Heat for the coop

Discussion in 'Coop & Run - Design, Construction, & Maintenance' started by bobchell, Dec 30, 2012.

  1. bobchell

    bobchell Out Of The Brooder

    Okay, I am very new to this, we are getting our first 3 chickens next week in the middle of the winter so I am kind of overwhelmed and worried. I've been reading as much as I can and my husband and I are still a little confused. He thinks we don't need any kind of "heat source" other than the chickens and the chopped straw because our coop is an A-Frame which is only 4' x 4' but I am worried about them getting too cold. We live in southwest Idaho near Boise, Mountain Home, and the winds get fierce here not to mention it is suppose to be only 8 degrees here tonight! We went to a local feed store in Boise, Zamzows, and they set us up with 2 lamps, one is a 250 watt clear heat lamp bulb and the other is a 250 watt red heat lamp bulb. First, the reflector lights they gave us to put the bulbs in are HUGE and we aren't sure if we even have room for them in the coop. My hubby thinks we don't need the clear bulb and after reading so do I, so I think we are going to return it but is the "Red Heat Lamp Bulb" the correct bulb for keeping them warm when it gets really cold? A few people mentioned the Thermo Cube Outlet which we are going to purchase asap but is there a smaller lamp? A friend mentioned she only uses a regular 60 watt bulb but I read that isn't good because it will keep them awake *sigh* not sure what to do here. Guess my main question is if the Red Heat Lamp bulb (250 watts) is too much for our small coop and is it the infrared that everyone mentions they use? Any other suggestions or help would be GREATLY appreciated. I have started a "note book" on my computer called Chicken Notes just to start keeping all this info straight, lol!
     
  2. americana-lover

    americana-lover Chillin' With My Peeps

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    Well if you're getting your chickens as chicks, than you cant let them go outside in the cold yet, they dont have the right feathers to keep them warm throughout the day and night. But if you're getting them as adults, than they do have enough feathers to keep them warm, but it's alwasy good to have an extra heat source in case they're not very good in the cold. I also have a 4x4 coop, and I have a 250w heat bulb I turn on every night ( not the entire night, but only for a few hours ). If you are going to get a heat bulb, get the infer red, the clear or yellow kind creates more light than heat, and it will make your hens think it's day time and they will lay more eggs. This is what the big egg companies do, imitate the sun so the hens will lay all the time. Anyways, if your coop is insulated with a bunch of straw/fluff, you may not really need the light. Chickens create about 10 deg of heat on their own, and if their roost is higher up in the coop, heat rises, and they will be smash together, so they will probably be warm enough. Hope I helped!
     
  3. Hokum Coco

    Hokum Coco Overrun With Chickens

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    Good advise above!

    Canada no heat, no light no insulation, with poop board less than 3 inches from roost to catch eggs, feed laying pellet & extra corn, 6 adult Golden Comet Hens going on 4 years old, 3 eggs a day.The colder it gets the more they bunch together! It was -14 Celsius they were not all even on the same roost.

    No PROBLEMS


    [​IMG]
     
    Last edited: Jan 1, 2013
  4. bobchell

    bobchell Out Of The Brooder

    We are fortunately getting adult birds. We did buy a 250 watt infrared bulb and a clear one for the daylight if we need it. I also just purchased today a wireless thermometer at Walmart for $10.00 so we can kind of keep track of what the temp is in the coop from the house and plug the heat lamp in if needed. My hubby thinks the birds are in a coop now without a heat source, he will find out more tomorrow when he speaks to his co-worker. It's only 23 degrees here now and suppose to be down to at least 8 degrees tonight. I just want to make sure they are comfortable, it is going to be a hard enough transition for them [​IMG] Thank you for the advice, Americana-Lover, it helped [​IMG]
     
  5. americana-lover

    americana-lover Chillin' With My Peeps

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    You're welcome! Have a happy new year!
     
  6. bobchell

    bobchell Out Of The Brooder

    Here's a few pictures of the coop. The weather has been against us so we are thinking of not getting the chickens until this weekend so we can have time to finish the coop and run. Just wanted to share :)
    [​IMG][​IMG][​IMG][​IMG]





    [​IMG]
     
  7. featherz

    featherz Veggie Chick

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    I'm in upstate NY and have both pullets and adult birds outside with no heat. Been as low as -25 here (not this year, this year I think we hit +10 so far) and haven't lost a bird yet. if your birds are adults and have been outside with no heat, they'll be fine. Heat lamps tend to go boom and cause fires so if you DO hang one watch it like a hawk and double chain it. Your birds will be fine without it - think of all the outside birds flying around outside with no coop at all! :)
     
  8. jester8484

    jester8484 Out Of The Brooder

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    My Coop
    please buy a "thermocube" if you insist on using electric heat. it will keep the keep warm as long as the temp is between 35-40*F.

    tractor supply type stores usually sell them or you could go on amazon if you prefer the net.

    I use a thermocube for a small homemade water warmer made from terracotta, it's not to warm the coop.

    also that heat lamp looks a little close to the roost, assuming taht board down the middle is the roast bar.
     
    1 person likes this.
  9. featherz

    featherz Veggie Chick

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    Also looks like heat lamp is held up by only the clamp. That's an almost guarantee of a fire - if you MUST use a heat lamp, chain it up - that clamp won't hold it. One bump from a chicken (and yes, very close to the roost) and it falls and up goes your coop.
     
    2 people like this.
  10. happybooker1

    happybooker1 Chillin' With My Peeps

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    I would be sure the chickens were acclimated to the cold. Try to mimic as close as possible what they're used to. IOW, don't put them straight outside in an unheated coop if they're used to a heat lamp, etc.

    I didn't have any success with the red bulbs. They kept burning out, only lasting 2-5 days each. I used a regular 100w light bulb but yes it does keep them up all the time. For a few days though, to get them used to being colder, it should be fine. Even if they're adult birds, I wouldn't plop them straight from a heated or even partially heated coop into an unheated one where the temps are liable to be so low. JMO of course.
     

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