50w ceramic heater: as good or better than 100w bulb?

Discussion in 'Coop & Run - Design, Construction, & Maintenance' started by farmerbrowne, Aug 2, 2013.

  1. farmerbrowne

    farmerbrowne Chillin' With My Peeps

  2. chfite

    chfite Chillin' With My Peeps

    Jun 7, 2011
    Taylors, SC
    Heat is more of a problem for chickens than cold. You might look around for those who have coops in Alaska, and don't heat or insulate.

    Frankly, it would require a coop that was quite small and incredibly well insulated for 50 watts or 100 watts to amount to anything. If you had such a coop, it would have to be nearly airtight to retain any heat at all. The ammonia from the poop would likely have a devastating effect on the chickens in such a coop.

    Chickens require adequate ventilation to keep the ammonia levels down. Imagine trying to heat a coop with the windows open. A good coop will have adequate ventilation without a draft.

    For example, my coop has an opening along the top of the roosting wall. This opening is 8 inches by 96 inches. Across from that wall is the main door to the coop. It has an opening 24 inches by 24 inches. This allows good ventilation. There is no draft because one opening is up at the 4 foot level and the other one is at the floor level.

    Chickens have really effective down comforters that they wear all the time.

    Having said all that, I live in South Carolina not near Thunder Bay, Ontario.

    1 person likes this.
  3. aart

    aart Chicken Juggler! Premium Member

    Nov 27, 2012
    SW Michigan
    My Coop
    Well.... why/how are you needing to use heat?
    Yes, it uses less wattage, but does it put out as much heat?

    If you need heat for a brooder, the ambient temp where the brooder is located would make a huge difference in how much heat output you need.

    If said brooder is inside a moderately heated home in the winter, you might just need a 60-100 watt incandescent bulb to make a 90 degree spot in the brooder for chicks to huddle near.

    See what I mean?
    Last edited: Aug 4, 2013
  4. farmerbrowne

    farmerbrowne Chillin' With My Peeps

    Well the coop is 5x6 insulated with fiberglass, two feet in the ceiling and 4.5 inches in the walls. I am working on figuring how to do the ventelation as well, figure dryer vent like on the bottom of the coop as well as one at the ceiling. we have winters in minus 30 celcius and colder. this is my very first coop I have been building.
  5. thomasboyle

    thomasboyle Chillin' With My Peeps

    Feb 28, 2013
    Northwest Hills of CT
    I use ceramic heat bulbs for my chickens (only when it goes below 20 degrees) and for my cats (mounted over their bed), and they put out a very high heat compared to a light bulb. My infrared thermometer put them at 400 degrees or so, and regular bulbs usually ready around 250. For that reason, the ceramic bulbs must have a protective cover to keep anything from touching it. I use a piece of hardware wire that wraps around the metal reflector hood. I mount two lamps above the center of the roosting bar, and while it doesn't keep the coop warm, it provides direct heat to any bird who needs it, and they can also move away if they get too warm. I know they don't need any external heat, they do fine in Alaska and Canada etc, but I feel better knowing they won't be freezing on the coldest of nights.
    1 person likes this.
  6. farmerbrowne

    farmerbrowne Chillin' With My Peeps

    Thank you I will be buying one to go over my roosts. what wattage do you use?
  7. JackE

    JackE Overrun With Chickens

    Apr 26, 2010
    North Eastern Md.
    Two foot of insulation in the roof? Talk about overkill. Unless you have some kind of exotic, thinly feathered breed, you DO NOT need to add heat. The chickens are built to handle cold temps. You are just running up your electric bill, and taking a chance on burning your coop down. Not to mention, not allowing your birds to properly acclimate to the cold. You do them no favors by added heat to the coop.
    How many birds are you putting in the coop? If it's more than a couple, you may want to rethink coop ventilation. A couple of dryer vents are not going to cut it at all. In a coop that size, with too many birds, with poor ventilation and heat, you are not looking at a chicken friendly environment, healthwise. Check out the link below. On pg24, you can read about chickens being kept in open air coops in -40F temps. Don't put your limitation with the cold on your chickens, they can handle it much better than you think.

    1 person likes this.
  8. Hokum Coco

    Hokum Coco Overrun With Chickens

    Dec 6, 2012
    New Brunswick,Canada
    I realize there are many coops with electricity.

    That being said:

    I always cringe when I hear of heat in a chicken coop.
    Dry bedding, 120 volts, dust, feathers, a flighty or panic stricken bird, water maybe a frayed or improperly protected extension cord.
    Totally unnecessary for birds that are cold hearty in most cases and have been raised on this continent for over 100 years with out it.
    What could go wrong???
    Accidents do happen that is why they put erasers on the ends of pencils.
    Good luck!

    I live in Canada was subject to -40ยบ last winter.
    No heat or light in coop no problems.
    Try not to burn anything down or electrocute yourself.
    Last edited: Aug 13, 2013
  9. thomasboyle

    thomasboyle Chillin' With My Peeps

    Feb 28, 2013
    Northwest Hills of CT
    I have two 60 watt lamps mounted above the roosts. They only get used a few nights in the winter, when temps are going into the teens.
  10. farmerbrowne

    farmerbrowne Chillin' With My Peeps

    so the consensus is I dont need extra heat. Any one know what page I should go to or veiw in regards to venting my coop? I was considering also a 6"x24" sliding vent on the bottom of one side and one on the other side but at the top for venting so there is no draft for that seems to be what everyone says is one of the main issue.

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