1. ButtersMama

    ButtersMama Chillin' With My Peeps

    Feb 28, 2011
    Hello all!
    I've decided to put heat in my chicken coop. I know that the red light will keep them awake (and peck eachothers feathers) so I'm going to get one of those ceramic heat lamps. It screws into a socket but emits heat only, no light. Keep in mind the lamp will be secure with 3 attachments in case of an accident of some sort. I WAS leaning toward using no heat but I've changed my mind.

    My coop is 4' wide x 4' long x 4' high. Their perch is at about 12" off the bottom. They would be about 18 inches to 2 ft away from the heat hanging from a brooding lamp fixture.
    Their coop door is shut at dusk and opened at daylight. They have a 4 x 6 ft run for during the day which they are usually out all day. We've added some weather stripping to doors and covered windows and sides of run with 6 MIL plastic. I think they are pretty draft free.

    My choices are 60 watt, 75 watt and 100 watt.

    I'm not sure when to use it ...24 hours or only at night. We've had 2 nights under 18 degrees already and I do not feel comfortable not giving them some warmth.

    What wattage would you use? When/how often would you use it?

    Thanks for ANY input!
  2. annie3001

    annie3001 My Girls

    Jun 11, 2009
    I use a 250 red watt heat lamp. I turn it on when its bitter cold.... for us 40. The chickens are used the red light and have no problems sleeping. When the animals are all in the run or out free ranging, I turn it off. no need to heat the outside imo.
  3. Yay Chicks!

    Yay Chicks! Chillin' With My Peeps

    Apr 15, 2010
    Forest Grove, OR
    Since you said "thanks for ANY input," I will say that some of the thinking about NOT adding heat, is that if you lose power, you will have birds that are not acclimated to the cold.

    When I was concerned last year about low temperatures, I happened upon the thread, "Think it's too cold for your chickens? Think again..." It was started by someone in AK with temps in the -40s. I think it offers great perspective. Have you seen it? https://www.backyardchickens.com/forum/viewtopic.php?id=421122

    way, good luck with your decision. [​IMG]
  4. Linn Bee

    Linn Bee Chillin' With My Peeps

    We got down to 20 degrees (F) last night. My unheated coop was comfortable early this morning and the water had no ice at all. I did install the heated waterer I recently purchased, but I didn't plug it in.

    I see no reason to add heat. My chickens are outside most of the day, and I fear heating a building that is already staying above freezing could hamper the chicken's ability to handle the outside weather.

    Just my thoughts.

    Love, Linn B (aka Smart Red) Gardening zone 5a - 4b in south-est, central-est Wisconsin
  5. Campesina

    Campesina Chillin' With My Peeps

    Aug 24, 2011
    Sorry I am late...but You said RED light is bad? I have learned that WHITE light keeps them up...makes them aggressive and shows any blood they might want to attack.
    Can anyone confirm....Red or White??
    As far as heat...My girls are 10 wks old...20 to 30 at night and they are fine.
    They are in an insulated coop vented at night. So far no problems.
  6. KDK1

    KDK1 Chillin' With My Peeps

    Jun 29, 2011
    Tennessee Plateau
    Quote:Red light is fine for added heat (which I DON'T use except in brooder)... white light keeps them awake.
  7. meowteri2

    meowteri2 Chillin' With My Peeps

    Feb 4, 2010
    chicago sw suburbs
    Quote:Securing it in 3 places was a good idea. Also add a screen so if they fly up they do not get burnt. Those metal things really get hot. I use a hundred watt only when temps get around 0.
    Just to take the edge off the cold. I have a similar coop. Check how hot it gets at their head height after that thing is on about a hour. Good luck.
  8. pharmchickrnmom

    pharmchickrnmom Chillin' With My Peeps

    Apr 13, 2010
    To heat or not to heat the coop is a personal choice. All of the above are great answers. I would like to add that you should also monitor the humidity level in your coop. You have added weatherstripping and plastic covering which could increase the humidity level inside the coop tremendously if there isnt adquate ventilation. This can lead to frostbite on chickens. My chickens do very well in the cold and I leave most of the doors open on their coop. I think the lowest it got this past winter was -30. Chickens put a lot of humidity in the air at night when roosting so if the coop is too tight(aka, not ventilated enough), they can get frostbite to their combs and become suseptable to respiratory ailments.

    Whatever you decide, you will need to monitor their coop closely to prevent any problems from cropping up. Once you find the right balance of airflow and heat, your cheeps will be comfortable.
  9. CupOJoe42

    CupOJoe42 CT Chicken Whisperer

    Apr 11, 2011
    If your coop is dry and draft free and you have adequate ventilation, you do not need to heat your coop - providing your chickens are fully feathered. If you are really concerned, you can add hay bales around the outer walls of the coop to help insulate, but I don't recommend adding heat because it is a fire hazard. Also, most chickens can handle the cold much better than they can handle the heat. You will hear many different opinions on the subject - just be careful, whatever you decide.

    P.S. If you really want to add heat, you can also look into a Brinsea EcoGlow Brooder, which uses radiant heat and can touch surfaces without catching fire. Chickens can regulate themselves by going under it when cold. Another option is to warm up bricks and place them around the coop for the chickens to snuggle up to.
    Last edited: Dec 1, 2011
  10. ButtersMama

    ButtersMama Chillin' With My Peeps

    Feb 28, 2011
    Thank you all so much for replying to my post. I really appreciate you taking the time.

    My husband and I have decided to hold off on the heat. They seem to be doing fine so far.
    I am keeping a close eye on them. I do need to pay attention to humidity. The coop is vented at the top so it should be ok.

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