Adult Chickens & Heat Lamp in winter, If or When is a good time or Temp

Discussion in 'Managing Your Flock' started by mggoelz, Nov 15, 2016.

  1. mggoelz

    mggoelz New Egg

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    Nov 15, 2016
    I am fairly new at the chicken keeping I have 4 hens no Rooster, I have a coop inside the barn with a small door to a outside run, I put a heat lamp in the top of the coop, with a timer, we get 15-20 degrees in the winter, Not sure at what temp, and for how long, do I need to have the heat lamp on, or if I even need it ?
     
  2. Mrs. K

    Mrs. K Overrun With Chickens

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    I think you don't need it. I don't ever add heat to my birds, and we have pretty darn cold spells of -20 degrees F.

    Instead of thinking warm, what you need to think is DRY. Are my chickens in a dry environment. There needs to be dry and deep bedding on the floor, to absorb moisture. The roosting birds should be away from the wall, and there needs to be about 12 inches above their heads. This keeps their own wet breath from condensing back on them and making them wet. There should be ventilation above their heads, open opposite of the prevailing wind.

    Dry birds are warm birds, and healthy birds. Wet birds are miserable, cold and liable to get sick.

    Heat lamps very often can cause a fire in a coop, not a good thing.

    Mrs K
     
  3. centrarchid

    centrarchid Chicken Obsessed

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    Nor do I heat adults. Where it might be advantageous is in keeping eggs from freezing.
     
  4. bobbi-j

    bobbi-j Chicken Obsessed

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    You don't need a heat lamp. Make sure your coop is well ventilated and keep that pop door open so they can get out and get some fresh air.
     
  5. icanhazchikn

    icanhazchikn Just Hatched

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    Do you add any kind of insulation to your coop?
    I had 3/8" plywood and replaced it with corrugated plastic to lighten my coop up enough so it could move again (chicken tractor).

    I have a few windows cut into it that can open/shut as well as ventilation at the top, and about 18" above their roost area so they have room up there.
    I just want to make sure they're warm enough through the winter, so it's at least bearable. They had to suffer enough with 90-100 degree temps this winter.

    Dave
     
  6. Egghead_Jr

    Egghead_Jr Overrun With Chickens

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    Chickens generally do very well in cold. It's the heat of summer that can be a killer. Insulating a coop is great for hot climates. Especially the roof line to repel solar radiation heating. Insulation is not needed for winter excepting extreme cold climates. My climate is zone 3a which means we see -30F. I don't heat or insulate. Those in less desirable climates than mine would benefit some from insulation. Ventilation in all climates is essential and crucial in cold winter climates. Without proper air flow your birds can experience frostbite at 32F. With what's needed for proper ventilation it takes extreme cold for extended periods to benefit from insulation. The difference in coop temp won't be very much unless extreme cold.

    The benefits of not heating are:

    No heating bill

    No coop fires

    Chickens that are acclimated to weather so go outside of coop in winter

    That last one is very important unless you designed a huge coop that is going to be their winter run also as they wont go outside if their acclimated to a 50 or 80 degree coop space and it's 0F or lower outside.
     
  7. Egghead_Jr

    Egghead_Jr Overrun With Chickens

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    We didn't get a lot of snow last year and I don't have many winter photos. Here are two that may show how wind shields and a covered section of run are nice for added usable space for birds in winter. They'd not use this space if the coop was heated. Another photo to show that they do just fine in winter if you shovel a path to their favorite hang out spots. This one is under a shrub that I toss hay under for bedding to walk on. After wind storms I need to shovel out snow and add hay under the lean to roof also.

    [​IMG]

    [​IMG]
     
  8. mggoelz

    mggoelz New Egg

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    Nov 15, 2016
    Thank You all for your input We have also come to the same conclusion. It sounds like we are setup fairly well.
     

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