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Heat...am I just a softie?

Discussion in 'Coop & Run - Design, Construction, & Maintenance' started by hensandchickscolorado, Oct 9, 2011.

  1. hensandchickscolorado

    hensandchickscolorado Chillin' With My Peeps

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    Okay, I've heard mixed thoughts on having a heat lamp in my coop for nights when the temp gets below freezing.

    Today was our first day of cold and the girls stayed inside half of the day. I felt kind of bad for them and am thinking they are allowed to have a little heat! I don't know if I can sit in my warm house all winter thinking about them out in the cold (although yes, I know they are barn animals!!).

    I'm ok with spoiling my birds and footing the electric bill, but I don't want to screw them up in any other way. Will they be strung out all day from the blaring red heat lamp at night!?? Will they turn into complete babies and never leave the coop on cold days? Will the inconsistency of it being on/off based on temps (which vary tremendously here) stress them out?

    I'd love any and all opinions. I only have 3 chickens. Coop is 4' x 6' with an always-open pop door, 2 (closed) windows and a variety of vents here & there. I turn a regular 60 watt bulb on for them at 3 am each morning.

    Thanks!! I'm slowly but surely earning my self-bestowed PhD in Chickens due to the countless hours of learning I do on this forum!!!
     
  2. BrattishTaz

    BrattishTaz Roo Magnet

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    I had considered putting a heating lamp in my coop too. I doesn't get nearly as cold here as it does up north but you will never convince my sun loving birds of that. [​IMG]

    What stopped me from doing it was the number of "My coop burned down!" posts I saw on here last year. It seemed like there was a new one every couple of days. I am working on a plan "B" now.
     
  3. justbugged

    justbugged Head of the Night Crew for WA State

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    I live in the rather soggy and rarely very extremely cold Western Washington, and I have had a heat lamp on for my girls during the one or two Arctic blasts of cold that can happen around here. I know that with all the birds in the coop that has an insulated ceiling, that I really don't need to add any heat, but I am a big softy. It doesn't help that I feel cold most of the time either.

    I do know that there are many that live in Alaska that do not ever heat their coops. They say that their birds are happy and are thriving all winter.
     
  4. Beekissed

    Beekissed True BYC Addict

    The fluctuation between their heated coop and the cold air outside isn't good for them. I know you feel like just because you have heat in your home that they need it in theirs but you aren't wearing a body suit comprised of down and feathers either....if you were, you would not sit comfortably by your stove. Actually, pets who live primarily in heated houses don't develop the winter coat/feathering they need to withstand extreme outside temps, so I'd let them just develop their good winter feathering as nature intended.

    The best insulation/heating solution for cold winter temps is good ventilation coupled with deep litter. The heat just isn't necessary....there are many people in Alaska who never heat their coops and their birds thrive.
     
  5. Yay Chicks!

    Yay Chicks! Chillin' With My Peeps

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    Most chickens can manage the cold better than they manage the heat as long as there is good ventilation to help the moisture escape. There was a great thread last season called "Think it's too cold for your chickens?" Look it up. It really put everything into perspective for me.

    Also, there have been some horror stories with regard to lamps catching shavings on fire...
     
  6. SteveBaz

    SteveBaz Chillin' With My Peeps

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    retracted
     
    Last edited: Oct 9, 2011
  7. wyododge

    wyododge Chillin' With My Peeps

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    Nope your chickens don't need heat. As a matter of fact, the added heat may restrict the development of their feathers, making them colder, and more prone to sickness. As long as you have chosen birds who handle cold well (generally speaking, large breeds), they will be fine. Now if you have some strange amazonian freak chicken, they will freeze to death. If you bring chickens up from FL in October, you might have an issue, but they adapt very quickly.

    I have stated before that when I start to feel concern about the cold, and it is COLD here -30f to -40f, I think about pheasants and other wild birds living outside, with no abundance of food, ice or snow for water, sleeping in trees, etc and they are very healthy vibrant birds. Running around when it is -30 and windy as all get out. Why/How is that? Essentially they are the same as chickens. There are pheasant in Louisiana, and California, South Dakota, Wyoming, Canada, etc, etc. All the same breed, but they live in very different climates. God has given them the ability to produce feathers based on the conditions they are in. Where it is cold, more down, where it is hot, less. So in essence all you can do is mess up what God has already provided them by altering their surroundings by adding heat.

    Make sense??
     
  8. SteveBaz

    SteveBaz Chillin' With My Peeps

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    Quote:I am new to chickens and here is a guy from Wyoming talking!! I just posted and hearing it said this way makes sense to me. I retract my post above.
     
  9. wyododge

    wyododge Chillin' With My Peeps

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    Quote:Nope sorry buddy, that simply is not true. It actually is worse for them. This of course is assuming the owner is providing abundant food, fresh water and a good home for them to sleep.

    We were -38 last year for over two weeks. You can bet that at that temperature, for that duration I will be watching them very carefully, but as long as they show no signs of degradation, no heat will be provided, as tempting as it may be. I think at most I would hang blankets on the walls or divide the coop with them to make their roosting area smaller.
     
  10. wyododge

    wyododge Chillin' With My Peeps

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    Quote:I am new to chickens and here is a guy from Wyoming talking!! I just posted and hearing it said this way makes sense to me. I retract my post above.

    CRAP!!!! CROSS POST!!! Sorry!!!
     

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