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Cold chickens.....when to use heat lamp?

post #1 of 212
Thread Starter 

OK, I have a flock of 16 chickens (RIR, SLW, & EE) that are almost 9 months old.  I lock them up tight in their coop every night for protections from predators & elements.  My coop is about 8 x 10 and insulated.  I'm using deep litter method.  On super cold nights I give them scratch to help heat them up.  I usually leave one window slightly cracked for ventilation, but I shut it tonight.  There is small vent holes up high in the front of my coop above the main door. 

Today is super cold.  The water froze in the run & in the coop earlier today.  I don't have a water heater yet, but I'm looking for one that will work with my plastic waters, b/c I didn't want to have to switch to galvanized ones. 

It's about 20 degrees F outside, but it says it feels like 4 degrees.  Inside coop is about 32-34 degrees F...just barely above freezing.  The wind is blowing about 26 mph.  On other cold nights the coop seem to hold at 38-40 degrees on the inside, but I guess it's the wind causing it to drop lower??????

Tonight I fed them some warm oatmill about 45 min before bedtime to help warm them up.  I don't know if it was a good idea or not b/c all the EE got it all in their muffs on their face, then water was sticking to them when they were drinking.  I had to dry their little faces so they wouldn't have popcycle muffs.  tongue

I have not used heat yet, b/c I wanted them to acclimate to the weather.  This is the coldest inside the coop it's ever been.  They seem so miserable today.  Hubby even felt sorry for them today and wrapped a tarp around 2 sides of their run to help block the wind.

What is the coldest temp in the coop before you use a heat lamp?  I have an infrared heat Lamp 125W, but hubby says he didn't think it would warm anything up in there.  I also have a 250W infrared clear heat lamp.

I know chickens are pretty resilent and they huddle together to keep warm, but just want to make sure they are warm enough.

At what temp do you experienced chicken owners use a heat lamp? 

Suggestions are greatly appreciated.  Thanks!  Worried chicken mom.

post #2 of 212

I actually don't except over each waterer. I use a 125 watt heatlamp hanging low over each one. When I know the temps are going to plummet like tonight will be near 10 degrees, I close the vents almost completely and I put the birds inside early to start getting warm before the temps cool down the coop too much. Today, when the heatlamps went off (timer), I put them back on and will go out and probably leave them on all night over the waterers. My coops are insulated, but I probably wont ever actually heat them.

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post #3 of 212

I'm in Indiana and it's about 20 her with about 6 win chill.  I have a coop that is 8 X 16 with 21  chickens in it.  Tonight I decided to turn on the second red heat light for the night, since their water was partly frozen when I went out to feed them.   The second light will keep the coop warm enough the water won't freeze and that is plenty warm for the girls.  I have the lights hanging over their roosts so that is good enough.  It will stay about 35 - 40 that way.

Mom to 10 barn cats, 2 Rhode Island Reds, 4 bunnies, 10 new chicks, 1 great Hubby, 8 grown kids (his and hers), and my darling 16 grandchildren.

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Mom to 10 barn cats, 2 Rhode Island Reds, 4 bunnies, 10 new chicks, 1 great Hubby, 8 grown kids (his and hers), and my darling 16 grandchildren.

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post #4 of 212
Thread Starter 

Speckledhen:  Thank you so much!  smile  It's my first winter with the flock and just want to make sure I'm doing everything I can to keep them healthy, which includes not to much of a good thing.  I think I'll go hook up the heatlamp at least over their water.  It's suppose to get pretty cold tonight.

Newchicmom:  I'm in Il. a neighboring state.  I couldn't believe that the water in my coop had partial froze this afternoon.  I've had several mornings of it freezing outside in the run, but not in the coop.  Thanks for your input.

Thanks again!
Kim

post #5 of 212

I dont heat my coop but fr a heater I use a heated dog water bowl and they love it when they are cold or not they have warm water. Justa  thought...

* And thou shalt have goats' milk enough for thy food, for the food of thy household, and for the maintenance for thy maidens. * Proverbs 27:26-27
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* And thou shalt have goats' milk enough for thy food, for the food of thy household, and for the maintenance for thy maidens. * Proverbs 27:26-27
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post #6 of 212
Thread Starter 
Quote:
Originally Posted by Chatychick 

I dont heat my coop but fr a heater I use a heated dog water bowl and they love it when they are cold or not they have warm water. Justa  thought...


I've heard that the heated waters & dog bowls can help elevate the coop temps.  What kind do you use?  What's the temps inside your coop when you use it?
Thanks!

post #7 of 212

Here in N/E Colorado the overnight lows have been in the negative one digits so I leave the heat-lamp on all night. They don't seem to mind it as long as I use a red bulb. I place the water bowls under the lamp and only once did they freeze up.

I did it mostly because of the new chicks born in September. Although they were getting big and feathery I lost one. She died day before yesterday. sad I had just been talking to her and holding her the previous night and she seemed fine!

I wish they could talk...sometimes! barnie

I took the little girl to the bin where we burn wood to bury her in when I started to cry. Geesh! I am crying and I think I will be able to butcher the chickens I get in January? Good luck there!

Ooohh...did I digress or what? roll

Pedro

PS Yes chickens are very resilient but I think they stress out more when they don't have heat than if they do. Just my opinion. I think if they have heat...their quality of life is better! Not criticizing anyone who does NOT heat the coops. Just MHO. big_smile


Edited by paganfish - 1/1/08 at 5:15pm
"If you talk to the animals they will talk with you and you will know each other. If you do not talk to them you will not know them and what you do not know, you will fear. What one fears, one destroys." - 

Chief Dan George
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"If you talk to the animals they will talk with you and you will know each other. If you do not talk to them you will not know them and what you do not know, you will fear. What one fears, one destroys." - 

Chief Dan George
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post #8 of 212

What you don't want is for them to get used to really toasty temps then for you to have a power outage and plunge them into bitter cold that they are not used to. That's one way to really get sick birds.

 Shop www.blueroocreations.com where every artisan is a veteran or spouse of a veteran!

The Blue Roo Creations Mascot, Lancelot, says, Support Our Troops!

 

Speckledhen's Standard of Perfection

 

~A dog on its owner's property is a pet; A dog on someone else's property is a predator~

 
 

 

 

 

Reply

 Shop www.blueroocreations.com where every artisan is a veteran or spouse of a veteran!

The Blue Roo Creations Mascot, Lancelot, says, Support Our Troops!

 

Speckledhen's Standard of Perfection

 

~A dog on its owner's property is a pet; A dog on someone else's property is a predator~

 
 

 

 

 

Reply
post #9 of 212
Quote:
Originally Posted by speckledhen 

What you don't want is for them to get used to really toasty temps then for you to have a power outage and plunge them into bitter cold that they are not used to. That's one way to really get sick birds.


SO true...my heat lamp keeps them warmer than they'd be otherwise but not toasty. Good point!

"If you talk to the animals they will talk with you and you will know each other. If you do not talk to them you will not know them and what you do not know, you will fear. What one fears, one destroys." - 

Chief Dan George
Reply
"If you talk to the animals they will talk with you and you will know each other. If you do not talk to them you will not know them and what you do not know, you will fear. What one fears, one destroys." - 

Chief Dan George
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post #10 of 212

A few of the locals around here call my chickens spoiled they have heat lamp aimed at waterer but it keeps coop a couple degrees warmer.  They have UV light bulb from 6pm to 8pm both are on timers but whe it is chilly during the day I override the heat lamp timer ( I have to break up ice).  Then last night I was at Walmart the hardware stocker has chickens he say me looking at misters on clearance 2.50 so I bought 4 they are the type that you hook to hose so the chickens will not get 2 hot during the summer.  So Scott (hardware guy says " what did chickens do before you came along to spoil them ?" I say  "they were neglected chickens" lol.  now if just one would lay an egg it would be great.  Hubby keeps asking when it will be time to put the 8 week old chicks outside Yes I have a 3rd heat lamp that I will use in their coop for when the time comes I am sure it will be soon but I am worried about losing one due to the cold it comes and goes here.

Kasi

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