Insulated Coop using 125 Watt heat lamp

Discussion in 'Managing Your Flock' started by pwog, Oct 31, 2011.

  1. pwog

    pwog Out Of The Brooder

    Jun 8, 2011
    Hi All,

    I have 7 chickens (19 weeks old) - all hardy breeds. I live in Maine. I have an insulated chicken coop with an attached run. The insulation is only in the roof and it is covered so, the girls can't get at it. I've read so much about their combs freezing that when the night time temperatures started to drop below freezing I was concerned, so I added a 125 Watt heat lamp on a thermosat plug that turns on at 35 degrees and off at 45 degrees.

    I've also read a lot about how adding a heat lamp can be harmful due to chickens not acclimating, condensation build-up, etc. So, now I am all confused as to what to do.

    Does anyone have experience with a similar setup? If so, please share your experience.

    Thanks! Happy Halloween!

  2. AlienChick

    AlienChick Chillin' With My Peeps

    Apr 9, 2010
    Glasgow, KY
    I probably would NOT add the extra heat for two reasons:

    1) They don't need it
    2) It can add extra condensation which could lead to frostbite

    ALSO, check out the winter chicken-keeping thread for more information that might be helpful for your particulation situation.

  3. mstricer

    mstricer Overrun With Chickens

    Feb 12, 2009
    Hardy breeds are just that, they are designed for all types of weather. Don't put a light in your coop. The moisture will cause them to get frostbit. There are folks in Alaska that don't heat their coops. So I'm sure if they don't have to neither do we.
  4. JodyJo

    JodyJo Chillin' With My Peeps

    Sep 27, 2010
    I agree, the added heat is not needed....and the warmth will just ADD to the moisture, increasing the chance of frostbite....
  5. Lesa

    Lesa Chillin' With My Peeps

    May 28, 2008
    Upstate NY
    Ventilation is way more important than heat. Remember your chickens are covered in thick, thick feathers. Put your hand under them when the are roosting at night- warm as toast...I am in upstate NY- many days below zero, and similar winters to yours. My coop is insulated and my chickens have lived in that coop for many years, with no frostbite problems. Put a thermometer in the coop- depending how many chickens you have, you will be surprised how often it is above freezing in there- when it is below, outside.
  6. pwog

    pwog Out Of The Brooder

    Jun 8, 2011
    Thank you everyone for your replies. I took the lamp out of the coop and my girls are all doing well. I guess the insulation is doing it's job too, as the water hasn't frozen (yet)!
  7. Fred's Hens

    Fred's Hens Chicken Obsessed Premium Member

    The water will freeze. I use the heated dog bowl method. Works well.

    The problem isn't now, but later. When the lows dip below zero is when you'll have second thoughts, perhaps. But the reality is this. The birds we have are descendants of the birds our great-great-grandparents had. The Wyandottes, Plymouth Rocks, Rhode Island Reds, Buckeye's, were all bred and developed by our fore-fathers and fore-mothers in the 1800's. Where? Mostly in New England, Up-State New York, Ohio, Wisconsin and other cold places, included Canada.

    They had no heat, no electricity and the birds thrived and we have their DNA today. To me, the talk of heritage needs to start there. Cooped up without fresh air and high humidity is a problem in sub-zero temps. With proper ventilation, the birds will be fine right down to minus 30. Your bigger concerns are water and eggs freezing.
    The birds are covered in down and layered in feathers. The often tuck their heads under the wings when they sleep, btw. You'll do just fine.

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