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Heat lamp or no heat lamp????

Discussion in 'Managing Your Flock' started by 5j's, Oct 24, 2010.

  1. 5j's

    5j's In the Brooder

    Oct 23, 2010
    Wilbraham, Ma
    Okay, I'm a new egg in the state of Massachusetts. I have 4 2 yr old hens. a RR, PLY Rock, SLW, and a black australope( spelling off) We have a 2ft x 4ft coop off the ground. No insulation. I'm getting conflicting info. coop is wired for heat lamp but is only 1 ft above roost bar. I have heated water bowl. So, do I use a heat lamp or not ?

  2. chicmom

    chicmom Dances with Chickens

    Feb 24, 2009
    Strasburg Ohio
    I think, that as long as you can keep your hens out of a draft, they will be OK. Opinions really vary on this subject. Alot of people do not use heat lamps during the winter. One thing comes to mind is that you've got some heavier breeds there, so the will probably be fine. Your coop is rather small, and chickens generate alot of body heat. Just a few things to think about if you don't use a heat lamp. You can put a coating of vasceline on their combs to keep them from getting frostbite, and the other thing is, if their roost is a 2x4 board, broad side up, then when they roost, they can sit on their feet, which helps them avoid frostbite in their toes.

    As long as your chickens are sheltered from the wind, I think, in that size of a coop, they will be OK. I'd be a little bit worried about putting a heat lamp in your coop, because as you said, it's not far from the roosts.

    You didn't mention whether they have a chicken run. One thing I do to my run every year, (my run is covered), is I put tarps up on the sides, and plastic up at the door, to ward off the extreme winds, and then they can still go out and stretch their wings a bit each day.

    Good luck to you!
  3. Sir Birdaholic

    Sir Birdaholic Night Knight

    I spoil my chickens. I would replace the heat bulb with a 60 watt bulb so they'll sleep in compfort.
  4. numamahen

    numamahen In the Brooder

    Mar 13, 2009
    We are starting our 3rd year with chickens here in Minnesota. Last winter we had 14 Golden Lced Wyandottes in a 6x8 coop with a 12x15 run area. Coop isn't insulated & we didn't use a heat lamp last winter. I used a tarp over the run area as I learn much what CHICMOM stated - biggest thing is keep them out of direct wind. We didn't have any frostbite either (had 4 bantees my first winter wtih chickens & their combs and waddles got frost bite.... didn't know abou the vaseline process!). One thing to think about is your eggs - if they don't sit on them, they do freeze, so collecting eggs was the challenge for use when we were got to work all day.
  5. TrystInn

    TrystInn Songster

    Sep 16, 2009
    Southern Arizona
    Depends. How cold does it get in your coop at night?
  6. 5j's

    5j's In the Brooder

    Oct 23, 2010
    Wilbraham, Ma
    I really appreciate your response. My roost was not a 2x4, but after reading on byc i changed it to a 2x4. I do have a run. I put the coop about 3 ft off the back of our house for the winter, hoping that any heat radiating from our home might help raise the temp a degree or two. I forgot to mention that I have a remote thermostat, but registers only a degree or two above outside temp at night. I put a 4 inch wide circular vent at one end of the coop. There are some small holes here and there in the construction of the coop, but not enough to be drafty. does that seem like enough ventalation for them?
  7. Judy

    Judy Crowing Staff Member Premium Member

    Feb 5, 2009
    South Georgia
    I definitely vote against heat, especially in that small a coop. If you do put a bulb in there, don't use a regular bulb. Chickens need dark to rest well.

    They also need to be acclimated to the cold. If they are accustomed to heat and the power goes out, it is much worse for them than no heat at all.

    I can't imagine expecting chickens to sleep 1' below a heat lamp. Bet they would move away from it.

  8. 5j's

    5j's In the Brooder

    Oct 23, 2010
    Wilbraham, Ma
    good feed back. keep it coming!!
  9. thedeacon

    thedeacon Songster

    Nov 14, 2008
    Last year I tried something new. I purchased 25 day olds on Oct 1 so I would have layers in the spring. Once their feathers were developed, at 6 wks or so, I took the heat lamp away. It was in the 20-30's at night. Never lost a one. The coldest it got was 20-25 below zero. Pretty cold. Main thing is no draft and feed & water 24-7. I use a heated dog waterer which holds about a gallon and was more than needed between chore time. Sold 15 to pay for all and kept 10 for myself. All were heavy breeds like yours. I do have a 30 watt light come on at 5:30 AM to extend the daylight. they don't go outside though until the sun is up.
  10. gritsar

    gritsar Cows, Chooks & Impys - OH MY!

    Nov 9, 2007
    SW Arkansas

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