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Heat lamp for the chickens?

Discussion in 'Managing Your Flock' started by LeRa37, Nov 12, 2013.

  1. LeRa37

    LeRa37 Out Of The Brooder

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    I live in northern Wisconsin…right on Lake Superior. We get very cold weather here, and last night it was down to 6 degrees. I decided to leave a red heat lamp on all night for the hens, as they seemed to be cold. The coop is built well and has 6 inches of pine shavings on the floor. The chickens can come out into a run during the day that we put hockey glass around to cut down on the wind….that's right up here it's plexi glass ….the hens seem to do well with this. I am wondering if it is overkill to have the heat lamp? Is there a magic temp to shoot for, or is it personal choice? Some of the hens are only 5 months old, and the rest are about 8 months old. I just don't want them to get chilled. I don't see any evidence of bullying:) Any tips for this super cold climate? I have noticed that some of the hens don't want to lay in the nesting boxes anymore, and have been laying in the coop on the floor….:( stinkers!!
     
  2. Chicks Galore3

    Chicks Galore3 Artistic Bird Nut Premium Member

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    It felt like -9 degrees Fahrenheit last night here. No heat lamps, no cold chickens! I am trying hard to not use the heat lamp - I did last year and my chickens hardly went outside because it was a shock to go from warm coop to cold outside. Plus, what happens if the electricity goes out? The chickens will be used to warmth and no acclimated to the cold. And, there is the all to real chance of coop fires if the lamp drops. I think there is a point in time that you should. Say if the chickens are shivering and not moving, not having a heat lamp is just as dangerous as having one. So, long story short, watch the chickens and use your good judgement.
     
  3. LeRa37

    LeRa37 Out Of The Brooder

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    thanks for the tips. I will go out and see what they are up to tonight:) We have our heat lamp firmly secured to the ceiling, but anything can happen.
     
  4. Kernel Cluck

    Kernel Cluck Chillin' With My Peeps

    Nice to have a fellow Cheesehead on the site. You should find the Wisconsin chat thread... I have a heat lamp but it only gets plugged in when the temperature is well below zero... and its a lower wattage ceramic lamp. 150 watts instead of 250.. The key to keeping chickens comfortable in the winter is ventilation. Its not the temp, its the humidity that builds up in a coop with no ventilation. You want vents either on the coop roof or near the top to help keep the coop dry. Cold & dry = OK. Cold and damp = frostbite and respiratory illnesses. FYI my mom grew up in Rice lake. I love the Indian head area of wisconsin.
     
  5. Bear Foot Farm

    Bear Foot Farm Overrun With Chickens

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    Last edited: Nov 19, 2013
  6. Mrs. K

    Mrs. K Overrun With Chickens

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    I don't heat the water, and mine do fine.

    Cold weather needs more feed, full crops, and the birds will produce enough heat to keep themselves warm if they have a reasonable shelter..... your blocking off the wind, is the most effective thing in my opinion.

    Mrs K
     
  7. Chicks Galore3

    Chicks Galore3 Artistic Bird Nut Premium Member

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    Yes- proper ventilation! I am learning as I go greatly so. Some frost bite last year because of: heat lamp + water and droppings evaporating because of the heat + poor ventilation = humidty = frostbite. An equation every chicken person should know.
     
  8. LeRa37

    LeRa37 Out Of The Brooder

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    Thanks for the great tips. I am new at this, so was thinking they needed it warm in there. Coop has good ventilation and is dry......I will hold off on using the lamp for now. Where can I find the wisconsin forum?
     
  9. Kernel Cluck

    Kernel Cluck Chillin' With My Peeps

    Find the search bar at the top of the home page and type in Wisconsin Cheeseheads.
     
  10. I live in CA where it NEVER snows, gets no colder than 42 degrees during the winter, rarely gets down to 40. Sometimes I still go and find shivering chickens. I just put up a lamp so if they want it they can have it. I don't know if it's necessary but they seem to appreciate it. 6 degrees seems tome like heat lamp weather.
     
    Last edited: Nov 13, 2013

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