Heat lamps

Aug 11, 2019
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I have a non-insulated coop in 10 degree weather but there are about 30 chickens in there. Do I need a heat lamp for cold chickens just in case. I also have a molting chicken. Does she need a heat lamp in the coop just in case the weather gets really cold?
 

SoftSilkie

Crowing
Sep 4, 2019
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Idaho
I don't use heat lamps because chickens need a break from laying at some point, and that time is winter. If you use a heat lamp to force them to lay throughout winter it will shorten their life. And because if the electricity suddenly went out the chickens would freeze. Chickens can survive without heat lamps, they're tough.
 

SoftSilkie

Crowing
Sep 4, 2019
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They will be fine even in a molt. Chickens are smarter than everybody thinks, and they know when to not molt.
 

21hens-incharge

Slightly nuts
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Mar 9, 2014
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Heat is not what triggers lay. It is length of the day.
They need around 14 hours of light in order to be triggered to lay.

Heat lamps are problematic for many reasons.

With adult birds they can get knocked down creating a fire.
They require electricity so if a power outage occurs the birds are plunged into temps that they did not grow proper feathers against.

Molting does not necessarily mean freezing.
A lot depends upon on the breed of bird and degree of molt. Most birds drop feathers as new are growing in and never look naked. Some birds do what is called a hard molt and look ready for the pot they are so naked.
 

wamtazlady

Crowing
6 Years
Jul 18, 2013
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You do not need to use heat lamps. What you need is good ventilation to keep your birds warm. A warm chicken is a dry chicken. Chickens make a lot of moisture as they breath and poop. Humidity can build up in the coop. A chicken in a humid coop can get frostbite at just below freezing. A chicken in a well ventilated coop can avoid frostbite even when it is -22 degrees. I know that because it gets that cold here regularly.

For example, my coop is 6' by 8' and built for 12 chickens. I have 10 square feet of ventilation that is open year round. The ventilation is mostly up high just below the eaves and the perches are down low. That way no breeze blows on the birds themselves. They stay fat and sassy all winter. I have never lost a bird in the winter.
 

aart

Chicken Juggler!
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My Coop
My Coop
I have a non-insulated coop in 10 degree weather but there are about 30 chickens in there. Do I need a heat lamp for cold chickens just in case. I also have a molting chicken. Does she need a heat lamp in the coop just in case the weather gets really cold?
10 degrees C or F?
How big is coop, in feet by feet?
Dimensions and pics would help us help you.
 

21hens-incharge

Slightly nuts
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Mar 9, 2014
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