I caved on the heat lamp

Katejc

Chirping
Sep 17, 2019
146
207
91
Shuswap, British Columbia
Its about 0 here. The temp dropped suddenly from about 30 degrees and will stay this cold for the rest of the week. Our coop isnt built yet so our chickens live in our sunroom with all glass doors which I have covered with insulated curtain panels and dumped in a bunch of straw. I still have to go in and break the surface ice off the water about 5 times a day. The silkies seem stunned and my game hen has gone into survival foraging mode so I have hidden sesame and sunflower seeds in the straw for her so she doesn’t get bored.
 

Katejc

Chirping
Sep 17, 2019
146
207
91
Shuswap, British Columbia
Is the heat lamp over the straw? How old are the birds? They might not need supplemental heat. If you insist on a heat lamp, I’d have it secured in multiple spots so it can’t possibly fall onto the straw.
They are about 5 months. The game hen is fine, she’s still laying. The silkies not so much. Its suspended from the ceiling but I am going to go check it now because I am paranoid! Im hoping it keeps the water dish from freezing. The game hen seems pissed when that happens!
 

oldhenlikesdogs

Great Horny Toads
Staff member
Premium member
Jul 16, 2015
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After an initial drop in temperature some birds may appear sluggish. They generally adapt after a few days. I have kept silkies here with no extra heat. Temperatures can get into the -20's F or colder during cold snaps.

I personally have never felt safe using a heat lamp on older birds, and I believe it interferes with the acclamation process.

In the end they are your birds and you need to decide what you are comfortable doing for them. My experiences may not be yours and vice versa.
 

gtaus

Crowing
Mar 29, 2019
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Northern Minnesota
My Coop
My Coop
Its about 0 here. The temp dropped suddenly from about 30 degrees and will stay this cold for the rest of the week. Our coop isnt built yet so our chickens live in our sunroom with all glass doors which I have covered with insulated curtain panels and dumped in a bunch of straw. I still have to go in and break the surface ice off the water about 5 times a day. The silkies seem stunned and my game hen has gone into survival foraging mode so I have hidden sesame and sunflower seeds in the straw for her so she doesn’t get bored.
I noticed you live in Canada. Are you talking about 0C (32F) in your sunroom? For me, that is not very cold. My chickens are getting along fine in their outdoor coop when the nighttime temps have dropped down to -30C (-22F) this winter. I would think that at 5 months old, your chickens should be able to handle 0C (32F) at night if they huddle together to keep warm.

If you are uncomfortable with the temp in your sunroom, then I won't judge you for adding some heat. They are your birds. I have used heat lamps over straw, but always had 2 means of securing the heat lamp above the straw. Usually, 2 separate chains suspended from the ceiling and/or secured to a beam.

This year I bought a Cozy Coop radiant heater for my chickens, but have not used it yet. It is supposed to be more fire safe than a heat lamp. If I had some chickens in an attached sunroom, I think I would sleep better at night with the Cozy Coop heater instead of the heat lamp.

cozy-coop-flat-panel-heater_H[1].jpg
 

Katejc

Chirping
Sep 17, 2019
146
207
91
Shuswap, British Columbia
After an initial drop in temperature some birds may appear sluggish. They generally adapt after a few days. I have kept silkies here with no extra heat. Temperatures can get into the -20's F or colder during cold snaps.

I personally have never felt safe using a heat lamp on older birds, and I believe it interferes with the acclamation process.

In the end they are your birds and you need to decide what you are comfortable doing for them. My experiences may not be yours and vice versa.
I have no idea why I wrote 30’s. I’m in canada and did a bad job of the conversion! Its about -20 to -25 c here probably dipping to -30 at night (about -15f). They were doing okay without it but it got cold so fast. We were in the 30’s a week ago. It feels like the right thing to do...but I don’t want to damage them in the long run.
 

Kris5902

Free Ranging
Oct 12, 2018
3,173
14,679
712
British Columbia, Canada
It’s been an awful fast drop in temps here as well, getting down below -5C all of a sudden from otherwise decently warm normal weather. Though the ice is annoying it should be fine, so long as they have protection from wind, which I’m sure your sunroom is providing just fine. Do they all roost together I would be a little concerned if someone was roosting alone. It’s no consolation, but I’m now hand watering with warm water all (60ish) of my birds daily. Their water freezes in about 1/2 hour, and no one has left their roosting boxes in several days.
 

Katejc

Chirping
Sep 17, 2019
146
207
91
Shuswap, British Columbia
I noticed you live in Canada. Are you talking about 0C (32F) in your sunroom? For me, that is not very cold. My chickens are getting along fine in their outdoor coop when the nighttime temps have dropped down to -30C (-22F) this winter. I would think that at 5 months old, your chickens should be able to handle 0C (32F) at night if they huddle together to keep warm.

If you are uncomfortable with the temp in your sunroom, then I won't judge you for adding some heat. They are your birds. I have used heat lamps over straw, but always had 2 means of securing the heat lamp above the straw. Usually, 2 separate chains suspended from the ceiling and/or secured to a beam.

This year I bought a Cozy Coop radiant heater for my chickens, but have not used it yet. It is supposed to be more fire safe than a heat lamp. If I had some chickens in an attached sunroom, I think I would sleep better at night with the Cozy Coop heater instead of the heat lamp.

View attachment 2002853
I definitely messed up the conversion. We’re at -20 to -25 going to about -30 at bight. Last week we were between 0 to -5 so its been a dramatic drop!
 

Katejc

Chirping
Sep 17, 2019
146
207
91
Shuswap, British Columbia
Just remember that you will want to make any adjustments back to outside temperatures slowly... and secure the lamp as well as possible! Are you planning to keep everyone in until spring or transition them back once the temperatures return to normal?
We have like 3 feet of snow so they are stuck inside for awhile :( I’ll let them hang out on the doorstep once the temp comes up a bit. I can’t wait to finish their coop and get them in it.
 
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