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Heat Lamp is keeping the chickens outside

Discussion in 'Managing Your Flock' started by 4 Sweet Chicks, Nov 22, 2013.

  1. 4 Sweet Chicks

    4 Sweet Chicks In the Brooder

    Jun 30, 2012
    Hello everyone,

    We are having a little trouble getting the flock to go to bed at night. We put a heat lamp inside the coop with a thermacube to come on when it hits 35 degrees. The red light seems to be telling the chickens to stay out in the run where it is dark. All 7 chickens have been perched out in the run for the last couple of weeks and we have to go and shoo them inside in order to lock them up at night. Any advice?

  2. fullpawtential

    fullpawtential In the Brooder

    Oct 31, 2013
    It's been chilly here in Colorado and mine won't go OUT of the coop!
  3. aart

    aart Chicken Juggler! Premium Member

    Nov 27, 2012
    SW Michigan
    My Coop
    It's too hot in there, chickens don't need heat, turn the heater off ;-)
  4. rainlips

    rainlips In the Brooder

    Oct 29, 2013
    Northern michigan
    Lol same with mine!
  5. 3chickchicks

    3chickchicks Songster

    Jun 25, 2013
    N. Texas
    If they're like mine, they'd be more concerned about the light contraption than the light because it looks different. Plus it doesn't sound like they've learned their coop is their little safehouse. Make sure they have comfortable roosts and that they're higher than any other potential roosts. Mine use the wide side of a 2x4. I used 1-1/2" wooden curtain rods initially but they seem to really like the 2x4. They can sit down and surround their feet with feathers.

    I got my birds in the summer where it gets over 100 for weeks so I couldn't use the traditional method of locking them inside the coop for a solid week due to the heat. And putting a light in the coop didn't "attract" them to the coop at night.
    So, every evening at sunset, I'd calmly shoo them into the coop and lock them up. While in the coop, I didn't mess with them. Just locked it up and left. Then I got up early (about sun-up) to let them out. A few days later, they had figured out that I wanted them to be in the coop and it took less time to round them up. After a week and a half, one of them started to "call" the others in. Soon after that, when I'd go out to put them up, they'd already be in the coop.
    The coop is to be their safe place, so I waited a long time before messing with them while they were in their coop. They didn't get to free range until they were putting themselves up at night on a regular basis.

    Regarding your heat lamp, where I am, it's 36 out with a 20 mph wind. I set up some plywood for a wind block and of course they have the coop to go into if they want. They're in the run behind the wind block pecking around for the scratch I tossed them. They've fluffed up a little but they're handling things just fine. I've seen them down in the run at 26 degrees like it was a normal day (mine are cold hardy breeds).
    We're having a cold snap so I've got an aquarium heater in their water, otherwise just some scratch and some warm oatmeal are the only additional things I've done to help them keep warm. And honestly that's probably more for my piece of mind than for them, lol! They are birds that are spoiled rotten and I like to keep them somewhat comfortable, but not at the risk of fire. They can handle some fairly cold temps and they might prefer the cold over a heated coop.
    At least set thermacube to a lower temp so it comes on once it reaches the freeze point. But if it were me, I'd take it out completely unless you get a bad cold snap.
    Last edited: Nov 23, 2013
  6. donrae

    donrae Hopelessly Addicted Premium Member

    Jun 18, 2010
    Southern Oregon
    Take the lamp out. They don't need heat at 35 degrees, they're actually fine in the negative digits. I understand you're trying to help them, but they're animals and do just fine with the cold, and the lamp is clearly messing them up.
  7. JackE

    JackE Crowing

    Apr 26, 2010
    North Eastern Md.
    X2, get that heatlamp out of there. If that's your coop in your avatar, the heatlamp is probably turning it into an oven.

  8. Going Quackers

    Going Quackers Crowing

    May 24, 2011
    On, Canada
    I agree it is currently 18F here 0F windchill, no bird here has a heat lamp now me? I'd like one tho [​IMG]
  9. bobbi-j

    bobbi-j Free Ranging Premium Member

    Mar 15, 2010
    On the MN prairie.
    Yes. Please do your chickens a favor and heed the advice given.
  10. 4 Sweet Chicks

    4 Sweet Chicks In the Brooder

    Jun 30, 2012
    Thanks everyone for the advice. The heat lamp is now off. Our coop is much bigger than the original one in the picture. The reason why we put it in there was to help them through their molt and stimulate egg production. Just last weekend, they all started laying and I am sure the heat lamp/light was a factor but we should be on the right track now, Thanks!

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