Do I need additional heating sources for coop with 2 chickens

Discussion in 'Coop & Run - Design, Construction, & Maintenance' started by kat w, Nov 3, 2011.

  1. kat w

    kat w Out Of The Brooder

    Nov 3, 2011
    New to keeping chickens. I've been lurking here a lot but finally prompted to make a first post due to a discussion my husband and I are having.

    When it gets to around freezing, should I use a heat lamp or a lightbulb for a coop that is a modified shed? My concern is that with 2 chickens that they will not generate enough body heat. My husband thinks they will be cold but survive just fine. (and they might survive, but will they continue laying-- I've heard that they will decrease production if too hot)

    This weekend, it will be in the high 30s and low 40s at night, but I am not so concerned about them at this temp. My husband is in disbelief that a 10 degree difference (high 30s vs low 30s) would make such a difference. So will it make a difference or not?
  2. jerseygirl1

    jerseygirl1 Overrun With Chickens

    Jun 20, 2009
    Orange County, NY

    I have mine in an unheated 10x12 coop and never lost any to cold weather - like someone said to me when I mentioned it - "They have feathers to keep them warm" - Just make sure there are no drafts

    I have lost them to hot weather, however
  3. SteveBaz

    SteveBaz Chillin' With My Peeps

    Aug 6, 2011
    Pacific North West

    They have a down base of feathers and they know how to keep themselves plenty warm. The artificial heat will mess up how they produce feathers to keep warm. If your chickens are fully feathered they do not need heat. Low 30's high 30's make no difference. That is not cold. As mentioned plug up all the drafty sections of the coop and make sure they have plenty of ventilation but up high in the brooder. Best of luck
  4. rngrbill

    rngrbill Chillin' With My Peeps

    I have 5 and temps have dropped into the high 20s in the coop. I have and Indoor outdoor thermometer in the coop. [​IMG] They are doing just fine and my egg production just went up. Keep them dry and draft free. Make sure they get plenty of water and feed, and welcome, I'm a newbie myself but have access to 60yr of experience in my DW's uncle. [​IMG] [​IMG] [​IMG]
  5. kat w

    kat w Out Of The Brooder

    Nov 3, 2011
    Ok, well....I appreciate the responses and I won't worry. However, I do wish the answer was otherwise as I have my husband reading these replies back to me, supporting his side, in a trying-hard-not-to-be-snotty-but-still-snotty voice.

    Hehe. Thanks for the reply and the welcomes!!
  6. Kat'sChicks

    Kat'sChicks Chillin' With My Peeps

    Jun 20, 2009
    Minonk, IL
    Hi and [​IMG] I've had chickens for several years now and have 78 of them.......26 of those are silkies. The only birds that ever get supplemntal heat are babies (with a gradual reduction as they feather out) or a sick bird (I've only had 2, and they were both shipped birds). I've also had horses for about 20 years. I've never used heat lamps or such for my animals.....even when we had 26 inches of snow with high winds and 6 degree temps last Feb. for about a week. As long as you have a place they can go out of the wind and they have a place that has ventilation up high with no drafts where they sleep and adequate bedding that is dry along with plenty of fresh water and food they should be fine. Animals grow long thicker coats and develop more down feathers to insulate against cold winters. When you "help" by adding heat you actually stop or slow that process and make them more vulnerable to getting chilled and sick.
    I've also learned that it isn't temperature that affects laying so much as light. Extreme heat or stress will slow things down, but if mine have 10 - 12 hrs. of light in the winter they keep laying steadily all winter. My solution to that was LED rope lighting well secured and out of reach on timers to add up to that amount of time. There's a wealth of information here to help you make the right decision for you.........good luck!


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