1. If this is your first time on BYC, we suggest you start with one of these three options:
    Raising Chickens Chicken Coops Join BYC
    If you're already a member of our community, click here to login & click here to learn what's new!

heat lamp? or no?

Discussion in 'Coop & Run - Design, Construction, & Maintenance' started by Elizafern, Jan 5, 2014.

  1. Elizafern

    Elizafern Out Of The Brooder

    43
    1
    36
    Jan 15, 2013
    Danbury, CT
    I live in Connecticut. We have had some very cold cold weather seeing it is winter. We normally only keep our heat lamp on in the coop during the day when temps are below freezing but because the temps have been below freezing sometimes below zero we have kept the light on even over night. Does anyone think it would be a bad idea if i decided to just keep the light on constantly? One of our chickens that hasnt laid since the cold weather has started laid yesterday. Was so excited cuz she is an easteregger so her eggs are a blueing color. Feedback please. Thanks everyone.
     
  2. Hokum Coco

    Hokum Coco Overrun With Chickens

    3,311
    601
    306
    Dec 6, 2012
    New Brunswick,Canada
    Chickens are not polar bears we have to keep in mind. Laying, vocal, and active birds in my opinion is a sign everything is right in their world. That being said when a chicken has 4 trips around the sun it is there as a pet not for egg production. If your birds or animals are showing signs of stress you have to do what is right in your situation. The one size fits all is a recipe for disaster.

    Take inventory on your animals daily and make daily decisions is what I do summer and winter. A heat lamp and TLC can happen not only in winter and not always due to cold.

    In Canada I am subject to -40ยบ cold snaps. I do NOT heat or give extra light in my coop. Murphy's law says my birds will find out what -40 is all about when my hydro goes out. Regardless what you decide feed Extra Corn over the winter you will not be sorry.

    Or something like this may help also; You could even knit a hoodie for those extra cold days..

    [​IMG]



     
    Last edited: Jan 5, 2014
  3. chickencoop789

    chickencoop789 Chillin' With My Peeps

    1,629
    37
    153
    Jul 1, 2012
    New Jersey
    I keep a heat lamp constantly on from the end of November to the beginning of April. The hens have a non heated part of the coop they can go to. I feel that this is important. If they want the heat, they can go under the lamp. If they don't, then the can go to the cooler area. That way they wont overheat or be too cold
     
  4. chickencoop789

    chickencoop789 Chillin' With My Peeps

    1,629
    37
    153
    Jul 1, 2012
    New Jersey
    I also give my hens scratch grains and occasionally warm oatmeal and rice. That helps keep them warm too.
     
  5. teach1rusl

    teach1rusl Love My Chickens

    My only advice: If leaving lamps on at night, I would opt for the red bulbs rather than clear, to give them sleeping opportunities. Pet supply stores offer them in wattages lower than the common 250 (which is often FAR too much heat in many cases)...100, 75, 60 and 50 - in the reptile area. Also, do make sure that your lamp is SAFE (securely attached, far enough away from bedding and birds' feathers, and bulb rated for housing).
     
  6. Gargoyle

    Gargoyle Overrun With Chickens

    3,413
    743
    316
    Apr 13, 2011
    Fox Valley, IL
    My Coop
    Better than the red bulbs, look for the ceramic heaters that screw into a bulb socket. They are in the reptile section of a pet store. They cost more but they won't ever break and they last way longer then a heat bulb, so they aren't really more expensive in the long run
     
  7. Elizafern

    Elizafern Out Of The Brooder

    43
    1
    36
    Jan 15, 2013
    Danbury, CT
    Thank you all for your responses.
     
  8. WalkingOnSunshine

    WalkingOnSunshine Overrun With Chickens

    4,210
    451
    328
    Apr 8, 2008
    Ohio
    One thing to thing about--your hens' bodies naturally adapt to cold weather. They are wearing little down jackets 24/7. If you went outside and worked in the cold and then came in to a heated house and couldn't take your jacket off, you'd overheat and that would be stressful.

    Chickens are fine in very cold temperatures, down to around -20. In fact, heat is much harder on them than cold and you need to watch them in the heat of summer for heat stress far more than you have to worry about cold.

    We do not heat our coop, and the birds do fine in negative temperatures. Chickens are birds--and you don't hang heaters for the wild birds, do you?

    The only exception is weather like today in the midwest--temps swung from 38 degrees on Sunday to -9 here today (-35 wind chill), and promise to be back into positive digits by this evening. I did hang a heat lamp for them last night because it's the swings in temps that are hard on them, not just the cold.
     
  9. Elizafern

    Elizafern Out Of The Brooder

    43
    1
    36
    Jan 15, 2013
    Danbury, CT
    Ok. Thank you.
     
  10. CourtsCacklers

    CourtsCacklers Chillin' With My Peeps

    194
    14
    98
    Feb 18, 2013
    Northern Ohio
    My Coop
    We are in northwestern Ohio-- I have a heat lamp hooked up to an outlet that is controlled by a farm thermostat that actually makes the heatlamp turn on if it gets colder than 40 degrees and it turns off around 45-50 degrees. I check it to make sure it is working and safely often. I wouldn't change it. Out of my 6 hens-- I typically get 4-6 eggs a day.
     

BackYard Chickens is proudly sponsored by