Ceramic Infrared Heat Emitters

Discussion in 'Coop & Run - Design, Construction, & Maintenance' started by bigmommy, Oct 24, 2008.

  1. bigmommy

    bigmommy Out Of The Brooder

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    Jul 12, 2008
    South Lyon, MI.
    O.K. my hen house is insulated, the drafts are plugged and caulked, I have weather stripping on the doors and it's full of pine shavings and straw. I put a remote thermometer in it last night and the temp went down to 40! I have 8-4 month old Silkies(5 are roosters...in case anyone is looking for some) and my house is 4'x4'x4'. Why is it so cold in there? I thought it would be toasty warm. I don't think they will survive my lovely Michigan winter! Has anyone used a Ceramic Infrared Heat Emitter? My only concern is that it could start the straw or pine shavings on fire. Any ideas on what else to do?
     
    Last edited: Oct 24, 2008
  2. MissPrissy

    MissPrissy Overrun With Chickens Premium Member

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    Forks, Virginia
    They do not need heat added for winter. You weaken them and they are less able to cope in cold environments where no heat is provided. Chickens are very well capable of keeping themselves warm. If the hen house is well ventilated, draft free this is a perfect environment for them in winter. They actually thrive better in cooler temps than you would expect. A little cracked corn at bedtime and they will stay warm all night. Only in the bitterest extremes might they need external heat sources. 100 years ago there wasn't electricity on every farm and farmers did not heat their chicken coops. Your chickens can survive just fine in winter.
     
  3. jubylives

    jubylives Chillin' With My Peeps

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    Mar 23, 2007
    Central Iowa
    I've never used the Ceramic Infrared Heat Emitters but I have used the red and clear heat lamps. I don't care for the clear ones as they emit too much light.

    Either way is a heat souce and will warm that small space up nicely. If you are concerned about fire then make sure you secure the light housing to the inside top of the coop and you'll be just fine.

    40 sounds about right. You could add the heat source to raise the temp inside. The Inuit Indians used their body heat to warm igloos. Here an exerpt:

    "The igloo has stood the test of time as a living establishment. Some experts say that a well-constructed igloo, coupled with a very small oil lamp and plain old body heat, can warm an igloo up to 40 degrees above the outside temperature. Hypothetically, if it is -40°C outside, the igloo has the potential to warm up to 0°C. It accomplishes this amazing feat thanks to several features:

    The walls block the wind, which is often so bitter that it can make freezing temperatures feel many degrees colder.
    Snow and ice work as insulators to trap body heat inside the igloo. Thus, the occupants of an igloo double as a furnace of sorts.
    Insulation capabilities actually increase a few days after construction. Body heat and sun exposure cause the inside of the igloo to melt ever so slightly. When the igloo is unoccupied during hunting expeditions, the melted snow freezes over, turning into ice. Several days of gradual thawing and refreezing turns the entire structure to solid ice, making it not only superstrong, but also warmer than ever."

    This is from: http://people.howstuffworks.com/igloo2.htm

    Same
    thing but you are using wood? and insulation in place of snow.


    Jeremy
     
    Last edited: Oct 24, 2008
  4. bigmommy

    bigmommy Out Of The Brooder

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    Jul 12, 2008
    South Lyon, MI.
    Well....Michigan can get pretty bitter in the winter! I still thought they would be generating their own heat and they don't seem to be! also, I realize that there have been chickens around since forever, but these are my pets. I know that I need to keep them above freezing, and my efforts to winterize their house, and giving them corn before bed, don't seem to be working so far. I need a safe, effective way to heat their home when the temps in their house drop below 35. Seriously, I do not want chickensicles, and I was considering putting in a Ceramic Infrared Heat Emitter attached to a thermostatically controlled outlet set to 35 (on) and 45 (off), but I am concerned about fire! Also, I am concerned about frostbite. None of my babies will roost! All 5 of the roosters climb up in the A.M. for their morning symphony, but other then that...no roosting!
     
  5. jjthink

    jjthink Overrun With Chickens

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    A ceramic heat lamp (no light, just heat) mounted from the ceiling and not able to touch anything has so far been safe for my feathered friends. When it's going to be freezing temps I do make use of the lamps. Like people, I suspect chickens have a range of tolerances - my elder roo does not look at all happy when the temps dip. I don't have - but really need! - some kind of thermostatically controlled thing so I can set on and off temps. The last few nights as it's dipped below freezing I went out every 2 hours to turn the lamp switch on and then off alternately so it wouldn't be too hot or too cold. That is going to get trying really soon!
    JJ
     
  6. MissPrissy

    MissPrissy Overrun With Chickens Premium Member

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    May 7, 2007
    Forks, Virginia
    Below 35 is not that cold to chickens. I cannot stress enough the disservice done to chickens that live in artificial heat environments. They are weakened and cannot survive as well.

    They will not freeze. They are far more heardy than most people realized.

    Once they grow accustomed to a heated coop - what happens when the electric goes out for whatevr reasons and they spend a few days with no heat? Then you will have chickens that cannot acclimate fast enough and will then be weakened enough to succome to disease and illness.
     
  7. henlady

    henlady Out Of The Brooder

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    Nov 30, 2007
    New Hampshire
    Hi all,
    I live in NH and have dangerously cold winters. My coop will only stay a few degrees above outside temps...so I use an infared bulb with no light for my 9 birds. I found it at a reptile supply store. It raises the temp around them about 10 degrees so I use it to get the temp at least to 20. I've learned the hard way that that is the magic number for my flock. Below that and I see frostbite on the tips of combs. On nights when it's 10 or 20 below zero I'm one of those crazy people who run out periodically in the night with a space heater. I'm too 'chicken' to leave it out there unattended. Hope this helps someone get through the winter. I know heating them too much can keep them from tolerating cold....but I've also seen deadly frostbite (had a rooster who's feet froze)
    Henlady
     
  8. cheeptrick

    cheeptrick Chillin' With My Peeps

    May 1, 2007
    New Hampshire
    I heat in dead of the winter with a brooder heat lamp only...I choose breeds whose combs are small and can tolerate the cold winter temps here in NH. When considering breeds in the extreme climates like NH, MI, AK I'd suggest following Henderson's chart on cold and winter hardiness. It will matter to you on a cold night to know that frost bite is not going to be an issue. Unheated....some say to slather the combs with petroleum jelly and this 'might' prevent the frost bite. I've never done this so cannot testament to it. AS far as frost bite on the feet....choose a WIDE roosting bar (I use a 2x4) so that they can SIT down on their feet when roosting at night. I've never had any fost bite and last winter was a tough one. My birds come OUT even in the snow...when they are cold they just go back in. Provide LOTS of hay, pine shavings....with the deep litter method...this helps also. ANOTHER thing I do is bring them FRESH warm tap water every morning...it does freeze by the next day....but the time length they are without water is no problem. I use the small gallon plastic font for 27 chickens and this is sufficient enough for them. Plus I'm giving them fresh water daily. THEY do not like to come out of the coop on very cold days...I do not blame them.

    Mine...stopped eating the corn after awhile.

    Their feathers are sufficient enough....but in very cold climates....I'd add a small heat bulb/lamp to keep it above freezing in the coop to prevent frost bite. They will give you the 'look' when you open their coop door on a cold winter morning! LOL
    Good luck... [​IMG]
     
  9. cheeptrick

    cheeptrick Chillin' With My Peeps

    May 1, 2007
    New Hampshire
  10. LynneP

    LynneP Chillin' With My Peeps

    I have one of those ceramic heaters in my feed room and I use it sparingly even for myself. They draw a lot of power and birds are attracted to the light that shows through the grille. They can easily burn themselves and will bask far too long near one. At the very least you'd need a protective grille around all sides, and I would think the fire hazard would be great. More importantly, as Miss Prissy has said, you'll turn your chickens into wimps without correct feathering and if the power goes out they might sicken and/or die.

    About the insulation in your coop- is the roof insulated? It sounds like it should be fine.
     
    Last edited: Oct 24, 2008

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