Heat Lamp Question

Discussion in 'Coop & Run - Design, Construction, & Maintenance' started by usalbrechts, Jan 19, 2008.

  1. usalbrechts

    usalbrechts Songster

    May 22, 2007
    south east MI
    I have only turned one on once this Michigan winter so far (it was down in the single digits one night). We have a few days worth of single digit night time temps coming up starting tomorrow. My coop is 8X6. I don't know if the one bulb I hung probably 4.5 to 5 feet from the floor, in the middle of the coop, did much to warm up the room last time. I lowered it a bit yesterday. The fixture it self has room for 4 bulbs to be placed in it. I only had the one red one on though. Should I lower it more? Should I put more red bulbs in the fixture? I have not done much heating at all after reading on this sight that it can lead to sickness. So any advice would be appreciated. Thanks
  2. Smitty's Farm

    Smitty's Farm Songster

    Aug 24, 2007
    St Clair County, Il
    I have been the same way. I didn't add any supplemental heat b/c I wanted the flock to acclimate to the winter weather. But when it dropped into single digits and high wind chill I finally did.

    Do you have a themometer in your coop? What is the temp in your coop? My coop is insulated and hold maybe 8-10 degrees above the outside temp.
  3. bills

    bills Songster

    Jan 4, 2008
    vancouver island
    I read in an advertisment for ceramic heat bulbs, that the red light spectrum in the regular heat lamps causes chic's to lose vitamin A, which can lead to bone problems.

    Is this true of mature chickens as well, or only chic's? Perhaps this is just an advertisment gimmick, to try to sell the ceramic bulb, or is there some truth to it?
  4. Wildsky

    Wildsky Wild Egg!

    Oct 13, 2007
    My coop has been down to zero now two nights in a row, and I had added a heat lamp! I use the ceramic one, so I don't have a light on all night.....
    (my coop is pretty big 20x8 - with only the 14 chickens)

    I have no idea if the ceramic is better for their health or not.

    Tonight again - we will go down to -17 so its BITTERLY cold and that one little bulb doesn't do a heck of a lot - but better than nothing, and my girls seem to be fine. I have it on a timer, so it comes on at around 11pm and off at 6:30am - but funny our LOW temp over night was at 7:30 this morning (-4)

    Anyhoo, I see these tiny little birds coming to my feeder - they're smaller than MICE and I have to think, if THEY made it overnight, without being in a coop at ALL, well then my girls are just FINE!!!
  5. newchickmom

    newchickmom Songster

    Nov 8, 2007
    Lafayette, Indiana
    I have a red heat light in my coup (16 X 8) . I leave it on 24/7. I hang it right over the roosts. With the temps in the single digits, my coup has not been getting lower than 20 and I am using a heater under their waterer so it won't freeze.
  6. Charlie Chicken

    Charlie Chicken Songster

    Dec 24, 2007
    Phippsburg, ME
    May I ask why you feel the need to add supplemental heat to the coop?

    Is the coop draft free?
    Are the birds being fed properly?

    If the birds have plenty to eat they will generate a tremendous amount of body heat. If you pick up one of those chickens and place your hand under that down and feather coat they are wearing you will discover that its quite warm in there.

    Us humans are built different than chickens and don't have that kind of insulation so we need supplemental heat to feel comfortable.
  7. usalbrechts

    usalbrechts Songster

    May 22, 2007
    south east MI
    I went to the local feed store to get heat bulbs and all they had was clear and no red ones. The guy said "not much difference between the two kinds", so I bought 2 of them. I went outside at 11pm last night and all the girls were on the roost, but no one was sleeping, they were all just looking around. I wonder if they slept at all last night. They are usually sleeping by 6pm. Is that healthy?? I am thinking of driving to another feed store to search out red bulbs before tonight.
  8. jjthink

    jjthink Crowing

    Jan 17, 2007
    New Jersey
    I use a ceramic heat lamp. Petsmart and lots of other places carry them - they generate only heat - no light - so there's no night time issues. Will add more if necessary.

    I have only 2 birds - so there is not much body heat - and they seemed miserable without the heat, even with an insulated, draft free coop (roo puffed up and standing like a statue looking like he wanted to be put out of his misery) . It's in the 40's in their coop when its frigid outside. If this makes them less hearty, I don't want that but I couldn't stand seeing them miserable in the cold. They actually seem stronger and more ready to take on the day when they get out of the coop in the morning, not having spent a lot of energy trying to keep warm during the night. They have free choice on where they want to hang out in the daytime.

    I sleep better knowing they are sleeping comfortably...
    I think if there were oodles of chickens and lots of body heat maybe it would be a different story in terms of their comfort level without heat but with only 2 the body heat thing doesn't seem to help them much,......

  9. horsewishr

    horsewishr Songster

    Jul 7, 2007
    West Michigan
    I plugged in my red heat lamp (single bulb) last night, because we were expecting single-digit temperatures. I probably wouldn't have bothered if I had more chickens--but I only have 4 girls in an 8x8 building.

    The hen house is divided into an area for the girls, and an area for garden storage. The divider wall is plywood on the bottom and hardware cloth on top. I put the bulb near the floor in the garden area, facing the wall of the girls' "bedroom." This accomplished a couple of things: 1) It kept most of the light out of the bedroom; and 2) the heat was aimed where the girls were sleeping. I kept he lamp low because heat rises.

    This morning, I did horse and chicken chores. My hands HURT while I cleaned the horses' stall (without gloves). But I could do the chicken-care tasks bare-handed. It wasn't warm in there, by any stretch of the imagination. But the heat lamp did seem to take the edge off the cold.
  10. s6bee

    s6bee Songster

    Jul 1, 2007
    Western, NY
    Your coop is much larger than mine, I only have a tractor, but we picked up moonlite bulb from Petsmart and put that in. It produces heat, but doesn't effect their sleeping at all, it's like a black light. Our tractor is 5x4 + nesting boxes and it did a great job. It was a 75 watt. bulb and found in the reptile section. I don't think that would be enough for your coop though. It just took the edge off. Still cool in the coop but nothing was frozen.
    The ceramic heater bulb would have been too much for our coop.


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