How long should I have a heat lamp on in the coop during the winter?

Discussion in 'Coop & Run - Design, Construction, & Maintenance' started by chickenfriendly, Nov 19, 2011.

  1. chickenfriendly

    chickenfriendly Out Of The Brooder

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    May 22, 2011
    With is starting to get colder here in Northern California (sometimes below 30 degrees) I have hooked up a heat light in the coop. Should I only have the light on a certain amount of time? (Darkness hours, morning to extend daylight hour?) I want to make sure that they can be comfortable and coninue to be productive in the they're laying. Anyone have any suggestions. I was thinking about getting a thermostatlly controlled outlet for the light and/water hook up for the coop.
     
  2. sacrifice

    sacrifice Chillin' With My Peeps

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    Mar 29, 2010
    Caldwell, ID
    9 degrees out today - no heat lamp. There is a 15 watt lamp in the coop for light, and lights in the pen so they can see food and water. The chickens are perfectly happy and continue to lay just as many eggs as when it was warmer.
     
    Last edited: Nov 19, 2011
  3. SundownWaterfowl

    SundownWaterfowl Overrun With Chickens

    I live in NY. Never use heat lamps in the winter unless they are young birds/not full grown. I think heating does more harm than good.
     
  4. chickenpredatorkiller

    chickenpredatorkiller Chillin' With My Peeps

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    Aug 1, 2011
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    Quote:You probably have a lot of chickens that keep eachother warm... is that true? If so, do you know if it is ok for my 2 hens to not have a heat lamp when it gets near freezing?
     
  5. flowergirl60

    flowergirl60 Chillin' With My Peeps

    Feb 13, 2011
    Austin Tx
    I have never used a heat lamp and my girls did fine. I only have 3.
     
  6. sacrifice

    sacrifice Chillin' With My Peeps

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    Mar 29, 2010
    Caldwell, ID
    Quote:You probably have a lot of chickens that keep eachother warm... is that true? If so, do you know if it is ok for my 2 hens to not have a heat lamp when it gets near freezing?

    I only have 5 chickens. The coop is 8 X 4 and 5 feet tall, so there is a lot of room. They roost together, but otherwise they are apart as they walk around the pen. This place can get into the negative temperatures, and I have had as few as one chicken during the winter. They have always done fine without heat. The only thing I am concerned about is moisture - that is the killer in my opinion. So, the chickens have fresh and dry woodshavings added to the coop weekly, and good airflow (but no direct drafts) in the coop. So, I would say that 2 hens would be fine - just keep them dry and eliminate any drafts in the coop.

    Edit to add Chickens hanging around - snow in background - Snow Chickens! [​IMG]

    [​IMG]
     
    Last edited: Nov 19, 2011
  7. wyododge

    wyododge Chillin' With My Peeps

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    Quote:It gets fifty to sixty degrees colder than that around here, and the girls do just fine. I don't know of anyone around here that adds heat. But if you do decide to add heat, the best advise I could give is to watch them and adjust the length of time accordingly. It's 19 here right now, and got down to 9 last night. My girls are all running around like they are in the bahamas...
     
  8. teach1rusl

    teach1rusl Love My Chickens

    As you can see, opinions vary widely about the use of heat for chickens...lol. It's a personal choice based various factors such as pet vs. livestock, breed, region, size of flock, costs, etc.
    If you choose to add heat, the Thermocubes (or similar devices) are great, saving time and money. The different models trigger on at 35, 20, 10, and I think there's even a zero model. If you choose to heat, I would recommend getting a bulb from a pet store, because they sell the lower wattage heat bulbs - as low as 50w. Lower wattages put out heat, but (IMO) are safer (not as hot), plus less $$$ on your power bill.
    If you use a thermocube type device - no timer is needed, since it's based on temps.
    That being said, I don't know whether a heat bulb would work to extend the day or not (for egg production). White light may be needed for that??? Most who add light to extend the day have them set on a timer to come on around 4 or 5 a.m. and go off around 7:30 a.m.
     
  9. nuchickontheblock

    nuchickontheblock Chillin' With My Peeps

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    May 16, 2010
    south portland, maine
    when we started with chickens, folks on the forum suggested no heat in the winter and our chickens did fine. This year we built a new coop and decided not to insulate or have heat. I am sure my birds with be good in the Maine winter. We do have a heater for the waterer that will go on when it is below freezing, and have supplemental lighting for egg production (and because it seems pretty dark in the winter.
     
  10. sadies0111

    sadies0111 Out Of The Brooder

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    Nov 18, 2010
    I am from Wisconsin, and I agree that heat is not needed, especially in your climate. My 4 girls are even molting right now, and they seem to be doing just fine...it's been in the 20's overnight lately. If they get used to a heat source, they will not tolerate the cold if something would happen to your electricity.
     

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