How do I safely to hang a light/heat lamp in small coop?

Discussion in 'Coop & Run - Design, Construction, & Maintenance' started by Northwoodschickens, Jun 2, 2009.

  1. Northwoodschickens

    Northwoodschickens Hatching

    Mar 22, 2008
    Ely, MN
    We are building a "Catawba Converticoop" (Brougham Chicken Coop Plans). How do I safely put a light in for light and warmth in the winter? It's a A-Frame with the "hen house" on top and the chicken run underneath. I'm concerned about starting a fire with pine shaving bedding and a small enclosed space on top. I don't think it will do much good down below. We are in Northern MN, so it gets pretty cold. I bought an indoor/outdoor thermometer to help monitor the temp in winter. Also, suggestions for bulb wattage?
  2. lux_interior

    lux_interior Songster

    Apr 28, 2009
    I'm not sure if there is a way to put a heat lamp in something that small.... those things get very hot, I've burned myself bad on one so I know it would do harm to a chicken for sure!

    Is there maybe a way you could hang a healt lamp outside the coop pointing in to a vent or window? That may help if you really need a heat source. Most often though, the chickens do fine in cold or chilly weather, unless theyre babies...

    I live near chicago, so I know what you mean about cold winters... I know mine do fine, but I still give them a heat lamp on chilly nights.. [​IMG] I use the same heat lmap I use in brooders for chicks, it's red and the watts are 250. Good Luck [​IMG]
    Last edited: Jun 2, 2009
  3. ONE and only one thing I would tell you is : Do not use the little flimsy ''clamp'' hangers they give with the heatlamps....They can and do slip and can cause a lamp to fall and result in a fire, that can cause a major tragedy.
    We used a chain to hang our lamps ...andhung it from a screw in a solid 2x4.
    I was not comfortable at first with a heat lamp in the coop, but after putting our own safety measures , I slept much better! [​IMG]
    Last edited: Jun 2, 2009
  4. lunkerchicken

    lunkerchicken Songster

    I am not familiar with that type of coop but in my coop, I clamped the heat lamp up high to a 2 x 4. I also used a zip tie to secure the wire alarm to the 2 x 4 as well, just in case the clamp let go. You can never be too safe with the heat lamps - better safe than sorry.
  5. CityChook

    CityChook Songster

    Apr 9, 2008
    Minneapolis, MN
    My Coop
    [​IMG] from Minneapolis -

    I am not all together sure you will be able to put a heat lamp in your catawba coop. It has been awhile since I have seen one, but I don't think there's a lot of head room in the upper compartment. Heat lamps need a bit of clearance so no one gets hurt, and I'm just not sure you're going to get that in that style of coop.

    If you decide to put your hens into a different set-up for winter, then I recommend hard wiring for your heat lamp. I installed my fixture over the roost and then wired it to a switch. Works great and it's bolted high on the wall so I don't have to worry about it falling down and catching anything on fire or anyone brushing against it and burning themselves. I use a 250 watt ceramic heat emitter and it gets unbelievably hot. I started out the season with a 100 watt bulb and it was completely useless in these temperatures. It's pretty darned cold here in MN over the winter, and it lasts a long time.... 2 chickens aren't going to produce that much body heat alone, even in a smallish coop, so you're going to probably want to provide some sort of heat source. You will also need a heated water dish so that your water doesn't freeze, so the coop will need access to electricity.

    You might want to re-think your winter digs now while you have time to make it happen... Good luck!
  6. coloradowildflower

    coloradowildflower Songster

    Jul 12, 2008
    Hi there!

    Both my dad and I have a very similar coops to yours and we both put our heat lamps above one of the nest boxes, angled out slightly towards the main roosting area. You can easily cut wire mesh and put it over the opening to the nest box so the babies can't get too close and get burned. It actually works great, because they have a lot of control over how warm they want to be. Our girls are still young (12 weeks now) and when we put them in with it they were about 5 weeks old. We just hung it on a hook attached to the main ridgepole. It has worked great. Here's a photo of my dad's beautiful ark while we were installing the light:


    I don't know what we'll do when they start actually laying and using the nest boxes, but my theory is that during the winter we'll just put sides on the bottom and have the heat lamp down there. My husband is building an extension run, so they'll be able to go out into that part or stay under the coop where they'll have the light.

    I LOVE this coop design. It is space-efficient, beautiful, and makes for a happy little flock. Hope you're enjoying yours, too.

    (Also, see my post about needing to put wheels on ours. . . any suggestions?) [​IMG]
    Last edited: Jun 12, 2009

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