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heating a coop with lamps?

Discussion in 'Coop & Run - Design, Construction, & Maintenance' started by klf73, Nov 5, 2008.

  1. klf73

    klf73 Mad Scientist

    Jun 1, 2008
    My dh is building a coop for my teens. He wants to put lamps in there because they are still young and he doesn't want them to freeze. The coop is divided in half (other side for my bantys for the winter). Each side is 3' x 8', low side is about 18", high side about 36". I wanted to put a red light for night but the only ones I could find were either 25w or 220w. I thought the 220 would cook them since it is insulated and I don't think the 25w will be warm enough. How do I find a solution? Here is a pic. Do they make a 100w red bulb?
  2. m_herrington

    m_herrington Chillin' With My Peeps

    Apr 18, 2008
    Well, I dont think a 250W would be too bad when its cold, but I'm not sure. How many chickens will be in there? I keep a heat lamp with a 250W red bulb on in my bathroom where I have my brooders, it is around 12' square maybe? (used to be a bedroom) with 8ft ceiling and I think it raises the temp of that room from 58-60 that the thermostat is set on to around 64 degrees if that gives you any idea. You can always try putting the larger bulb in and leaving a thermometer out there to check and make sure it doesnt get too hot...

    They make a 100W red bulb and I think an 85W too. The only place I managed to find a 100W red bulb after checking a few places around town was Home Depot...
  3. jjthink

    jjthink Overrun With Chickens

    Jan 17, 2007
    New Jersey
    I use ceramic heat lamps (they emit heat, not light) securely suspended from the ceiling such that they touch nothing and nothing can touch them. I can turn one or more on, depending on the weather conditions, thus helping to ensure that it's not too hot and not too cold. Maybe this would work for your situation.....
    They come in various wattages - 125, 250....
    My current coop is inside a larger building and it's small and insulated (4x6x8 high) for only 2 birds and I find that one 125 watt heat lamp does the trick. The prior coop was about the same size, did not have the protection of the larger building and I found that sometimes I needed 3 ceramic heat lamps in play to keep temps above freezing.
  4. spook

    spook Chillin' With My Peeps

    I have said this over and over, I'm sure people do not like hearing it, but you need to make sure there is enough ventilation, you do not want ammonia to built up and cause lung problems with that much insulation. In the NE, I use the deep litter method to help generate composting heat, covering with shavings daily a small amount!
    With a cold winter coming upon us, those teens need to be weaned off a light and heat, growing feathers to be able to warm themselves for the winter.
    Personally where I am, the power goes out frequently and during storms up to a week. With using heat lamps, ceramic objects to give a false security, you may loose your birds to them freezing to death. Birds in winter need draft free with small exchange of fresh air. With a down jacket on...how cold are you? (just wean them off it, don't snap it off quickly, they can snuggle up to keep warm.
    Good luck, the coop looks great!
  5. klf73

    klf73 Mad Scientist

    Jun 1, 2008
    hey spook,
    it will have slatted roof vents at each end. I can't use dlm with the silkies as they will be a mess won't they? I don't have a heat lamp on the other chickens that hatched earlier in the year. I just didn't think that these would make it in the extreme temps as they haven't even been outside on cold days. I still have some eggs in the bator and don't want the chicks indoors at Christmas so I was hoping that by heating the coop(even if it's a little) I can toss them out without having to lose them to the cold. How about if I just heat the side with the teens with a low wattage on real cold days/nights? At least until they are outside enough to adapt?
  6. jjthink

    jjthink Overrun With Chickens

    Jan 17, 2007
    New Jersey
    Hi. Below is a copy of the response I placed a little while back in another post asking similar - there is a lot of diversity of opinion on this topic! Hope some part of it is helpful to you. Not all circumstances are created equal and not all chickens are created equal - there are COUNTLESS (understatement) posts on BYC where people assert in black or white one way or the other about heat but........

    The answer is that there's no one answer.

    Depends on the constitution of each bird, how many birds (for keeping each other warm) and how large or cozy the coop, how draft free, how equipped one is to deal with a power outtage, etc etc ETC.......

    Also depends how quickly temps plummet (or escalate) and whether there's time for them to acclimate. (Today temps where I am in NJ are 30 degrees less than a couple days ago - a significant shift, difficult to adjust to. In June we went from 70's one week to 110+ with heat index the next - it was really tough on the birds.)

    While people had chickens years ago largely without creature comforts we cannot assume there were no cold/weather related die-offs. It's like saying wildlife is still here in the spring so the winter doesn't bother them. Truth is that only the most hardy are still here - there are plenty of die-offs over winter.

    Do most chickens tolerate pretty cold weather - probably. Do all - nope. So it's a matter of observing closely our feathered friends and judging as best we can how they're feeling and providing accordingly.


    Right now where I am in NJ we're having snow/hail/ice/fierce winds. Wind chill is 27. My roo and hen want NOTHING to do with any of it, and are inside bummed out! It was 65 yesterday. Their coop resides within a larger building - during the day they can choose to hang out outdoors or in the unheated large building or in their coop which has a heat lamp and is keeping temps above freezing......the temp differential is not so much as to be startling, but enough to give them relief if they need/want it. My roo is an older fellow and has been getting less cold tolerant. And since there's only 2 of them altogether, they don't produce much body heat. If there were a power outage I could bring them in the house if need be, clearly much more difficult a prospect for folks with umpteen chickens!
  7. patandchickens

    patandchickens Flock Mistress

    Apr 20, 2007
    Ontario, Canada
    I would be pretty concerned about fire issues if you use a 250 watt heat bulb in such a low and confined space. Medium-wattage red bulbs are not hard to find up here so I'd think they'd sell them around you too -- look for floodlight-shaped bulbs, you should be able to get one around 100 watts. Especially now that it is christmas-merchandising season -- they sell 'em so people can swap em into their yard lights to further uglify their houses [​IMG]

    Take a look at http://www.plamondon.com/brooder.shtml . If you adopt some features of this -- mainly, creating a smaller hover chamber inside of your coop, to hold the heat of the lamp near the chicks instead of using a whopper lamp to try to heat the entire space -- then you may even be able to get away with just 1 or 2 25 watt bulbs.

    But please be careful -- even a 100w bulb can start scorching wood that is directly behind or above it and you would sure not want to be setting things on fire, especially in a small low coop like that where even just smoldering material is likely to kill all your chickens.

    Good luck,

  8. The air circulation is critical. Be sure there is enough that when you go into the coop you do not get knock over. I too would go with the ceramic heat source. You can buy reptile ceramic heat discs that fit into a standard 110 socket. I have pens in my "chick house" and i use a electric oil heater at night. This is on a timer. I also have a 250 watt bulb for the very little chicks in the day on a timer. I would NOT recmmend the oil heater unless you can isolate it from the chickens. You can get cheap thermometers and put them on the floor and see how hot the heat lamps will get. BTY heat lamps, especially the red infrared kind will play havoc with your electric bill.
    Nice looking coop there. I just bought a portable building as I am not a very good carpenter.
  9. spook

    spook Chillin' With My Peeps

    Quote:I did not intend on making you sound like a fool, sorry about that. Of course keeping birds in the house to deck the halls is not a good christmas tradition! lol.
    Something I do not understand, (I DO NOT Mean to sound preachy) , why do people in cold climates hatch eggs so late. Maine and the Northern States are not ment for hens to go broody in November (are they?). I read someplace that chicks hatched in the cooler weather have stunted growth, size and maturity is tougher, will often have more lung issues from close quarters.
    Now I have nothing on hand to back this up, but its my impression and a lot of old timers opinions, which can be wrong. Now a lot of people use heat lights for their birds all winter long, I would not be able to, fear of fire in old buildings- or any buildings including water heaters.
    Good luck to you klf73 and why not use the dlm? If you keep shavings in covering the old waste, like you would by cleaning them out weekly (or however much time between cleanouts), I top off my coop floor each day in the winter, a gallon pail or so if needed in winter.
  10. banter

    banter Chillin' With My Peeps

    Mar 3, 2008
    Raymond Maine
    I am very afraid of heat lamps. Our barn is huge and ancient Late 1700's-early 1800's) but I want to keep the chickens comfortable when it's zero. ????????????? They go up in the rafters and I put in a spotlight or them.

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