Red heat lamp and pecking

Discussion in 'Chicken Behaviors and Egglaying' started by Ga Chicken Mom, Jan 14, 2008.

  1. Ga Chicken Mom

    Ga Chicken Mom Chillin' With My Peeps

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    Jul 24, 2007
    Since we live in N GA the temps don't get too cold here - the coldest night so far this winter was 16 degrees. We used a red heat lamp for several nights in the coop while the temps were in the teens. Seems that the girls were irritable and pecked at each other more. So did the cold make them cranky or less sleep from the red light? Its getting colder again we're not going to use the heat lamp and see what happens. The girls seem happy - we're averaging 8.5 eggs a day from nine 8 1/2 month old hens. The coop is snug and has deep litter. Has anyone else observred cranky behavior when using a red lamp or do chickens not see red light?
     
  2. Smitty's Farm

    Smitty's Farm Chillin' With My Peeps

    Aug 24, 2007
    St Clair County, Il
    Mine didn't adjust well to having a light on when the temps dipped. They typically sleep in the dark and was to stimulated w/ the infrared lamp, but mine was clear. The red one works well for some people, but it stimulated other people's chickens also. I guess it depends on what the chicks are use to.

    You can purchase a no light ceramic heat lamp from a pet supple store if it continues to bother them. The Petco's in our area carries them or you can order them online. They are kind of expensive.

    Good luck!
     
  3. Ga Chicken Mom

    Ga Chicken Mom Chillin' With My Peeps

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    Jul 24, 2007
    Thanks Smitty, I'll look for the ceramic lamp. No Petco here in our little mountain town but we did just get a Tractor Supply, perhaps they have the ceramic lamps.
     
  4. Smitty's Farm

    Smitty's Farm Chillin' With My Peeps

    Aug 24, 2007
    St Clair County, Il
    This info was shared w/ me by DougD when I was looking for a solution for heating w/ out light. Hope it helps. [​IMG]

    Ceramic heat lamps at Amazon:
    http://www.amazon.com/s/ref=nb_ss_hg/10 … 8&y=18

    Also available directly from Pet Solutions:
    http://www.petsolutions.com/Heat-Wave-L … 22045.aspx

    Also, I recommend you use a good quality fixture with a ceramic base socket for any of these or the heat lamp bulbs. Not the ones with plastic sockets.
    Example: http://www.amazon.com/Designers-Edge-In … amp;sr=8-1
    You can probably find a similar fixture locally.
     
  5. bigzio

    bigzio Overrun With Chickens

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    Jan 20, 2007
    Wisconsin
    My opinion is that it may be too warm for them with the heat lamp, and that is why they are pecking each other. Inside the coop with the added flock giving off heat, and the heat lamp, what was the temp inside the coop? Most hens do really well with cooler temps that aren't that extreme. Temps like that are very mild for us here and not even a concern. Just a thought from up north.

    bigzio
     
  6. Princessferf

    Princessferf Out Of The Brooder

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    Nov 30, 2007
    Wisconsin
    I keep a red heat lamp on in our coop 24/7. The girls don't seem to peck at each other much, although we've had a couple of cases of pecking that didn't last long at all. The temp in the coop rarely goes above 40 degrees lately, and when it gets real cold the coop temp sometimes drops down into the 20's.

    The heat lamp provides just enough light and warmth to keep the edge off. Even with the coop temp around 20, if I poke my fingers through their feathers, their skin is nice and toasty warm.

    The hardest thing for them is not being able to go outside. We had a bunch of thawing recently and they were so happy to go outside and peck at real ground again! (instead of having 12 inches of snow covering their favorite spots)

    I'm looking forward to spring when they can get out and eat green grass and bugs again.
     
  7. Churkenduse

    Churkenduse Chillin' With My Peeps

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    Jan 1, 2008
    My friend who used to raise chickens made a valid point.

    Years ago the farmers did not heat up the coops in fact they still don't, chickens are outdoor animals. We are the ones with the problem, we think they need to be kept warm but they really don't.

    It amazes me when I go out in sub freeaing weather and they are just strutting their stuff like it is summer. I wouldn't worry.


    [​IMG]
     
  8. silkiechicken

    silkiechicken Staff PhD Premium Member

    I too don't heat... but it does not get nearly as cold here. Weather is averaging in the low 30's now at night. Mine all sleep outside too. Not a single case of frost bite in 10 years and I used to have a big single combed roo. Just a handful of corn and off to bed they went.
     
  9. Princessferf

    Princessferf Out Of The Brooder

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    Wisconsin
    If our temps only got into the 30's at night, I would turn off the heat lamp gladly!

    But since our temps lately have only been in the 30's at the height of day and teens and lower at night, I have the lamp. I agree that they would be fine without it... and much of what I do is for my own comfort than theirs.

    This weekend is going to be real cold.... a high of 8 on Sunday, lows below zero.
     
  10. keeperofthehearth

    keeperofthehearth Chillin' With My Peeps

    I use a red lamp w/timer so it's not on all night. Some of my girls started molting in Nov/Dec. [​IMG]. They seem to be having a hard time getting those feathers back in quickly so I put the lamp on them. The lamps been keeping the coop at about 40-45 on warmer nights and dropping to about freezing on colder nights. We've had some pretty cold weather so far this winter, -4 one night without wind chill brrrrrrrr!, and are expecting a temp. of 1 this weekend with a high of about 12. [​IMG] My girls seem to appreciate it. In fact, when I did leave the lamp on all night on those extra low temps., they layed like crazy for the next few days. I'm begining to think that the light coming on and off may be more disturbing to them than it being on all night. Oh how I want spring to come!!!! <>< Barb
     

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