Help needed to heat chicken coop ASAP!

Discussion in 'Coop & Run - Design, Construction, & Maintenance' started by meredithrocks2006, Jan 20, 2012.

  1. meredithrocks2006

    meredithrocks2006 Out Of The Brooder

    Jul 9, 2011
    Does anyone have any tips on how to safely and efficiently heat a chicken coop? One of our hens decided to go broody, and her chicks decided to hatch right before the coldest 4 of winter. The next few days are supposed to be in the negatives. We are afraid of putting a heat lamp in the coop, because last time we did we woke up to the coop on fire and having to call the fire department to put it out.

    How do you guys heat your coops in winter? Have you figured out how to safely rig up a heat lamp? Any tips or ideas at all would be more than appreciated!!
    Thank you!
  2. Mahonri

    Mahonri Urban Desert Chicken Enthusiast Premium Member

    May 14, 2008
    North Phoenix
    My Coop
    I have two heat lamps heating two different groups of New Year's day chicks at present.

    Both are being held up by two zip ties each. I hope I don't wish I had used wire.
  3. Lund Poultry

    Lund Poultry Chillin' With My Peeps

    Apr 2, 2010
    Brooklyn, WI
    We are in Wisconsin and NEVER use heat lamps for chicks. Reason being is if one burns out they have NO heat source and then all die. We use 2 100 watt clear bulbs and hang them from CHAIN (no string/zipties etc.) place them a couple of feet apart and that way if one burns out they always have a source of heat and (fingers crossed) have never lost any. If your hen had only a few chicks they may be just fine. Mothers are very good at keeping chicks warm. Good Luck.
  4. 1muttsfan

    1muttsfan Chicken Obsessed

    Mar 26, 2011
    Upper Peninsula Michigan
    Mama will keep her babies warm, as long as she has a cozy spot to take them.

    I also have my light (not heat lamp) on a Chain, with a backup wire to another part ot the lamp just in case. It would seriously kill me if my coop caught on fire due to lack of forethought.
  5. Three Cedars Silkies

    Three Cedars Silkies Overrun With Chickens

    Apr 17, 2008
    Gainesville, Fl.
    Double and triple secure the lamp. No matter what size bulb you use, be certain to use the large, heavy duty brooder housing unit and build a "cage" around the bottom with chicken wire. That way, if the bulb should separate and fall out (I've had it happen twice), it will not fall into the coop and cause a will be caught by the chicken wire cage.

    Best to use 2 in case one goes out...

    You cannot be too safety conscious with regard to brooder lights...
  6. riverpilot69

    riverpilot69 Chillin' With My Peeps

    Mar 22, 2011
    SE Missouri
    Don't ever trust the spring clamp on a heat lamp. They are weak and one bump from a chicken can cause it to fall and set fire to anything combustable. Use wire. I have had zip ties fail also. The nylon that the zip ties are made of gets weak over time, and temp. changes. That causes them to get brittle. I think if mama has a nice place to go, she will keep the little ones warm and cozy.
  7. cmom

    cmom Hilltop Farm

    Nov 18, 2007
    My Coop
    I do the same thing and so far have never had any problems.
  8. CupOJoe42

    CupOJoe42 CT Chicken Whisperer

    Apr 11, 2011
    I would NOT heat the coop. I agree that momma hen will keep them warm. If you don't want to leave it up to her, bring her and her chicks inside temporarily until the chicks feather out or the weather warms up. It is not worth chancing a coop fire. Chickens handle cold a lot better than they handle heat. You can also check out Brinsea's EcoGlow Chick Brooders, which use radiant heat to keep chicks warm. They don't use much electricity and they do not pose a fire hazard, even if touching shavings. I don't know that they will work in extreme cold temperatures tho, so you may want to consider other safe options.


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