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Discussion in 'Managing Your Flock' started by bald k9, Jan 1, 2010.
I have 20 hens 4 months old in an 8x10 coop we live in illinois, do you think
I need a heat Lamp?
Mine are fine all winter- just make sure you put a thin coating on Vaseline on combs and wattles so they don't get frostbite.
Is 7F a regular occurence, or a freak cold?
Make sure they have warm water to drink (if you leave it in the run and make sure they drink some before bed they'll be fine 'til morning), and some people I know staple a clear painter's tarp across windows and runs so the wind stays out.
Block the wind, and hang a heat lamp in one area of the coop. Make sure there is enough room for them to get away from the heat. They'll use it if they need it, and wont if they dont.
Barred rocks ,Dominics,BO's SLW, Leghorns
7 degrees is not freakish for the Midwest. If the birds are in a draft-free coop, you supply liquid water a couple of times each day, and you keep the coop ventilated...they will do just fine. I also make sure they go to bed with a full crop by giving them something really yummy in their food pan (sprinkle a bit of corn, sunflower seeds, safflower seeds, save the table scraps until then) so that they have plenty of energy to work from during the night. We have had several below 0 nights, with days not getting out of the teens. The birds have been fine. Egg production is way down, but the birds are fine.
You know your birds best. I'm a heat lamp person myself, and believe in giving that option. My girls are @16 weeks, and still aren't fans of the cold (though they're getting better at handling it). If I have the option of making their nights a little more comfortable, then I'm gonna' do it. I'm sure you've read cautions and warnings about being safe with your lamp...wiring it in place securely and making sure that the housing is rated for the bulb, etc. Good luck and stay warm!
this is my first post here, although i have been reading and learning so very much. this site is wonderful and i thank all of you.
the learning curve with chickens is increasing for this city girl. DH built a 5x5 a frame coop with a run below. i bought 2 sex link and 2 australorp pullets in july and have become a true chicken addict. the girls are such a joy and have been good layers. since aug 20. when they started laying we have gotten 318 fresh wonderful eggs.
wish i could have more chickens but we live in st. louis county and are only allowed 4 and no roosters.
because of all the great suggestions on here they get warm oatmeal sprinkled with flax seed every morning and scratch in the evening besides the layer pellets. so far they are doing well in the very cold temps. we have a heated water bowl for them and put a tarp over the coop and little run to keep the wind at bay.
the egg production has been down but we still get 1 or two eggs every day.
life with my girls is very good.
(when i figure out how to post an image on here i will show our coop and my girls)
PS: bald k9: our temps are like yours here in st. louis county
You can put a thermometer in the coop, and check the temperature. 20 chickens put off a lot of heat, and I bet you would be surprised at how much they raise the temperature. If you really feel you need to put in some heat, use a low wattage (like 75 watt red or black light) in a secure housing, fastened well, in order to be safe. You can also use bottles filled with hot water (capped!), and a heated waterer helps.
At 4 months old, they should not need a heat lamp, especially with 20 birds to help hold the heat in. As long as all doors are closed and there is no cold draft, they should be fine.