Coldest night yet - heat lamp for one night?

Discussion in 'Managing Your Flock' started by naturababe, Jan 23, 2011.

  1. naturababe

    naturababe Chillin' With My Peeps

    Apr 1, 2010
    It's going to be colder then it's been, about -10, tonight. Does anyone who doesn't heat regularly heat occasionally? Will it mess up their acclimatization?

    Reasons I'm considering it:
    There are only three of them in a big coop so there isn't a ton of body heat
    The coop is not warmer then outside by much, if at all (is this because I have so much "ventilation" - basically the top foot of the coop is hardware cloth but it's well above the roost)
    I haven't put plastic over the windows and there are five big windows right at roosting level (they are closed but not sure if they draft)
    Last night I stayed up until 1am worrying about them and I need sleep
    Given all the ventation condensation won't be a problem

    Ok, opinions? Yes I know we talk about this ad nauseum but my kids will kill me if I hurt the chickens and it's our first winter and did I mention there are only three?
  2. bywaterdog

    bywaterdog Chillin' With My Peeps

    Dec 29, 2008
    Don't do it, the next thing ya know they will be asking for the car keys................................................
  3. naturababe

    naturababe Chillin' With My Peeps

    Apr 1, 2010
    ok, so it is supposed to feel like -24 by 6am, still don't do it? even with just 3 of them? i think that is what gets me, if there were 12 in that coop i would feel ok about it.
  4. windtryst

    windtryst Chillin' With My Peeps

    May 4, 2008
    No, that would not be natural...they would be so cold after you took the heat away. think of the wild birds in your area...doves,cardinals...they are OK with out heat.
  5. Freckle Face Farm

    Freckle Face Farm Chillin' With My Peeps

    Jan 1, 2009
    I keep a heat lamp hanging over them if they get cold they can lay under it.. I keep
    4 one in each pen.. And I am in FL and have a some nights in the teens but if its cold to me they get a heat light and they are all doing fine [​IMG] hopes this helps [​IMG]
  6. pipthepeep

    pipthepeep Chillin' With My Peeps

    Aug 19, 2010
    i would probably feel the same way as you....although three chickens does not generate a ton of body heat, they will snuggle together for warmth...and that makes a big difference! I don't think it matters so much about how big the space is, they will generate heat mainly through contact. At one point, I had two chickens and now I am down to one (in a small coop)...I noticed a HUGE difference in terms of the body heat generated by even just two chickens as opposed to one (since the other one left, my remaining one has been having a huge problem with frostbite!)
    If you want to put a heat lamp in, I wouldn't think it would be a problem...just to maintain it at the temperature it HAS warmer than "normal"...
  7. henney penny

    henney penny Chillin' With My Peeps

    Nov 21, 2009
    Northern Maine
    I put a heat lamp in last night and it will stay untill Tuesday or Wensday whenever this cold snap is over,I know they would be ok but its for my peace of mind,I hate being cold.
  8. CopperCT

    CopperCT Chillin' With My Peeps

    Jan 12, 2011
    Quote:X2.....I normally do not heat the coop but I set up two ceramic bulbs over the roosts for the last two nights and will have them on for the next two after which the below zero weather should break. The coop is insulated and well ventillated. The ceramic bulbs do not give off a huge amount of heat but hopefully enough to keep them more comfortable than without it. I have brahmas who I have no doubt do not need the extra heat with their heavy feathering and small combs but we also have black sexlinks with pretty large combs and are not as heavily feathered. One of them has some slight frost bite despite the vaseline I put on. The lamps do seem to help it from getting any worse. The lamps and the body heat keep the coop about 10-15 degrees warmer than outside but with -8-15 predicted tonight, that's only 2-7 degrees which are still below normal temperatures for our region. For the record I have a L shaped roosting area and when I just checked on them, they are all crammed under the part of the roost with the lamps over it when normally they spread out over the whole area. That tells me they appreciate the extra warmth on these bitter nights. Once temperatures return to normal I will be unplugging the lamps but for now I'll sleep better knowing they have some heat if they want it and apparently so will they.
    Last edited: Jan 23, 2011
  9. The Chicken Lady

    The Chicken Lady Moderator Staff Member

    Apr 21, 2008
    West Michigan
    We have two brooder lamps hanging on chains from the ceiling of our coop over their roost (we put a GFI outlet in the ceiling for this purpose). They've had them all fall/winter. Our chickens are a bit spoiled, I suppose, but they seem to like the added warmth.
  10. ginbart

    ginbart Overrun With Chickens

    Mar 9, 2008
    Bloomsburg, PA
    If I were you I would do it, you can turn it off tomorrow. There's no need to worry then and you can get a good nights sleep. Being you only have 3 chickens, I have 23 and they keep each other warm. It's going to get down to 0 here tonight. Keep warm everyone in the Northern states.

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