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has anybody ever tried this?

Discussion in 'Coop & Run - Design, Construction, & Maintenance' started by mamadukes5, Oct 16, 2011.

  1. mamadukes5

    mamadukes5 Chirping

    Jul 14, 2011
    Easthampton, Mass
    Dh is building me a new, bigger chicken house. I'm wanting him to put light in it because I'm in Massachusetts and the days are getting really short here. He wants to put some heat source in there for when it gets below freezing for weeks at a time. His idea at this point is to run a string of Christmas tree lights around the inside of the coop, at the top. Not colored lights, just plain white bulbs. He bought a 25 foot string of lights, changed all the colored bulbs to clear ones and is convinced that this will work. I'm thinking the chickens might try to peck at the light bulbs. It's a new string of lights, so they throw a little bit of heat, but not much. In a closed coop it will add heat, but I plugged them in and held the bulbs in my hands to test the temp, and they don't get hot enough to deter anything from touching them. Good idea? Bad idea? I don't care who is right at this point, I just want to make sure I'm not going to kill or injure any chickens. Any help very much appreciated.

  2. Egghead_Jr

    Egghead_Jr Crowing

    Oct 16, 2010
    NEK, VT
    For extending daylight hours you would be better using either small fluorescent or 15w energy efficient bulb (cool white) on timers. We used the 15w last year with a multi-timer to turn on 6am-off 9am, on 3pm-off 6pm. Extending daylight to 12 hours using sun spectrum light and the girls didn't slow down laying one bit.

    As for heating, we only use a heated waterer in run, live in Northern New Hampshire with -20F lows. Proper ventilation is more important to stop comb freezing. No heat, no problems. Used a tarp around sides of run (leaving one open) for wind shelter.
  3. sassifrassi

    sassifrassi In the Brooder

    Sep 22, 2010

    I personally haven't tried it but I have seen it done before in some old timers coop. He used the old style red christmas lights. Hasn't had a problem. I will be using a "Sweeter Heater" on the coop ceiling ( I have a very small coop 3x3x3 attached to a larger run for 4 chickens which get the use of my entire yard - before anyone says my chicks don't have enough room [​IMG] ) attached to a "Thermocube" thermostatically controlled oulet adapter. So it will only turn on when it get below 45 degrees F. Got it all on e-bay.
    I do have patio lights on the outside of my coop on a timer but thats just for me so I can find it in the dark.

    Good luck,

    Last edited: Oct 16, 2011


    Oct 16, 2011
    I have seen on another site, where a guy put christmas lights in a pvc pipe, and used as a roost. He claimed it worked well. I would rough up the pvc so the chickens have something to grab on to.
  5. rebelcowboysnb

    rebelcowboysnb Confederate Money Farm

    That whole string puts of the same heat as a 125 watt bulb. Not really enough heat to heat the coop but should be plenty of light.

    Now if you take that string of lights an stick them inside a pipe on a thermostat an make that pipe your roost you can heat the birds from the belly up an not heat the whole coop.
  6. mamadukes5

    mamadukes5 Chirping

    Jul 14, 2011
    Easthampton, Mass
    it never would have occurred to me to put them inside a pipe, but that will kill my worry about the chickens trying to get at the light bulbs. the hubby is getting a bit irritated with all of my updates, this is the third house he's built this summer and it's three times the size of the first one with all kinds of added stuff that I consider necessary(thanks to reading here) but should hold all the birds and keep them happy. I keep telling him I won't ask for anything else, but then there's always something I read on here and start thinking. I love this site, he's threatening to unplug my computer. Soon as he gets inside from building the nest boxes, I'll show him the pictures. Thanks for the idea and let me know if you all have anymore.
  7. rebelcowboysnb

    rebelcowboysnb Confederate Money Farm

    If/when I build another, iron pipe would probably be safer but the pvc has been working good for me set at 100 degrees for almost a year now.
    Last edited: Oct 16, 2011

  8. imamtgrandma2

    imamtgrandma2 In the Brooder

    Apr 20, 2010
    5000' above Fresno, CA
    I agree with Egghead, Jr. Heat isn't as important as ventilation to avoid moisture build up. While our temps don't get down below the teens...I only use a heater under the water in the coop. I do have a rope light around the inside to extend the daylight hours but it doesn't add much heat. When I had the smaller coop, where the Girls could have reached the rope light to peck on it; I enclosed it in a "tube" of 1/4" hard cloth. They never bothered it.
    Our new coop is 6'X8'X8' so they can't reach the rope light at all now.
    The problem with adding heat is if you have power failures and your chickens have gotten used to the provided heat. With a power failure...the sudden loss of heat could be quite harmful. The chickens will keep their feet warm by roosting on them...your concern would be the combs and waddles. Vaseline is your friend for those.
  9. the-bird-man

    the-bird-man Songster

    Oct 24, 2010
    land of the sun
    i use clear rope lights in my coop and i love it. it is nice and bright and it does not use much power. i am not going to heat my coop because the power can fail, lights break and then their is the risk of fire. i do use a heated water base tho. i had to heat my coop when i got my girls in feb because the guy i got them from heated his coops but i will never do it again.
  10. stone_family3

    stone_family3 Songster

    Apr 11, 2011
    That's a great idea, though I'd have to run an extension cord out to the coop.

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