Light and Heat

Discussion in 'Coop & Run - Design, Construction, & Maintenance' started by cruelas01, Nov 8, 2009.

  1. cruelas01

    cruelas01 New Egg

    Nov 8, 2009
    I am confused about lighting and heating of my coop. I live in Northern California, but in a generally warm area near Sacramento. I have seen red lights in chicken coops but not sure if I need them or not. Also, do I need to have a heat lamp in my coop if it gets cold? And what is 'cold' to a chicken? Can someone advise me about when it is best to use lights or heat lamps in my coop?

    My coop is about 15x15 feet. I have 13 hens and 1 rooster and 14 nesting boxes. All my chickens are fairly young, but full grown and just starting to lay eggs. Any advise will be appreciated.

    Thanks - Candy
  2. silkiechicken

    silkiechicken Staff PhD Premium Member

    I live in WA and I give no extra heat or light even though last winter when it was in the teens and 20's for a week with snow. Matter of fact, most of them actually chose to sleep on their roost in the run instead of going inside to sleep!

    I would say that the lower 40's and the 30s is a bit chilly, but wearing feather jackets, not too cold. Mommy hen took her 3 day old chicks out to play in the rain when it was in the low 40's and all grew up fine. The birds start hunkering down a bit during the day when it was below freezing, but doesn't deter them from going out and eating snow. In cali, you don't need to add heat or lighting.

  3. momofdrew

    momofdrew Chillin' With My Peeps

    I live in New Hampshire and had a lot of winter storms last year and only 4 birds... they did not have any additional heat... I dont know about Northern Calif but we got down to -35 and lower some nights...I use the deep shavings method and also put straw around the outside of the coop for added insulation...
  4. Ridgerunner

    Ridgerunner True BYC Addict

    Feb 2, 2009
    Northwest Arkansas
    Welcome to the forum. Glad to have you here.

    Chickens actually handle cold quite well, but they do have some basic requirements. They need good ventilation and to be draft free. That can be accomplished by having the ventilation higher than the chickens when they roost. Here is a link to Pat's Ventilation Page. It has great information.

    The danger to grown chickens is frostbite. They can get frostbite in any freezing temperatures if the humidity is high. If the humidity is low, they can handle temperatures in the single digits fahrenheit. The other danger is wind chill. If they are in a draft, they potentially could have a problem. Hope this helps.

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