Do my Buff Orphingtons need a heat lamp for the winter (Michigan)

Discussion in 'Managing Your Flock' started by meltrav, Oct 2, 2011.

  1. meltrav

    meltrav New Egg

    7
    0
    7
    Aug 14, 2011
    Hello all,
    This is my first winter with my Buff Orphingtons and my husband and I are trying to decide if they need a heat lamp. They are listed as "very cold hardy", but what do the rest of you do?
    Thanks in advance!
     
  2. Americana

    Americana Chillin' With My Peeps

    286
    4
    123
    Mar 19, 2010
    Dunnellon, Florida
    How old are they? If they are adults they will not need a heat lamp
     
    Last edited: Oct 2, 2011
  3. meltrav

    meltrav New Egg

    7
    0
    7
    Aug 14, 2011
    We got them this Spring. They are laying and are about 7 months old.
     
  4. LiLRedCV

    LiLRedCV Chillin' With My Peeps

    589
    8
    118
    Aug 25, 2010
    Land of the Rain
    IMHO, I would say no. If you keep them on heat all winter, what happens if and/or when you have a power outage during inclement weather? They won't be prepared for it and you could end up with a sick flock and/or a dead one. Plus, more people lose their flocks to electrical fires from this than anything else. [​IMG]

    They're more than likely already getting their winter feathers in - which will help keep them naturally insulated. If you have a 2x4 roost (wide side) then they can sit on that to keep their tootsie's warm. If their coop stays dry and isn't drafty, then they should be fine.

    Start feeding them higher in protein feed and fatty foods (like Black Oil Sunflower Seeds - aka BOSS) to help keep their weight up in order to generate their own body heat. That'll help considerably. When the water starts getting ice on it? Take out some warm water each day so they can drink to keep them hydrated.
     
  5. speckledhen

    speckledhen Intentional Solitude Premium Member

    No. Orps are very well insulated. The only issue is if you have a rooster with an extra large comb for an Orp (most have medium size combs) and he is at risk for frostbite. Be sure there is ventilation up high to exhaust moisture from the coop and that shouldn't happen.
     
  6. galanie

    galanie Treat Dispenser No More

    7,950
    274
    331
    Aug 20, 2010
    Colmesneil,TX
    It might be helpful to let us know where you are. If you are on the north pole, you might get different answer than if you are on the equator.
     
  7. speckledhen

    speckledhen Intentional Solitude Premium Member

    The title says Michigan. [​IMG]
     
  8. ChickensAreSweet

    ChickensAreSweet Heavenly Grains for Hens

    You will need something to keep your water from freezing...heated dog dish or the like.

    [​IMG]

    from Washington State!!!

    If there's one breed I don't worry about too much staying warm, it's Orpingtons. However, mine are pets and get a 100 watt bulb to go under if they are cold. It really doesn't heat the coop very much at all.

    If you do decide on heat, make sure you hang it two ways NOT counting the clamp with wire or something that will not fall when a flying chicken bangs into it. Also, the heat lamp bulbs are very dangerous and one exploded outside during a rain under a tarp for me.
     
    Last edited: Oct 2, 2011
  9. galanie

    galanie Treat Dispenser No More

    7,950
    274
    331
    Aug 20, 2010
    Colmesneil,TX
    Quote:My bad!
     
  10. BasicallyHeather

    BasicallyHeather Chillin' With My Peeps

    244
    3
    93
    Aug 4, 2011
    Lowellville, Ohio
    Taking a kettle of hot water out in the morning also helps to defrost chickens' frozen water quickly, if you don't have electric running to your coop [​IMG]
     

BackYard Chickens is proudly sponsored by