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Do I need heat lamp in coop with the cold weather???

Discussion in 'Managing Your Flock' started by maurap, Dec 30, 2012.

  1. maurap

    maurap Out Of The Brooder

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    May 22, 2012
    I live in Connecticut and the weather is supposed to turn very cold this week (5 degrees at night); do I need small heat lamp for the coop? I have 6 chickens and a small coop. We are very worried about them but we don't want to over- heat the coop with a heat lamp...we aren't sure what to do! I feel so bad for these chickens in this frigid weather! Any advice is appreciated.
     
  2. TNJEZ

    TNJEZ Out Of The Brooder

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    Dec 4, 2012
    i am fairly new to chickens too, this will be my second winter with chickens. I live in TN, so my winters are not as cold as yours. Last winter i didn't really know any better, and left my 15 chickens out in the coop with no lamp, we had a few nights that were in the single digits. A few popped up with some lack spots on their combs - which i now know is frost bite. This year i have a heated building for my babies under 3 months, and i have a lamp (just a 60 watt bulb) i the adult coop. I did however make sure there was no drafts, and it is sealed up properly. I am looking forward to answers becasue i too have been wondering if i need to add a heat lamp to the house as well. once they are on their roosts for the night, i wonder if they would cycle into the heat lamp to stay warm? mostly no matter what time i go into the coop at night, they are in their preferred spot and seem to not have moved.
     
  3. loanwizard

    loanwizard Chillin' With My Peeps

    You do NOT need a heat lamp in your coop. God gave them the tools to survive. I live in Ohio, have lived in Connecticut and while cooler, not by much.
    What you do need is adequate space, ventilation but not a draft. Draft is a direct wind which the birds cannot get away from which causes the frostbite. Ventilation carries away breath and is moving air which keeps the problems of dampness away.

    Direct air, and dampness are the enemy.

    I would rather have it -30 and dry, than 15 and damp.... At least for the birds....

    Shawn
     
  4. maurap

    maurap Out Of The Brooder

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    May 22, 2012
    How do I know if it's too damp? I touch the pine shavings and they feel dry; we also cover the coop with a tarp when it rains/snows just in case of any leaks. We had the coop built and I am assuming it's a well built house for the chickens. We have a door to the run that we close every night so the birds don't have a draft. I bought some straw to also put on top of pine shavings because I read somewhere that straw gives off some heat. It just feels strange to leave them outside in this freezing weather! any other thoughts on keeping the chickens warm? We are nervous that they are going to freeze!
     
  5. LilyLovesBugs

    LilyLovesBugs Chillin' With My Peeps

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    We use a heat lamp and the hens love it, they love staying underneath it when it is cold outside. We are getting 6-7 eggs from 8 hens right now instead of the 1-3 we got in the summer. I feel better knowing that my ladies are staying warm and even enjoying themselves with the heatlamp.
     
  6. donrae

    donrae Hopelessly Addicted

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    Chickens have been around a lot longer than electricity!

    Depending on what breeds you have they should be fine. Many of the American breeds--rocks, reds, delawares, etc were bred in harsh New England weather with no supplemental heat. That was part of what they were bred for, to withstand the conditions there. With no electricity.
     
  7. fancyfowl4ever

    fancyfowl4ever Chillin' With My Peeps

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    No heat lamps in my coops for anything, wether its the peafowl, chickens or waterfowl, they simply dont need it and if heated too much will actually be bad for them if you do let them out of the coop once in a while.
    A friend of mine made their hens a super duper insolated house, during the extreme cold spells(-30C aka -22F) she wouldnt let her hens out for days and heat the coop with 3 heatlamps to about +20C(70F I think), then when its -20C(-4F) she decided her hens were cooped up long enough and let them out(since it had warmed up), you could watch their combs and wattles freeze just by stepping outside cause they were so use to the semi-tropical temps. She lost over half of the hens because being outside for half an hour got them hypothermic...... at the end of the winter she was from 40 chickens down to 7 due to them getting severe temp shock when she would let them out once in a while.

    A dry draft free coop does just fine, even at -30C, only ones who have problems are big comb breeds, but even they do fine if its nice and dry, my leghorns might get frosty comb tips but not complete freeze off as I have noticed chickens get that are use to a warm coop.
    My Peafowl and Chickens spend all day outside in the -20 right now and no one even looks cold playing in the snow.
     
    Last edited: Dec 30, 2012
    1 person likes this.
  8. ThePaintedHen

    ThePaintedHen Out Of The Brooder

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    Maurap, I completely understand how you feel. I am in MA and are just getting our first bit of really cold weather too. This is my first year of chickens, so I also worry about my feathered friends. I have a rather small coop and my birds free-range during the day. I have an infrared ceramic heater in the coop but
     
  9. ThePaintedHen

    ThePaintedHen Out Of The Brooder

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    Dec 18, 2012
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    (ooops, hit the button too fast). Anyway, I feel like the heater only raises the temp maybe 5 degrees. The good news is that with small coops the chickens give off enough heat to warm the coop a bit. I know people say that the chickens are birds and can live in the cold, but I guess I could also live with my thermostat set low- it doesn't mean I would LIKE it. How are your girls with the recent snow? Mine will only walk around where I shovel and put down pine shavings or straw.
     
  10. Going Quackers

    Going Quackers Overrun With Chickens Premium Member

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    It's a reasonable concern but i haven't and mine are fine, there are only 4 lol we've been negative temps for awhile now(its' -5C tonight) I say watch your birds, if they act normal then they are likely ok, if they are acting otherwise then time to re-evaluate the set-up.
     
    Last edited: Dec 30, 2012

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