Ceramic Heating Bulbs


10 Years
Oct 6, 2010
Missoula Montana
Hello, I am wondering what your opinions are on ceramic heaters (with no light) as compared to the red heat lamps? Western Monatana is already dipping into the mid 20's and I was considering a ceramic heat bulb on a thermostatic outlet. thanks for your opinions.
Paris, chicken mom to 4 little cuties
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Twice I have tried these plugged into a thermocube outlet (to regulate on and off cycles), inside a chicken wire "cage" around a high capacity ceramic reflector. After several weeks, both broke near the base of the outlet. All that was left hanging were some wires inside the ceramic. The outlet has worked fine for other purposes. I have reluctantly given up on the ceramic bulbs.
The one I have has lasted 2 seasons so far, but then, it's only being used from mid-December through February.
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Someone we know used one last winter without a bulb guard and one of her chickens burned its comb on the bulb. They get really hot! But so do the red heat lamps. You also have to be very careful about leaving clearance around the bulb, at least 18 inches is recommended all the way around, I think. Risk of fire otherwise. And don't rely on the clamp of a clamp fixture to keep the lamp secure, attach it two different ways.

This is a great page discussing the pros/cons of using supplemental heat:

I use ceramic bulbs in one of my four coops - - the one with sensible, older hens who don't jump around.
That coop has plenty of head clearance, etc.

How large is your coop? My larger coop (8 x 10, 6' interior peak height) is heated with a sealed oil heater. The heater is in an elevated cage to keep it away from naughty birds and flying shavings, and is cleaned regularly to keep the dust/dander off it. It has worked great for that larger space. I do keep tabs on the temp with a remote thermometer, though, and we have ceiling vents on the coop.


This is the original, smaller version of the heater. We now have a full-size DeLonghi model in there (from Home Depot), but the cage is the same.

Hope that helps. elmo has included a great link re. winter heat; my southern birds are wimps. We did get to 0 F and below for several weeks last winter, though. . . good luck with whatever you decide!
Thanks, my coop is small, only 4X3 and 4 ft high, the way I have it set up they won't be able to touch it but I'm not sure if the radiant heat would be enough to burn them. Thanks for your feed back everyone!
Nice setup for the heater! I have a new insulated coop built for my bantams this winter, and I think they'll be fine without supplemental heat ...but I might get nervous and set up a heater for them if we get really cold weather. Last winter I put them in dog crates in our attached garage on freezing nights and when it got into the teens, I set up a DeLonghi oil filled radiator in there, too.

With the chickens in dog crates, I didn't have to worry about them knocking over or trying to roost on the heater. But if I use the heater in their new coop, I'll need to make a cage like structure just like you have done.

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