     
  11. Oilpatch197

    Oilpatch197 Well-Known Member

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    I got a question pertaining to using Head lamps.

    What is the best headlamps out there for like 5-8hours of light?

    I want a good set with waist belt mounted battery(like what coal miners use)

    My uncle has the ones the coal miners used, he uses it to go coon hunting, but they are old, and I don't know where I can purchase a new one(maybe some sort of saftey supplier??) anyhow If somone can give a link to a good Headlamp kit, on the lines I'm talking about, I sure would appreciate it.
     
  12. mikell

    mikell Well-Known Member

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    It's kinda high tech but i have an electric golf cart with lights that swivel and a couple of 12 volt outlets. less than 400$ in the whole thing. Also 18v rechargeable lights last forever I have severla of those. But all my buildingd are wired it's just the real cheap way to go.

    mikell
     
  13. landlord

    landlord Well-Known Member

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    I use a rechargable battery snake light with an extra battery or two in my backpocket. I rest the light around my neck and it works great, unties my hands. I take extra batteries because if they are bumped, a battery may fall out and then I have one close to pop in to find the dropped battery. During lambing time I find it extremely useful to position around a gate if needed. I do have snake lights which use a couple of C size batteries but the batteries do not last long for me.
     
  14. j.r. guerra in s. tx.

    j.r. guerra in s. tx. Well-Known Member

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    Oilpatch 197, Bill Boatman sells new belt mounted lights for coon hunters. His firm deals with selling equipment with hunting dogs, coon hunters and the like.

    Don't know if his prices are best, but they are good folks to deal with - sell a great six D cell flashlight that has been around forever. Don't think they speak internet, but you can find an address there, with a google search.

    Good luck.
     
  15. deberosa

    deberosa SW Virginia Gourd Farmer!

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    The 12 volt battery idea is interesting. I have a generator - big one that I got second hand - that I need to run once in a while anyway to keep it in shape. Would it be possible to charge a battery or batteries with it and run lights off of it? Where would I find out more about how to do that and what supplies I would need? Would it work the same as an RV battery?


    The generator has 4 plugs - I keep it in the garage to keep it clean, but could run the extension cord from it to the batteries in the barn to charge it up once a week - would that work?
     
  16. bgak47

    bgak47 Well-Known Member

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    deberosa... You would need a 12 volt battery charger. It steps the 120 volt power from the generator down to 12 volts. Of course you could also plug it(the charger) into any 120v elec outlet & save the fuel for the generator. You can get a good charger for about $50, but you should get a marine-type battery because they are designed to be drained down & recharged over & over. The main problem with the automobile-marine type batteries is that they are rather heavy. There are many new types of rechargeable portable lights available now, & they all come with the recharger. I like the ones that use white LED bulbs or flourescent because they use much less power & the batteries & bulbs last much longer. Of course there's always the tried & true Coleman lanterns that burn plain ol unleaded gasoline. :) Here's a website that has quite a few flashlights & other interesting things: www.ccrane.com My solution to the problem is working my regular job from 10pm till 6:30am. :)
     
  17. kitty32_z8

    kitty32_z8 Well-Known Member

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    I do not have my chicken coop wired. I have run a heavy duty electrical cord on a timer from the house. I have a florescent shop light in coop.
    I did read about a neat idea the other day. It suggested using solar yard lights drop through a hole in hte ceiling. One way to save electric.
    We have a Rayovac headlamp that has 3 different type of lights in it. I like using the red on at night on my chickens cause it doesnt spook them. We use it for many things around here.

    Kathy
     
  18. sisterpine

    sisterpine Goshen Farm Supporter

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    deberosa: one problem with going the big battery route is that during the winter when you need it most the storage capacity of the battery is greatly reduced due to cold. batteries like to be kept between 60 and 70 degrees for maximum storage ability. this is why we have a wood stove in our battery storage building, otherwise our batteies would not power the house for even one day during the winter!
     
  19. Oilpatch197

    Oilpatch197 Well-Known Member

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    thank you so much, from what I understand is the HeadLamps from cabela's that are powered from 4AA batteries isn't bright enough for coon hunting/cave exploring.

    What I'm looking for is somthing that has a separate battery pack from the Headband. basically what Coal miners use.

    I've ordered a catalog, they should have somthing to fit my needs.
     
  20. pointer_hunter

    pointer_hunter Well-Known Member

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    Run a search in google for "nite lite" they make the coon hunting lights. This is just one of the many links you may find. Huntsmart.com