IR Heat Lamp is Waking up Chickens

Discussion in 'Coop & Run - Design, Construction, & Maintenance' started by swmalone, Oct 19, 2012.

  1. swmalone

    swmalone Chillin' With My Peeps

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    I built a new coop this year because we added a few more chickens and last year we just had a small A-frame chicken ark. In the coop I have placed a 250 W infr-red heat lamp on a thermostat just to try to keep the temperature slightly above freezing. It has been kicking on lately for just a bit in the early morning hours. The thing I have noticed as that it is waking up the chickens and then they start squawking like crazy for me to come let them out of their coop. I go out and because I have an enclosed run I open their pop door and they keep squawking but refuse to go out because it is still dark.

    I was under the impression that the chickens couldn't see the red colored light but they seem to be able to see this one. I am not too terribly worried right now because they are waking up just a little bit before the supplemental light I have turns on, but I am worried that when it gets colder out and the light either goes on and off all the time or it just stays on all night that this could be a problem. Do any of you have any suggestions or experience with the IR heat lamps and how your chickens respond.

    Thanks.
     
  2. JackE

    JackE Chillin' With My Peeps

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    Simple fix, get rid of the heatlamp.
    Jack
     
  3. MarineCorpFarmr

    MarineCorpFarmr Chillin' With My Peeps

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    not always an option.
     
  4. MarineCorpFarmr

    MarineCorpFarmr Chillin' With My Peeps

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    I have heat in my coop for my chicks and my bantams. 250w IR. The rest of the flock seems to care less that its even there.
     
  5. swmalone

    swmalone Chillin' With My Peeps

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    Ok, well other than getting rid of the lamp what are some of the other options or ideas?
     
  6. MarineCorpFarmr

    MarineCorpFarmr Chillin' With My Peeps

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    Let them get used to it.
     
  7. JackE

    JackE Chillin' With My Peeps

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    If you don't have young chicks, or some kind of exotic, thinly feathered breed, you do not need (really, your birds don't) any kind of added heat. They are perfectly suited and insulated, by nature to handle the cold. You say you are trying to keep it above freezing in the coop, all you are doing is not letting the chickens fully acclimate to the colder weather, and running up your electric bill. They are more than a few people on this site, who have chickens that regularly deal with winter temps below zero, and they don't use any kind of added heat. Get rid of the unnecessary heatlamp.
    Jack
     
  8. MarineCorpFarmr

    MarineCorpFarmr Chillin' With My Peeps

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    swmalone: you could try ceramic heat emitters and solve the light issue all together
     
    Last edited by a moderator: Oct 23, 2012
  9. swmalone

    swmalone Chillin' With My Peeps

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    I have thought about the ceramic emitters and I have also considered getting rid of the heat lamp altogether. We recently had our first chicken die and I think if I were to get rid of the heat lamp altogether my wife might get rid of me or make me go live in the coop, and then I would definitely want the heat. The price of those ceramic emitters seems kind of high but I guess if it lasts longer than the regular bulb maybe it is a good deal. Thinks for reminding me of that option.
     
  10. Judy

    Judy Moderator Staff Member

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    Swmalone, I believe I've read that ceramic heaters are economical in the long run because they last well and use a lot less power -- but don't take my word for it. I know my experience with red heat lamps is, some of them burned out in no time, and they really do some damage to the light bill. But -- the chickens did get used to the light, apparently, because it didn't seem to disturb their sleep after several nights of use. Like your wife, my son would have been horrified to leave them without any heat -- at first. We have also used them off and on to keep the water liquid on our occasional nights in the teens. I do think my chickens are quite used to them now.
     
    Last edited: Oct 19, 2012

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