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heat lamp question

Discussion in 'Managing Your Flock' started by t_williams8, Oct 30, 2008.

  1. t_williams8

    t_williams8 In the Brooder

    Oct 7, 2008
    Downingtown, PA
    I live in PA. Right now we are having colder nights. But come Dec, Jan, Feb and early March most of our nights are below freezing, or very near. The days vary in temp quite a bit. Anyway, i have a heat lamp (red bulb) if i leave this on will the chickens be effected by it.

    Do they need the heat lamp on all night if it is below freezing. Will the red light bother them at night?

  2. Poor realtor

    Poor realtor In the Brooder

    Sep 5, 2008
    Neepawa, Manitoba
    A red light does not bother them as much as a regular bulb. Also, they are tougher than you think! Just because the temp is belew freezing outside, the temp in the coop is probably quite comfortable because of the bird's own body heat. They will group together for the warmth and do just fine. I don't turn on the heat until it gets to -15 c. and even then it should be shut off in the daytime.
  3. patandchickens

    patandchickens Flock Mistress

    Apr 20, 2007
    Ontario, Canada
    First, remember a well designed coop usually stays warmer (sometimes a good bit warmer) than the outdoor low temperature. Put a max-min thermometer in there at roost level and see whatcha actually got.

    Second, most chickens are really quite cold tolerant as long as they're kept in dryish air with no drafts pointed at them and have a good wide roost to snuggle down on to let their tummy feathers cover their toes. Exceptions (to some degree) would be very small breeds, silkies, and things with huge giant single combs.

    If you just have normal ol' chickens, chances are pretty good that in Downingtown (I grew up not too awful far away from there) you will not need a lamp at all. Certainly not (with normal, basically cold-adapted chickens) til the COOP temperature, which remember will probably be warmer than the outdoor temperature, gets down towards the single digits (although you won't necessarily need heat then either).

    If you do use a heat lamp, it needn't be a HEAT (i.e. high wattage) lamp as such -- a simple 100w bulb hung (safely) over the roost is probably all you need. Kinder to the chickens, kinder to the electric bill, much less of a fire hazard. Make sure it has a guard and is safely hung, i.e. from two independant points on the lamp to two independant and secure points on the coop ceiling.

    Good luck, have fun,


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