heat lamps

Discussion in 'Managing Your Flock' started by buckstrang, Jan 10, 2010.

  1. buckstrang

    buckstrang New Egg

    Apr 25, 2009
    western New York
    Hello just wondring what the thoughts are on heat lamps in winter. Do you use them when how many? 12 by 12 coop concrete floor, corner of garage. Should i be using lamp or lamps? when day night 24/7? help me please. We have 10 sex linked hen from Tractor supply
  2. ChickBond 007

    ChickBond 007 Licensed to Cull

    Feb 26, 2009
    Madison County, Iowa
    The major concerns are 1) energy costs to run 250 w red bulbs and 2) fire hazard. It is very cold where I am, and I've been using heat lamps to help combat frostbite in my coop for about 10 days. It has helped in the very frigid temps this week. I think if the temp stayed over 20*, I would not keep using them.
  3. technodoll

    technodoll Chillin' With My Peeps

    Aug 25, 2009
    Quebec, Canada
    The only way I can keep humidity at bay in the coop is to use TWO 250W heat lamps 24/7, with a fan to suck out the warmer moist air... and even then it rarely goes below 80% humidity. And even then some flock members are cold and sometimes the water bowl freezes... it's a horrible winter up here this year [​IMG]

    I DO NOT want to see my electricity bill [​IMG]

    ps: am terrified of fire hazard and pray that nothing happens... one of my cochin pullets loves to jump up and bite/peck at the heat lamp saftey rails, making the lamp swing - scares me to bits but I don't know what to do!
  4. chookchick

    chookchick Chillin' With My Peeps

    Aug 18, 2008
    Olympia WA
    If your outside temperatures are not going below zero, I would not use a heat lamp. Make sure you have adequate ventilation, clean poo daily, so that the inside of your windows are not wet, that is the best thing you can do for frostbite. If you really want to add heat anyway, use a low wattage bulb if you can get away with it. It should be red or black so as not to disturb their sleep and can be left on all the time. Another way to add heat is to fill a large (capped) container with hot water.
  5. DonnaBelle

    DonnaBelle Chillin' With My Peeps

    Feb 15, 2009
    McIntosh County, OK
    Hmmm, about that chicken that jumps/flies up up to the heat lamp. Can you trim her wings, keep her from flying up there?? We have had a severe winter here too.
    Down to 0 last night. I have a 12' x 24' chicken house. I have 2 red heat lamps, 250 w. hanging from chains over the waterer. They are about 3 ft. from the ceiling. The floor to ceiling is about 7 to 8 ft. I haven't had any problems yet this year. I have good ventilation in the chicken house. Of course our climate is different from yours.

    Also, I have about 8" of pine shavings on the floor of the chicken house. Great for insulation, and I think it absorbs some of the moisture.

    My husband clips the wings if they fly out of the pen. Most don't try to get out. Good luck with your chickens. Are they still laying?

  6. patandchickens

    patandchickens Flock Mistress

    Apr 20, 2007
    Ontario, Canada
    See my "cold coop" page for discussion of temperatures for chickens, whether to run a heat lamp, and what your other options are.

    Technodoll, if you are at 80% humidity with heat lamps running, either you have waaaay too many chickens for the space, and/or need to install droppings boards cleaned *every morning without fail* and also change the bedding out more often, and/or have leaks/spills/wet-ground somewhere that need to be fixed. A wet coop like that is not normal or reasonable, and should be TOTALLY FIXABLE if you go after it. Which'd be a good idea because you're likely to run into trouble if it stays that way.

    Good luck, have fun,

  7. technodoll

    technodoll Chillin' With My Peeps

    Aug 25, 2009
    Quebec, Canada
    Quote:Pat, my coop is 12 x 12 (5 feet tall) and houses 23 chickens and is about 100 years old... the ceiling is thick pink insulation about 45 years old half filled with mouse droppings, it's an absolute horror. We've sunk enough money into it to keep it feasible for this winter but no more, as we're moving this summer and in our new place I get to build a brand-new coop from scratch. I can't wait.

    Humidity was 100% before I installed the exhaust fan and the extra heat lamps so I'm not complaining.

    The flock sleeps on an elevated pallet so there is no poop board, the droppings fall to the bedding below which I keep covering with new bedding every other day or so.

    I know it's not ideal, but it's what we're stuck with for now [​IMG]

    ps: sorry for hijacking the thread!!
    Last edited: Jan 11, 2010

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