Newbie Questions!!! About Heat lamps (I know it is a poor subject but have to ask)


5 Years
Oct 3, 2014
Hey everyone,
This is my first flock. We acquired two mixed chickens (RIR & Heritage) from a farm here in town. I have a 4x4 A-frame coop minus the nesting boxes with a 4x8 run attached. I live in the mountains of Colorado and was wondering if i needed a heat lamp for the winters here. I have read a lot of the posts already and I know a lot of you guys don't like heat lamps at all. Basically my wife is worried about the chickens the kids and her have grown very fond of our two ladies and would be devestated if anything happened to them. So today she made me go and buy all the stuff needed to install a heat lamp in the coop, I did take it upon myself and do it as safely as possible electrical wise. Is there a different route I could take for example turn the electrical box into an outlet and use that power for another source of warmth (like water or something). Any ideas would help. thank you.


11 Years
Oct 16, 2010
Heated water supply is nice for winter, ours is supplied by electric cord from exterior GFI outlet on house. I keep water in run not in the coop. In winter the biggest thing you are fighting is frost. Poor ventilation of coop is the biggest factor to cause frost. I personally would not add heated water in coop to that equation.

I've used 37 watt energy efficient bulb on timer to promote laying but never heated a coop. -30F winters here. shovel snow from run and put straw down so they go outside. Don't forget a tarp to wrap your two windward sides or corner of run for a wind shield.


5 Years
Oct 3, 2014
ok thank you i will look into that i plan on tarping a whole side of the run once it starts snowing and freezing regularly right now the ground is still warm


7 Years
Liquid water is probably a lot more important than heat for your chickens in the winter. They are actually a pretty hardy bird where cold is concerned (depending on the breed) but, as you probably know there in Colorado, cold is a lot dryer than heat and you/they dehydrate a lot faster. So, do what you can to make sure they have liquid water available. Keep the coop well ventilated and take some measures to allow the birds to have both internal and external protection from the harshest part of the winter (covered run, straw on snow, etc.).


Chicken Juggler!
Premium Feather Member
9 Years
Nov 27, 2012
SW Michigan
My Coop
My Coop
Please, please, please remove the heat lamp from the the's not going to help the chickens, it will only hinder their acclimation to the cold, and it's very dangerous.

There are uncountable renderings of this same advice all over this and other's a common misconception that chicken need heat.

Learn instead about ventilation/draft protection and figure out how you will keep their water open for drinking once the freezing weather begins.


6 Years
May 11, 2013
Eastern WA
X2 what @aart said. They don't need it and it can weaken them. And yes, very dangerous. If you can get a heat lamp close enough to them to heat anything, it's close enough that they can and will eventually knock it down, starting fire. I know your wife is concerned about them and you're wanting to do the right thing. See if you can find someone near you that has been raising chickens for a long time and go in person to see their operation...I bet they don't use heat. They have thick feathers and huddle together for heat.

And yes, figure out proper ventilation and draft protection as well as keeping water unfrozen.

We don't use heat and the chickens were fine down to -9F last winter, the coldest it's gotten since we moved here.

My father in law raised chickens in northern Maine, without heat, where if would hit -50f or colder, during the winters, no loss to cold.

Most common chicken breeds are cold hardy. Check your breeds to see if they are. You have time because it hasn't gotten really cold yet.
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7 Years
Jun 13, 2014
You only have 2 chickens? I would say the best way to keep your chickens properly warm and happy would be to get them more snuggle buddies!!

Mrs. K

Free Ranging
12 Years
Nov 12, 2009
western South Dakota
Dry chickens are warm chickens, wet chickens are cold. Warm air holds more moisture than cold air. It is ventilation, not the heat lamp. Dry chickens that have been fed, can keep themselves warm if they have wind protection.

Mrs K

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