Heating lamp question

Discussion in 'Managing Your Flock' started by Lorirn740, Sep 26, 2012.

  1. Lorirn740

    Lorirn740 New Egg

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    I have only 3 in my flock and new england gets cold, so I worried about them staying warm! I want to add a heat lamp/bulb at the peak of my coop for some warmth....but how do you keep them warm at night? Thats when I would have the heat lamp on but they say they need to have so many hours of darkness otherwise they get crabby. So how do I warm them up at night without shining a bright light on them for all hours of the night?
    This is my first winter with chicks. I have only had them for a few months and I want to keep them warm. I have read everything about drafts and ventilation on here but I still want to give them some warmth. So if you use a heat lamp do you shut it off at night...when they need the heat the most? Help!! and thanks to all who reply :)


    I plan on putting several bales of hay around the outside run to protect them from wind during the day and we are having some plexi glass cut to cover 3/4 of the windows. The entire bottom/run area is about 5x12 foot and the upper house coop area is 5x5. Also where the roof line ends in the house there is 2-3 inches of open ventilation...kinda like roof eaves of your house. So ventilation will be OK, I think, its the warmth that I want to make sure they have :)

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  2. Judy

    Judy Moderator Staff Member

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    If you do put heat in the coop, I would use a ceramic heater, both to avoid the light and for safety, but they really don't need heat. One danger of heating a coop is they don't get acclimated to cold nights, and if you lose power, the are suddenly shocked by the cold.

    Ventilation and freedom from drafts are the important factors. You might want to cover the entire window, if you roof ventilation is really adequate.

    This excellent article was written by a Canadian:

    https://www.backyardchickens.com/a/winter-coop-temperatures
     
  3. JackE

    JackE Chillin' With My Peeps

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    Unless you have some kind of an exotic, thinly feathered breed. You DO NOT need a heatlamp. Chickens are perfectly suited for the temps we see in the lower 48 states. It sounds like you have adequate ventilation with your coop. But, if you notice frost forming inside the coop in the winter, that is a sign you don't have enough air exchange/ventilation. If you see that, open it up more, or the birds may get sick from the bad air, and/or suffer from frostbite. Look at the pic below, I've had temps into the single digits (Not including wind chill), and the front of my coop is wide open, and none of my birds have ever had any problems with the cold. Don't fall into the trap of putting human limitations on your chickens, as far as cold weather goes. Nature has made it so they can handle it.
    Jack

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  4. cluckermomofsix

    cluckermomofsix Out Of The Brooder

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    Great thread, as I was curious about the same thing!!

    One additional question, JackE (or anyone else), do you let your flock free range and, if so, do you let them do this during winter storms (when it is snowing, blowing, etc.)? I have a flock that loves, loves, loves to be out and about and am not sure if I should let them be during the winter storms. This, too, will be my first winter with a flock and am not sure when they should or should not be allowed out.
     
  5. mstricer

    mstricer Overrun With Chickens

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    My birds free range all winter long, even when there is snow on the ground. One thing they don't like is wind and snow storms
     
  6. JackE

    JackE Chillin' With My Peeps

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    The door is opened every day, unless it's snowing and the wind is blowing real hard. Sometimes the wind can blow so hard, I'm afraid they could be blown into the next county. If the ground is covered with snow, they won't come out unless I clear a path/area for them. With their short legs, they can get stuck in deep snow kinda easily. Some of them will walk on snow that's not really deep, some won't take a step on snow at all.
    Jack

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  7. PartyOnARoost

    PartyOnARoost Chillin' With My Peeps

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    Great thread, nice info. First winter w/ chickens also
    Thanks,
     
  8. baybeka

    baybeka New Egg

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    I was just about to ask the same question. My 1st winter with my girls in Cedar City UT.
    Thank You for all the help you guys provide in this site!
    Cheers!
     
  9. Lorirn740

    Lorirn740 New Egg

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    Aug 12, 2012
    thanks everyone for the great advice!!! No heater just hay and I will batten down the hatches :) Lori
     
  10. CarolineVT

    CarolineVT New Egg

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    Sep 15, 2015
    I hear you about the acclimation to the cold. We purposely got cold-hearty breeds (with one surprise chicken who did pretty well last winter!) because we live in Vermont. My chickens all got frostbite on their wattles and combs. Black spots that all turned red again as the temperatures rose. Maybe it wasn't frostbite if it healed? They shook their heads a lot, I thought, because of the black spots.
    Anyway, their coop accommodates six chickens, but we only have four, so I put a hay bale inside to take up space. I put in so they cannot get on top of it and poop on it.

    Anyway - Any thoughts about those black spots? Thank you!
     

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