is it time to put a heat lamp in the coop


In the Brooder
7 Years
Nov 6, 2012
It is starting to get down into the high 30's here in Idaho and dont know if or when I should use a heat lamp. I did last year but dont know if it makes them aggitated because the light is on in the middle of the night.
I'm over in MT and we've been colder than that already this year. I don't provide any additional heat for my birds and they are doing just fine.

I suppose it depends on what breeds you have though--I've got mostly cold hardy breeds, though there is one leghorn hybrid in the bunch.
I would probably NOT use a heat lamp because you WANT the chickens to grow their thick down feathers to keep them warm over the winter.
With artificial heating, they won't develop their "winter coat" and every time they go outside out from underneath the artificial heat, they'll get chilled.
Chickens have lived without artificial heating for thousands of years.
Unless you have breeds that originated from tropical regions (e.g., Seramas), you don't need to supply heat.
But ventilation is very important so they don't develop frostbite.
And if you have chickens with LARGE combs or wattles, you may want to rub vaseline on them.
I have barred rocks and red sexlinks. I just worry about one that is goin through a full molt right now but she also has been spending a coupl night inside because she has been getting beat up by the others just started getting some good feathers back on. so any light at all in the coop?
Right now its 30f here, super windy damp, and colorado low heading this way 4-6 inches of snow possible friday night.
I was just outside, and even in an uninsulated non heated shed, it is much warmer than out in the open.
All of our old tyme relatives never heated birds, no electricity on the farm. Lots of bedding straw, out of the elements , keep as dry as possible, birds can handle way more cold than You and I could ever handle.
No offence to anyone, but this topic is beaten to death in many different threads, with a lot of different posters. Now i know yall are worried about your little feathered babies, but they be tougher than humans, and unless you are going through major sub-zero f temps, let em adapt, keep em fed, keep em dry and out of the drafts and rain and snow. They will be okay for the most part, keep the water dish open, that is what needs the heat....
this is going to sound stupid but it is only because I am only two years into this chicken thing and worry more than I should. But I have the door open from the coop to the run during the day and the girls go out in the rain if they want. Should I not be doing this when its cold. My husband is a farm boy and me a city girl and let me tell you I drive him crazy worrying about the girls .
I wouldn't start with heat, if you start you will have to continue. Then you have to worry about power outages.

I have a Brahma in molt and always seems comfortable in the mornings when I go to open their coop.

I open the door for the birds every day regardless of weather--if they want to go out they will.
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The only heat in my coops is the heated waterers. no supplemental heat, and the pop door to the (partially-covered) run is open every day except during the worst north winds. Never had frostbite and my birds have always done well in the winter.

Keys are draft-free, well-ventilated, good thick bedding to help with comfort, and plenty of food and water to allow them to heat themselves.
Thank you for the info. Last year we did the heat lamps this year I think i will go without unless their water starts freezing.

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