Any Northerners NOT Use A Heat Lamp?

Discussion in 'Managing Your Flock' started by Kanthaka, Dec 6, 2010.

  1. Kanthaka

    Kanthaka Out Of The Brooder

    Jun 22, 2009
    I live in the snowbelt. Got through last year's Winter just fine with no heating but am starting to get nervous about our impending cold and snow. I have two winter hardy hens. Their nestbox is enclosed and well insulated with straw. They snuggle in there when it gets too cold and I close the nestbox door on really cold nights. They stil seem to want to be active and outside. (here they are walking in a blizzard )
    The coop is well ventilated.
    I don't have electricity in my backyard and can't provide a heatlamp. Any cold weather hints from those of you who don't heat your coops?
  2. Chicken Fruit

    Chicken Fruit Chillin' With My Peeps

    Feb 25, 2009
    Echo Homestead
    Unless you have breeds from egypt or the jungle or something theyre really going to be okay. I've never heated my chickens ever. They wear down coats, after all. Ever wear a 2 inch down jacket? nothing makes you cold in one of those.
  3. blue creek chicken man

    blue creek chicken man Out Of The Brooder

    Dec 6, 2010
    I live in montana and do not use heat lamps for my ducks. they are in a old fiberglass topper that is cover with staw and tarps. My chickens are in a insulated coop w/ light(cfls) for light only but i do have about 70 chickens in a 16x10 coop. how big is yours?
  4. kitchwitch

    kitchwitch Chillin' With My Peeps

    Feb 3, 2009
    Greensburg, Pa
    I use deep litter method in my coop so end of fall I replace their litter with fresh stuff so I'm not cleaning out their coop when it's bitter cold out and letting all their heat escape. Throughout winter I keep adding fresh litter to their coop and I also give them scratch to keep them turning the bedding. I keep the windows shut and the door is shut on very cold days and at night.

    I use their body heat to my advantage and in winter their waterer is moved inside the coop to keep it from freezing; conversely I try to give them all treats outside the coop to keep them active and outside during daylight hours. Additionally I will move their food outside during the day if there is no rain/snow/sleet moving in.

    Mostly I just try to keep them moving and generating their own heat, and I don't open their coop needlessly.
  5. celticfarmer

    celticfarmer Out Of The Brooder

    Apr 30, 2009
    Northern MN
    No heat up here.

    Just a 40W light on a timer simply to keep the girls on a regular cycle. Its been cold up here lately, down below 0 a couple of times through the night.

    My girls are just fine, only problem is keeping their water ice free.
  6. Kanthaka

    Kanthaka Out Of The Brooder

    Jun 22, 2009
    Great responses! My coop is this one from MyPetChicken.
    have attached the large ChikNPen from CritterCages to it so I expanded the size of their run. Most of the time (in non blizzard weather) they free range in my backyard which is fenced in and quite large for a city lot. I put a tarp over the run to keep the snow out so they can still walk around and scratch and peck.
    Chickens seem to produce a lot of heat! When I stick my hand in the nestbox to scoop out the poop I can feel the warmth! They get plenty of scratch. I have two poultry waterers and I just rotate them...bring one in the house and take the unfrozen one out to the coop. I guess having only two hens is not as much work and I certainly don't have a long walk to the barn! I move the coop all around my yard. In Summer it's waaay in the back and by Winter it's a yard from my backdoor.
  7. bigoakhunter

    bigoakhunter Chillin' With My Peeps

    Jul 29, 2009
    I'm in Michigan and do not heat my coops. They are insulated and have ventilation up top. The birds seem to do just fine.
  8. cybercat

    cybercat Chillin' With My Peeps

    May 22, 2007
    Greeneville, Tn
    Good venalation and deep litter means no heat needed. We had below freezing the past 2 days here with digits in single at night. I free range chickens were out in snow storm eating. There is no electric to there coop. I have pictures of last winter and coop shots also in their blog in my sig. I have had no frostbite and these are single comb chickens. They are also laying eggs with no extra light and they do not get out of coop till 10am and back in at 5pm.
  9. CMV

    CMV Flock Mistress

    Apr 15, 2009
    I've never used heat and my coop is not insulated. I have all winter hardy breeds and few with large combs. I have never had any issues with the cold except for keeping the water ice-free. A couple years ago I tried to use a heat lamp one day because we had a brutal cold snap- -25 degrees with a wicked wind. It was a failure. The birds were acting like I was trying to cook them. They stood as far away from the heat as they could, even venturing out into the snow (which they don't generally do) to escape the heat. I pulled the lamp out and have never tried using it again.

    Chickens are tough as nails. They will be OK without additional heat. My birds have always had more problems with the heat than with the cold.

    Good luck.
  10. Tdub4chiks

    Tdub4chiks Chillin' With My Peeps

    Jul 8, 2010
    Constantia, NY
    We are experiencing lake effect snow right now. We've gotten over a foot in the last 24 hrs. The only time I see my girls out of the coop, is when they hear the front door of the house open & shut. lol. They think they're getting more treats every time they hear it. goofy girls

    Oh, and I do not heat the coop!
    Last edited: Dec 6, 2010

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