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when do they need heat lamps? will they lay in winter. from Michigan

post #1 of 6
Thread Starter 

Hi I was just wondering when I need to start using my heat lamps? How chilly does it need to be at night?  I dont want my girls to get cold but I dont want to "jump the gun" either.. Also my flock is about 6 months old and was wondering when they should start to lay and will i have to wait till next spring for my eggs? I have a silkie who is almost 1 and gives us one wonderful egg every afternoon.. :o) 

Thank you for any info...
Im spending all my free time out in the run with the girls... and Loving it... they all greet me now..and they love my coffee.

People will forget the things we say,they will forget the things we do but they will never forget the way we make them feel.....

A little paint mare named CADDIE MAY , RIRs:BLRWs:FBCMs:2White Silkies: Bantam Cochins:An EE or two:some mini rex bunnies: 4 kids,2 dogs and a hubby who must love me to put up with my 1 acre farm :o)
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People will forget the things we say,they will forget the things we do but they will never forget the way we make them feel.....

A little paint mare named CADDIE MAY , RIRs:BLRWs:FBCMs:2White Silkies: Bantam Cochins:An EE or two:some mini rex bunnies: 4 kids,2 dogs and a hubby who must love me to put up with my 1 acre farm :o)
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post #2 of 6

I don't use heat lamps.  You will need to give additional light 13-14 hours total light per day to keep them laying.  Without heat the eggs might freeze on very very cold days if you dont collect them at least 2-3 times a day.

Loving my mixed flock. 

How I beat feather picking. http://www.backyardchickens.com/forum/viewtopic.php?pid=6586027#p6586027

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Loving my mixed flock. 

How I beat feather picking. http://www.backyardchickens.com/forum/viewtopic.php?pid=6586027#p6586027

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post #3 of 6

I live in MN. I usually don't put a heat lamp in the coop until the water freezes. Then I put the water in a black rubber pan (with a big rock in it so they don't flip it) and hang a heat lamp over it. That way they get light enough to lay, also. I get more eggs in the winter than in the summer. Well, mainly because they free range in the summer and I can't find the eggs, but they do lay well in the winter for me. This year I have a new coop - an 8x12 shed - and plan to use a heated water dish and have a regular light bulb on a timer. All this to say, your chickens will be fine as long as they have shelter and are out of the wind. Give them plenty of light and you'll get eggs, too. You just need to check often because it doesn't take long for them to freeze when its -30 outside!

Chickens off and on for 25+ years and still learning.

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Chickens off and on for 25+ years and still learning.

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post #4 of 6

I haven't had much experience with the cold weather and my chickens yet, but I heard if it's above 50 degress F then that's suitable weather for your girls. Some farmers don't even use any heat sources, they let them huddle together in warmth during winter, in sheds and even the coop. But a heat lamp around late November, when it starts to get chilly may be the ideal time.

Also, check your chickens waddles and combs. To prevent frostbite from the terrible Michigan winters, use vaseline or some other oil based lubricant. General rule of thumb, if the water isn't frozen then they're pretty much settled. Hope this helped.

My Army:
Gals: 4 Delaware hens, Brown Cornish Rock, Silkie Hen, Lavender Orpington
Guys: Light Brahma, Rock Cross/Faverolle, Silkie Roo, Wyandotte/Barred Rock Mix.
Delawares are some of the finest chickens out there.
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My Army:
Gals: 4 Delaware hens, Brown Cornish Rock, Silkie Hen, Lavender Orpington
Guys: Light Brahma, Rock Cross/Faverolle, Silkie Roo, Wyandotte/Barred Rock Mix.
Delawares are some of the finest chickens out there.
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post #5 of 6
Quote:
Originally Posted by DelawareSilkie 

I haven't had much experience with the cold weather and my chickens yet, but I heard if it's above 50 degress F then that's suitable weather for your girls. Some farmers don't even use any heat sources, they let them huddle together in warmth during winter, in sheds and even the coop. But a heat lamp around late November, when it starts to get chilly may be the ideal time.

Also, check your chickens waddles and combs. To prevent frostbite from the terrible Michigan winters, use vaseline or some other oil based lubricant. General rule of thumb, if the water isn't frozen then they're pretty much settled. Hope this helped.


I might add if it's above 32 degrees don't worry about your birds.  The main things in Michigan are good coop ventilation, vasoline on roo's comb if temp dip below 20 degrees, keeping fresh water for them, ( heated waterer or heated base or heated dog dish, etc.) . My birds do just fine in michigan winters!

The best sermons are lived, not preached!
Keep smiling,
Dave
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The best sermons are lived, not preached!
Keep smiling,
Dave
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post #6 of 6

I've had experience with most of the breeds of chickens you list except the silkie and Dominques--and they are cold hardy.  Temps below zero won't bother them if the coop is well ventilated and not too big.  You will need something to keep water from freezing is all.  Just be careful using any electrical device around water.

I live on 7.5 acres in the western Catskill foothills where I have a 3200 sq.ft garden, 100-plant blueberry patch as well as strawberry and raspberry patches, 4 cats and over 4 dozen chickens: Black Stars, RIR's,  EE's, Brown leghorns, BR's, SS's (including one very happy EE rooster) plus 6 guinea hens. I've been keeping chickens since I was in high school (mid 1950') and continuously since...



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I live on 7.5 acres in the western Catskill foothills where I have a 3200 sq.ft garden, 100-plant blueberry patch as well as strawberry and raspberry patches, 4 cats and over 4 dozen chickens: Black Stars, RIR's,  EE's, Brown leghorns, BR's, SS's (including one very happy EE rooster) plus 6 guinea hens. I've been keeping chickens since I was in high school (mid 1950') and continuously since...



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