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

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

  1. SCchickens2011

    SCchickens2011 Chillin' With My Peeps

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    i just bought a heat tape for pipes to wrap around the waterer to keep it from freezing i hope that works. my only issue is that i will have to modify in the spring the coop does not have any southward facing solar access, i am thinking of putting a plexiglass front on the top half of the man door, and maybe cut in some small windows on either side in the walls for more plexiglass covered windows. I have plenty of ventilation i think with six small 13"x13" windows cut up high in the walls that have sliding doors to close during the realy cold days. There are two that stay open by about 4 - 5" all the time. How would i keep my eggs from freezing overnight? because my girls lay at night also.
     
  2. SCchickens2011

    SCchickens2011 Chillin' With My Peeps

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    well that failed miserably! the pipe heat tape didn't work on the waterer, I am returning it today and breaking down to buy a heated puoltry waterer from my local feed store. I really didn;t want to spend $60 on a 5 gallon waterer but if it works, I'll take it! One of my white leghorns got the shat beat out of her overnight, any ideas why this would be happening? I did have two daylight lights on in there most of the time, but I tunred on off this morning. I am thinking based on other posts I have read they may be getting over stimulated by it and turning on the weaker one(s) she isn't the first one to get beat up, I had one other one get beat up about a week back. I only got two eggs this morning but as soon as I grabbed them they both cracked from the freezing cold. Guess it's a good thing I got 6 dozen in the fridge huh? Still worried about the -9 degree temps the past few nights/mornings, what happens with frostbit combs? Do they (the birds) fare well on their own or is there something that I should be doing? They seem to only be pencil tip size spots, no major frostbite from what I see. There is no moisture in the coop, no frost on the inside walls, but the shavings seem frozen, can't explain that one. Any thoughts on anything I have mentioned?
     
  3. ocap

    ocap Overrun With Chickens

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    i had peafowl and chickens in unheated areas when i lived in north Kansas City. The pea hen that was forced off the roost (because i did not have enough linear feet of wooden roost built) lost toes due to frost bite, make sure you have wood for them to roost on if your areas are unheated (or a similar material that conducts cold slowly). my roosters, partridge rock, lost the tips of the comb with frost bite. the temperature got down to minus 5 degrees during that winter.i think that heat is not required but you must have enough roost space!
     
  4. SCchickens2011

    SCchickens2011 Chillin' With My Peeps

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    I do have a roosting area, they were all on it this morning huddling together, with room for more, but the beat up one was on the roost bar in front of the nesting boxes by herself, poor thing :-( so I am not worried that they don't have enough space to keep warm, plus they sit in the nest boxes alot too, just wondering what makes them attack each other even after not having issues for such a long time. The leghorns are relatively new additions, about 5 weeks now but they all got their order back in line and everything was going great. I will have to figure out the frozen shavings issue though, I will be changing them again I think but it's only been about 2 weeks since changing the last time
     
  5. SCchickens2011

    SCchickens2011 Chillin' With My Peeps

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    I bought a 3.3 gallon heated waterer for $42.00 last night and no frozen water today at least! YIPEE! It's just a b_ _ _ ch to fill and carry out there, I got soaked! It says it keeps water from freezing down to 0 degrees, and my coop was 5.7 degrees this morning, so hopefully at it's coldest so far which was 0 degrees just yesterday it will still work. Also I turned one lamp off yesterday and they seemed calmer, no one got beat up at least, and the one that did is doing just fine, her feathers aren't covered in dried blood anymore, still a little shade of pink but much cleaner. Today i am going to get another bale of shavings and put the whole thing in there, after i pull up the seemingly frozen stuff. I am also going to break down and put a heat lamp bulb in the lamp over the nest boxes, just to keep eggs from freezing.
     
  6. blackcats

    blackcats Chillin' With My Peeps

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    Hi Maurap! I too live in CT and have 3 red hens in a small coop. This is my 2nd year with them.

    I didn't use any heat lamps/heaters last year. They survived fine. There were some very cold nights, but I just make sure there are extra shavings on the floor and no drafts. I went to my local Joanns and bought some heavy gauge clear vinyl and some grommets. I fashioned a system on vinyl panels to cover the top and sides of the run that is attached to the coop. This keeps the wind out, the extra warmth in and acts sort of like a greenhouse. I can take the panels off depending on the weather.

    I do feed them warm oatmeal in the morning as a treat when it's below 15° (just my standard) and give them a little scratch before nightfall. They have a heated water base in the run. They seem no worse for the wear and they show no sign of distress. I think your chickens will be fine as long as there is coop ventilation and it's draft free!
     
  7. SCchickens2011

    SCchickens2011 Chillin' With My Peeps

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    well that waterer sucked! I took it back Saturday, it is the worst design I have seen, there is this fill hole with a plunger type plug in it on the underside of the tray... it leaked! So I ended up also having to buy two more bales of shavings so I could pull out all the old shavings which were completely frozen! I had 10'x8'x2' deep of shavings and only the top 3" - 6" were loose, all the rest was frozen to the floor! That was fun prying up all that frozen pine! I ended up with a heated dog bowl that holds 1.5 gallons, so far they have not tipped it over, it is pretty sturdy like most dog bowls that have the wider base so it won't spill, it seems to be holding up well, I just take water out when I check on them and refill what is necessary. I am getting alot of feed waste, this is not good, they fling it out onto the floor, I think I pulled up about half a bag worth when I cleaned the coop out to replace the shavings, that equates to about 25 lbs of food, maybe less I could be exxagerating a bit, but it was alot! I am thinking I will switch to pellets, does anyone know how long it usually takes them to figure out the pellets are food, they have been on crumble since chicks.
     
  8. cluckaway

    cluckaway Out Of The Brooder

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    I now have only 2 buff orpington hens which are finally laying. Without the roosters they are friendly and seem very happy in the coop at night. It is going to freeze here this weekend in Oklahoma and I bought a 250 watt heat lamp bulb but think that will grill them. I tried a white 100 watt bulb but they stayed up all night. I tried a red bulb but it is only 25 watt. I found yellow bug bulb 90 watt and will install that in the metal cone shaped lamp which is above their heads upstairs where their laying boxes are located. They seem to perch to sleep at night not in their boxes.
    Do you think one 90 watt yellow bulb will be enough when it is 32 degrees or below? Suggestions welcome!
     
  9. bobbi-j

    bobbi-j True BYC Addict

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    On the MN prairie.
    I think any bulb will be too much. Your chickens will be fine without supplemental heat if they have shelter from the elements. I live in MN and do not heat or insulate my coops. The closest thing they have to heat is their heated water bowl. Read this: https://www.backyardchickens.com/t/421122/think-its-too-cold-for-your-chickens-think-again/1460 Hopefully it will alleviate your fears. Chickens really, really do much better without supplemental heat.
     
  10. donrae

    donrae Hopelessly Addicted Premium Member

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    I agree with bobbi-j. You don't need any heat or light there. Dry and out of the wind are key. Birds easily handle sub-freezing temps, they come with their very own down coat!
     

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