It's 16 degrees! Heat Lamp??

Discussion in 'Coop & Run - Design, Construction, & Maintenance' started by hlroudeb, Dec 18, 2008.

  1. hlroudeb

    hlroudeb In the Brooder

    Oct 1, 2008
    So here in Indiana is was 16-20 degrees all week! I felt so bad for my 6 month old chickens (2) that I bought a heat lamp.

    So.... how do I use it? I've got it hung where I want it... not too close and only a 125 watt bulb.

    It's been on for 3 days straight...... should i leave it on all the time. I didn't want to spoil them, but it's been that cold day & night. I told myself I would only plug it in when it was under freezing.

    Will it hurt for them to have light 24 hours a day?

    Today is was 37! So I let them out and they didn't want to go back in! Even with the lamp on! They were standing in the 1/4 snow and 1/4 ice in the grass all day...... stood on one foot trying to keep them warm! Silly chickens!

    Heather - Noblesville IN

  2. chickenpiedpiper

    chickenpiedpiper Songster

    Aug 4, 2008
    New Durham NH
    Is it a red bulb? or a white bulb?

    125 isnt going to throw much heat. I use a 250 watt red bulb, and aim it into the middle of the coop, where it warms the floor and shavings, and the heat radiates upwards to the roosts. Not a great idea to aim it at the birds directly unless it is a safe distance, they are not little chicken burgers to be kept hot on a plate! put your hand where your birds will be, can you feel the heat? is it too much? or not enough. Remember the bulb is producing a lot of heat off itself as well, that will circulate a bit. (but again, a 125 is pretty minnimal)

    invest in a cheap little themometer, and mount it on the wall level and near where your birds roost. If you can afford one, get one that records min and max temps, (you would be amazed!) Get some info about the temps in your coop, then you will know better if the light is helping or not. Keep the light a safe distance from flammables, and rember, heat rises, so there needs to be plenty of air circulation around the bulb itself, not just the area it is pointed at![​IMG]

    If it is a red light, I leave mine on 24/7 during the winter, and have a white heat light that is on a timer to come on during days. This keeps the coop above freezing, and gives them a place to go to during the day to dry and warm up. Most of my hens spend the days outside in the snow tho, but I feed in the coop during the winter, so they come in to scratch about, thaw, and feed, then go back outside. if they are locked inside, they will naturally not want to spend thier free choice days inside too, they get stir crazy really easily! I let them out everyday, and let them decide snow, or shavings.....

    Dont worry too much about spoiling them... a single heat light isnt going to do that. if you installed radiant floor heat, and kept them at 70 degrees year round, now that is spoiling them! Just aim at keeping the coop above freezing, but under 45-50, and your hens will do great! Oh, and you will get lots of conflicting info on what you should do with your birds, my favorite advice, is to do what sets your mind at ease. If you feel your birds are cold, then heat them to a comfy temp. remember your climate and coop is different from everyone elses, and you can see how your brds are faring. Younger birds do need a bit more coddling, but so do older birds... Absorb all the views, and then find your own balance...

    Good Luck!
  3. hlroudeb

    hlroudeb In the Brooder

    Oct 1, 2008
    I think your advise is along the same lines as I was thinking was right.

    I feel they are going to be fine without a heat lamp.... but why make them miserable! I want them to like me as they are our family pets!

    Their coop is very small kids wooden playhouse.... adapted to a coop. I could stand 4 five year old kids in there and they would have fun..... 6 would not be fun.

    Your right about being stir crazy! They fly out of there yelling at me! i just know they have learn to cuss at me!

    Drafts are sealed and pine shavings everywhere. 2 boxes that they don't seem to use! A heated dog dish is doing great in there too.

    Because of the coop size, the 125 watt is dong well i think. When I stick my head in there I can feel is "almost" warm where the girls are sleeping.

    I'll have to thnk about the red bulb and a white one on a timer.... i have a white bulb currently... on 24 hours!

    BUT I love the temp. idea! I have to get one that records... this will make me feel much better!

  4. jubylives

    jubylives Songster

    Mar 23, 2007
    Central Iowa
  5. Chicken Woman

    Chicken Woman Incredible Egg

    Oct 16, 2008
    I bought a plug that you plug into your outlet and plug the light into the plug. It is thermastaically controlled to come on at 32 degrees and off at 42 . That way it will not run constantly. I bought it at Lowes for $14.95 in the lighting section. I had to ask for it as it was in a weird place hanging on a rack.
    Last edited by a moderator: Dec 18, 2008

  6. gkeesling

    gkeesling Songster

    Nov 24, 2008
    Hagerstown, IN
    I live in East Central Indiana with 12 6 week old BR pullets, and 7 6 week old RIR's that were put in the box as warmers when shipped. I moved my chickes out to the coop when they were 4 weeks old. I got a plug in from a web site (Premier Sheep I think) that turns on at 32 degrees and turns off at 45 degrees. I keep a 250W red heat lamp plugged to it. The lamp is about 4 feet off the floor in the middle of the coop. At night the chicks huddle under the light and sleep. During the day they hang out away from the light. They all seem to be doing ok and eating and drinking way more than I thought they would. They are fully feathered and I thought about turning off the light but it's supposed to get really cold next week so I think I'll leave it on and let it turn off itself if the temps get above 45. That's just what i do and it seems to be working ok.

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