Cold chickens.....when to use heat lamp? - Page 22
Lol..Thats great! They were in cages (which I hated) & I did what I could to keep them from escaping when I cleaned the cages out. 1 of the hens did get loose & I had a heart attack. It was me, my youngest daughter (18) & my husband out building the coop in the garage. She darted between my feet when I opened the cage. I screamed...."BIRD ESCAPED BIRD ESCAPED"..lol. We have the car covered but it just got a new paint job & if that bird was to fly up on it & scratch it...omgoodness. We'd of had chicken that night for supper!
<<< Shaking head in disbelief.
There are far to many variables to use this method. Breeds of chickens, cold hearty rating, location of coop (California vs Canada), health of chickens, coop size, molting or not etc.
Please everyone do research on the breeds you choose to keep and know that needs WILL vary due to many factors. Also read up on heat lamp coop fires. A heat lamp in a small coop say 4x4 and 4 foot tall can easily be knocked around by chickens. Not to mention they would have no place to get away from the heat if they became to warm at night.
5 degrees here this morning. Like many other mornings the chickens had no heat lamp or other added heat and are fine and dandy. My coop is very large at 8x14 foot and 9 foot tall. The breeds I have a all listed as cold hearty even though some are bantam.
Don't worry too much about adult chickens getting cold. When they go to roost at night each and every one of them has his or her very own down filled coat plus a feather bed to sleep in. The most important thing is if they can stay dry, out of the wind but well ventilated, and there are enough birds to huddle up and "spoon" with when they go to roost. Commercial laying flocks and roaster/fryer flocks nearing market age usually live in unheated houses. The birds themselves produce enough warmth to keep the building toasty warm. Warmth is modulated by raising or lowering curtains on the sides of each houses.
The importance of ventilation is this. Water is capable of absorbing heat 20 times faster than dry air. Each and every chicken is a little humidifier. The ability of water to absorb and store heat is the reason to us that a humid environment feels warmer. However a human is not a chicken and neither is a chicken human. But too much humidity during cold weather in contact with a chickens' bare areas, like their toes and comb will result in your birds losing enough heat through these bare areas to lead directly to frost bit combs and missing toes. To much ventilation can result in dusty conditions and health issues.
Perhaps you should Google "Trench Foot" or "Immersion Foot" to learn more.
Check out the info from the University of Georgia, to further see the relevance that chicken farmers put on good ventilation.
The image below is a good indicator of the relative importance chicken farmers place on good or adequate ventilation.
There never was a predator problem back then because any and all vermin were shot on sight so as you can imagine adequate ventilation was a non starter because any and all chickens ranged as free and as unrestrained as the Smallpox virus.
The farmers' garden was located far enough away from the house place so that depredations by the chicken flock wasn't an issue, or else hog wire or field fencing was erected to keep the poor darlings at bay.
Never never never forget however that any and all varmints from the smallest to the mightiest were as apt to wind up in the stew pot as was a sliced carrot, diced onion, or a striking hen.