Looking for suggestions for Solar Powered Heat Lamps

Discussion in 'Managing Your Flock' started by WinterSkyMoonRanch, Aug 10, 2011.

  1. newfoundland

    newfoundland Chillin' With My Peeps

    Jul 1, 2010
    Here is a little tip I picked up from an ancient hen keeper, it might be of some use to someone. Can anyone remember the old salt glazed stoneware hot water bottles that people warmed the bed with at night before rubber hot water bottles? Not used for many years I know, but some people kept them as doorstops etc. They make excellent sources of heat, when filled with hot water and covered with straw, in the hen house at night. Tried this out and it keeps the hens cozy for the price of a kettle of hot water.
  2. ChickChickChicky

    ChickChickChicky Chillin' With My Peeps

    Dec 22, 2011
    Greater Kansas City, MO
    #1) One can't allow their batteries' charge to drop below 50% without causing serious, permanent damage to the batteries. So less than one half of the energy stored in the battery(ies) is available for use at any given time.

    2) To just keep water from freezing, I would recommend a heated dog water dish. You can get a small one that draws only 30 watts. I would advise plugging it into a thermocube which will only activate when the temperature drops near freezing, so you won't be wasting electricity. You'll need a solar panel, battery(ies), charge controller, and inverter along with the thermocube and heated dish. With solar energy, the initial outlay is never cheap.
  3. ChickChickChicky

    ChickChickChicky Chillin' With My Peeps

    Dec 22, 2011
    Greater Kansas City, MO
    For keeping a henhouse warm, passive solar is probably the easiest/cheapest way to go. A simplified version would be a large expanse of glass on the south exposure, with bareels of water inside the coop to absorb the heat from the sun. The water stores the heat until evening, then slowly gives it off. It will work best if you have a heavily insulated building, a long awning that keeps the sun's rays out during the summer when the sun is high in the sky, and cover the glass at night with an insulated blanket to slow heat loss through the glass.
  4. Mickleb

    Mickleb New Egg

    May 28, 2012
    May be totally speaking out of school, since I'm in central Florida but here for hot outdoor water in the winter time we just use a Black 55 gallon rain water barrel. I am using rain barrels to water my chickens and garden a blue ones. If you were in colder climates you just use black and it will heat the water enough to not make it not freeze. As far as keeping the chickens warm you just have to keep them out of the north wind. We use suspended black water barrels for camp showers in the winter and it works. Might need to cover it or something if it's real overcast. Just a thought, like I said I'm in Florida...So I'm cheating but it gets into the 20's here maybe high teens a few days a year. LOL
  5. Den in Penn

    Den in Penn Chillin' With My Peeps

    Dec 15, 2011
    SE Pa.
    Welcome to BYC
    The problem comes with the lessening lenght of the days in the north. In Florida the sun stays in the sky longer and at a better angle. I know there are a very few nights that get in the twenties, but the day comes and it goes above freezing. Now here north of 40th parallel there are days and nights where it doesn't rise above freezing, add the low sun angle and the short days and don't forget the clouds. Well a moderate sized barrel, unprotected is on borrowed time.
  6. Mrs. K

    Mrs. K Overrun With Chickens

    Nov 12, 2009
    western South Dakota
    Western SD here, I do not add heat to my chickens, instead, add more feed when it gets cold. Chickens will produce the heat they need if they have the energy from food. They do need protection from the wind, but they need good ventilation.

    We often have temperatures as cold as -40 degrees, not counting the added wind chill, but it come colder over the season, and chickens get used to it. However, you do have to give them more feed, when they need more energy to keep warm, and less feed when it warms up.

    As for the waterer, I just use a black rubber bowl, it is easy to stomp out the ice, and add warm water in the morning. Mine do fine with non heated water.

  7. jeepguy982001

    jeepguy982001 Chillin' With My Peeps

    Oct 4, 2011
    athens, wv
    I don't have power in my coop either. I have 2 waterers. One stays inside the chicken pen one inside my house. So when one freezes i just swap them out. Not the most ideal but hey it works.
  8. suewtsn

    suewtsn Out Of The Brooder

    Jul 16, 2013
    Strathmore, Alberta
    This is my first winter with chickens. I have a well insulated coop and putting in a sky light for heating in the winter (hoping this will help and give them light). I'm stressing that they will get cold though. We get down to -30s in the winter (celcius). I'm in Calgary. Just wondering how cold it gets where you are seeings how you don't heat. I understand nature gave them feathers and normally wouldn't worry, however, with all the cross breeding, who knows what they can handle. Kinda like saying all dogs have fur so can stay outside, well, not if its a poodle. :) Thoughts?
  9. JackE

    JackE Overrun With Chickens

    Apr 26, 2010
    North Eastern Md.
    Check out the old book in the link below. On pg24, you can read about people keeping chickens in unheated, uninsulated open air coops, in Canada, with -40F temps. Unless you have some kind of thinly feathered exotic island bird, chickens can handle the cold with no problem. Problems come when people box them up in a poorly ventilated coop, in some misguided attempt to "Keep them warm." Moisture builds up in the coop, then comes frostbite, and possible respiratory problems. I've read on this forum about people's coop doors being frozen shut from the inside due to excessive moisture from the chickens breathing and their waste. Make sure you don't fall into that trap. Keep your coop WELL ventilated year round.

  10. auntphibian

    auntphibian Chillin' With My Peeps

    Jul 20, 2014
    Ashland City, TN
    You can buy a heated dog water bowl, build a small stand to keep dirt and shavings out and run an extension cord to keep the water from freezing.

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