Do adult chickens need a heat lamp?

zldema

In the Brooder
Mar 3, 2015
24
1
31
Colorado
This is our first time having chickens. The girls (New Hampshire reds and Silver lace Wyandotte's) are almost 12 wks. old. We have a heat lamp in the coop and they seem to be trying to get away from it while roosting. We live in the mountains of Colorado so it still gets down to 35 degrees at night. It has been getting up to 65 during the day and they love to be outside during the day. Do you think they still need a heat lamp?
Thank you so much for any insight you might have!
 

chickens r life

Songster
Apr 13, 2015
616
39
108
The Golden State
Well, your chickens are fully feathered out by now and they say ones they feather out they don't need a heat lamp. But that does depend on 1 the temp and 2 how many birds you have. If you have more than 6 chickens, then I would say they will be just fine.
 

RichnSteph

Songster
5 Years
Mar 25, 2014
882
163
176
Adkins Texas
No. Chickens, once they are fully feathered, are good down to well below zero degrees. You need to ensure that they have adequate ventilation and cross breeze. The killer in cold weather (35 is not cold to them) is lack of air flow and moisture build up from their respiration.

Take the lamp out of the coop. Your first indication was that they were moving away from it.


RichnSteph

Edit: We were down in the teens with regards to degrees here this winter and our birds never needed additional heat.
 
Last edited:

donrae

Hopelessly Addicted
Premium Feather Member
9 Years
Jun 18, 2010
31,453
4,043
581
Southern Oregon
No, they don't need a lamp anymore. At this age they're well able to tolerate sub freezing temps. Go out at night and wiggle your hand between them while they're roosting, get down to their skin and it will be toasty warm.
 

zldema

In the Brooder
Mar 3, 2015
24
1
31
Colorado
400
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RichnSteph

Songster
5 Years
Mar 25, 2014
882
163
176
Adkins Texas
You need more windows in that coop. Cut in some and cover them with 1/4" hardware cloth (wire). Also take a 3" hole saw and cut holes up near the top of the tin on the high side (above your head in the picture) and down the down-slope below the tin inside the run. Cover those with the same hardware cloth, use heavy staples. That coop is going to be over moist with just a few birds in there and way too hot even in near freezing temps.
 

RichnSteph

Songster
5 Years
Mar 25, 2014
882
163
176
Adkins Texas
One thing to remember is it's very dry here. Maybe 15% humidity.
In that coop the humidity will be far above 15%. In the winter all that humidity will turn to frost and your hens will end up with frost bitten combs and possibly feet. Trust us. More windows, more ventilation. Chickens are amazing at regulating their own heat and cooling needs. I've read accounts of hens in 30 below zero inside coops that are sleeping with 1 foot gaps between them to keep properly cooled. When they sleep their crop continues to work at breaking down feed. That work equates to body heat being generated while they sit completely still.
 

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