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Heat lamp for coop...regular light bulb or "black bulb"?

Discussion in 'Managing Your Flock' started by mrsbos, Sep 20, 2010.

  1. mrsbos

    mrsbos Chirping

    Aug 11, 2010
    Greenacres, WA
    So I've heard over and over again that most chickens are relatively cold hardy and don't neat supplemental heat in the coop. The mom in me would feel much better, however, if they at least had a 75 watt bulb in their coop that they could huddle next to in case they wanted the extra warmth (mainly at night in the winter). With that in mind, I have been providing my 6 wk olds who just started being outside full-time, a 75 watt standard lightbulb for heating. I was concerned that the constant light at night might be bothersome. Should I switch to the dark colored bulbs specifically made to provide heat without bright light, or would the extra light at night perhaps up the egg laying during the winter, once they're old enough to lay? -Michelle

  2. JLS

    JLS Love my feathered babies!

    May 29, 2009
    My Coop
    I would caution you with regard to adding heat. If the power fails you could loose your entire flock in one night!

    That being said, if you still choose to keep a 75 watt bulb in there make sure you dont keep a white light on 24/7. You would use a white bulb during the day and a black/red bulb at night.

    Here's the problem: I used (last year because I was a worried mommy) a white light 24/7 for supplimental heat and yes it did keep my girls laying like crazy but it came at a high price! My girls had 24/7 to get each other's nerves which lead to pecking which then lead to canabalizm!! It's NOT worth it!! I live in Maine and it get really cold. I was assured by my vet that chickens have been kept by people in cold, harsh climates for centuries with out added heat. He told me to shut the light off. As long as you have a draft free coop that's well ventalated they will be fine. But you have to let them get accustome to the weather now...winterized so to speak.

    Hope this helps [​IMG]
  3. Tracyfeltsmills

    Tracyfeltsmills In the Brooder

    Apr 17, 2010
    I'm with you i can't leave them in there in cold temps, I found a great alternative. I hollowed out a cast iron electric stove that i had and i put 2 nice size big candles in it and close the door , It's very safe and it keeps them fairly warm and i sleep better at nite. No added electic bills or cords. I knpw were gonna get laughed at but works for 14 of my girls. who does'nt like to sleep near a cozy fire.
  4. ND Sue

    ND Sue Songster

    Sep 20, 2009
    Tracy, can you give more details and add a pic of your stove? Candles give off heat? How big are the candles and how long do they last? Interesting!
  5. woodmort

    woodmort Songster

    Jul 6, 2010
    Oxford NY
    #1 Your chickens don't need supplemental heat. #2 candles, heaters, heat lamps, etc. can ignite the shavings, feathers, dust and dirt in the coop. #3 let your chickens be chickens--they're built for cold weather, allow them to get used to it and they will be fine. What next, knitting them little sweaters and booties? Come on people.[​IMG]
    1 person likes this.
  6. ND Sue

    ND Sue Songster

    Sep 20, 2009
    I just wanted to hear about the stove. Never heard of anything like that!
    I do use a flat panel heater in mine because it can get to 40 below F. here in Dec and Jan and all the people around here that have chickens seem to add heat of some kind or another. I think the flat panel is the safest I've heard of so far. We've had the power go off and things went alright until it came on again. I suppose because the coop is insulated, it retained the heat to a point.
    I think up here they do need supplemental heat. At least I do when I'm working in the coop! It's either the heat or the little sweaters and I can't knit. [​IMG]
  7. ams3651

    ams3651 Songster

    Jan 23, 2008
    NE PA
    I have used a red light since I got my first. Ive had no problems with it and it doesnt keep them up. It is a heat lamp bulb not just a red bulb. I have it securely fastened near the roost so it doesnt touch them and it wont fall into the shavings. I only turn it on when the temps go below 25*. I think they would be ok if I didnt have it but are a little better with it.

  8. BCBrian

    BCBrian In the Brooder

    Aug 29, 2010
    Quote:I've got to agree - 100%! If a sparrow can exist all winter without any heat or shelter - a chicken can do the same - with a shelter. It has (on rare occasions) dropped to -30 here, and without any heat - I have never lost a chicken to the cold. All I've ever lost is a few points on the combs of larger combed breeds, like leghorns.
    Last edited: Sep 20, 2010
  9. gritsar

    gritsar Cows, Chooks & Impys - OH MY!

    Nov 9, 2007
    SW Arkansas
    Quote:I wholeheartedly agree. Yes, we don't have the roughest of winters here in SW Arkansas, but it does get into the teens and rarely below that. Lots of precipitation, mainly in the form of ice and freezing rain. My chickens deal with it just fine.
    You are doing them more harm than good, REALLY. Let them get used to a warm comfy coop and have a power failure and you'll end up with sick birds, almost certainly.
    ETA: There are very few backyard chicken keepers where I live, because commercial chicken farms are prevelant. I do know of one other person that keeps backyard birds and they not only don't heat their coop, their birds don't even HAVE a coop. They are in a large totally enclosed pen, with a small windbreak and nestboxes. I'm not saying to raise chickens like that or anything, but if birds can survive that and do well, then....
    Last edited: Sep 20, 2010
  10. Organics North

    Organics North Songster

    Dec 30, 2009
    Wisconsin Northwoods
    These work good!
    Ceramic bulb, gives no light but heat and screws into a brooder lamp holder.

    I don't try and heat the coop but like to offer a little something.. I use just the 60W above the roosts. Only one per 7 foot of roost space.


    Sure chickens can survive the cold... But I want eggs too in winter..[​IMG]

    Yes it gets cold and stays cold in Northern Wisconsin.

    Last edited: Sep 20, 2010

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