Help with heating lamp. (Where do I put it? Do I need it?)

Discussion in 'Managing Your Flock' started by robjacmom, Oct 7, 2013.

  1. robjacmom

    robjacmom Out Of The Brooder

    Ok so I've read all different posts on here on if I should use a heat lamp or not.
    My coop is uninsulated but is draft free when I close it up at night.
    Do I need a heat lamp? My husband says we do, does not want them to get cold at night.
    My chickens are all hens and are about 17-18 weeks old.
    Uggh I'm so confused on what to do.
    I went and bought a heat lamp, it's 250 watts and gets pretty warm. It will be about 40 degrees tonight.
    Should I use it or not? Please help!
  2. Kelsie2290

    Kelsie2290 True BYC Addict Premium Member

    Feb 18, 2011
    If I understand you correctly, the chickens are 17-18 weeks (not days) old? They don't need supplemental heat at that age. As long as they have shelter they will be fine.
  3. Folly's place

    Folly's place True BYC Addict

    Sep 13, 2011
    southern Michigan
    Silkies and Seramas don't do well in cold weather (way below freezing) but most breeds are fine if they have shelter from wind and cold rain or snow. No way do they need a heat lamp at 40 degrees!!! Ventilation and shelter are most important, not extra heat. mary
  4. JackE

    JackE Overrun With Chickens

    Apr 26, 2010
    North Eastern Md.
    You (Really the chickens) do not need a heatlamp. They are built to handle the cold. You add a heatlamp, you are really doing them a disservice. They won't be able to acclimate, (properly feather out), to the increasingly cold weather. Then, if for some reason, they lose that added heat from a burned out bulb, loss of electricity, or whatever, they then will suffer, needlessly. All you are doing by adding a heatlamp, is running up your electric bill, in addition to taking a big chance on burning your coop down.
    Check out the pic below. That is a 100yr old open air coop design. The front is open year round. I get temps down into the single digits, and the birds have no problems at all. Coops like that were used up into Canada, with temps waaaaay lower than I'll ever see, with no problems.

    1 person likes this.
  5. donrae

    donrae Hopelessly Addicted Premium Member

    Jun 18, 2010
    Southern Oregon
    No heat lamp. Fire danger is way to high, plus they just don't need it. Animals are designed to tolerate the cold, that's why they have feathers. You've got wild birds that winter in your area that do just fine that don't always have the consistent feed your birds have to keep warm. Plus, if your birds aren't acclimated to the cold and your power goes out, it's going to really stress their systems to be thrown into the cold like that. Folks here raise birds in the high northern US, Canada and Alaska without supplemental heat and the birds do just fine.
    1 person likes this.
  6. shmccarthy

    shmccarthy Chillin' With My Peeps

    Mar 27, 2013
    You definitely don't need it. All you need is a draft free area so they can be out of the wind. My birds did fine with no artificial heat in -15 weather last winter and they still didn't go in the coop. they just huddled behind the windbreaker and were just as lively and perky every morning. You're only doing them a disservice if you don't let them acclimate to the cold weather.
  7. vtguania

    vtguania Chillin' With My Peeps

    Apr 4, 2013
    JackE how has this open house design been working for you? I'm thinking of redoing my coop to this type & was hoping to get some input on how well it works. Do you have pics of the inside that you're willing to share? I've been reading the book by Dr Woods but I'm unsure as to where to place the roosts for the hens.

BackYard Chickens is proudly sponsored by