Red heat lamp and sleeping schedules

Discussion in 'Coop & Run - Design, Construction, & Maintenance' started by Agilityscots, Dec 9, 2007.

  1. Agilityscots

    Agilityscots Chillin' With My Peeps

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    Jun 9, 2007
    Central Ohio
    Hi gang,

    Quick question. About a week ago, DH put the heat lamp that was used in our brooder inside the coop (we had temps down to 10 degrees). The bulb is red, which gives the coop a crazy glow from the house. [​IMG] We've left it on 24 hours/day, and I haven't noticed any pecking/picking among the chickens, but I'm not sure their sleep schedule is "right." I just went out there at 7 p.m., two hours after sunset, and they're all pecking around, off the roost. I've seen them up when I let the dogs out at 11 p.m., coming to the window to check us out. Is it okay to keep using that heat lamp in there?

    Amy
     
  2. ozark hen

    ozark hen Living My Dream

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    Apr 4, 2007
    Mansfield, MO
    I had always heard a red light was ok and they wouldn't miss out on any sleep??? I have my lights on a timer and they are on 13 hours per day but I use those energy efficient bulbs...flourescent??...in the coop. so far our temps have stayed in the twenties and we have not needed any heat to keep the water from freezing. We have deep litter on the floor and north side wall insulated. Maybe someone who uses a red lamp will see this and answer?
     
  3. LoneCowboy

    LoneCowboy Chillin' With My Peeps

    Aug 26, 2007
    Longmont, CO
    I was just wondering this same thing. I have one of those clear heat lamps in there and I left it on last night, because it was so cold. Their sleep seems all messed up now. I went to shut the coop for the night, and they came running out in the run. I had to make them go in, so I cold shut the door. I decided to turn it off. The coop is insulated, the temp at 5pm was 40 degs, so when the light goes on at 1am, it should warm up pretty fast. I did get down to 14 deg last night though.
     
  4. ozark hen

    ozark hen Living My Dream

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    Apr 4, 2007
    Mansfield, MO
    we have to remember...chickens are covered in feathers and produce lots of body heat. The Amish do not heat their coops. The only time we need to have heat in there is to keep the water from freezing if the coop is snug but still has ventilation. Lots of bedding on the floor that is reg. fluffed up will keep the floor cozy. Red lights are suppose to allow them to sleep but in this case it is keeping them awake. Maybe try doing without the light?
     
  5. Agilityscots

    Agilityscots Chillin' With My Peeps

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    Jun 9, 2007
    Central Ohio
    Thanks everyone...I guess I'll go without the light for now, at least until it gets colder. This week is supposed to be fairly warm by December-in-Ohio standards. The Amish may keep their coops unheated, but I'm a softie. And my DH is even worse!

    Amy
     
  6. Princessferf

    Princessferf Out Of The Brooder

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    Nov 30, 2007
    Wisconsin
    I'm also a softie and try to keep the ladies nice and comfortable. We have been using a red heat lamp consistently (24/7) for nearly a month now. Our nights here in Wisconsin have been dipping into the single digits on nearly a regular basis.

    We have a heater base for their water so it never freezes and we've got plenty of straw on the ground, plus extra bales around the edges of the coop. They never seem cold to me... and while they would probably be fine without the heat lamp, I admit that its mostly for my own peace of mind.

    I keep a thermometer in the coop (1/4 of the coop is where we keep the gear, the other 3/4 is the "chicken side") and the temp sometimes dips into the low 30's. Just because its cold outside doesn't mean the ladies need to be uncomfortable.

    There are two windows in our coop that can be a bit on the drafty side if its real windy, otherwise they aren't a problem.

    I have noticed that they've been picking at each other a bit more... so Sunday I let them out to play... but only 3 of the 11 actually went outside. I think the 4 - 12 inches of snow on the ground deterred most of them. Tonight they seemed much more laid-back. I think I will continue to let them outside on the weekends when the weather cooperates (isn't snowing, too windy or overly cold). When the weather is nice, the ladies spend nearly everyday outside... so they're used to roaming.

    This is our first group of chickens... we got them as day-olds back in May of this year. I guess I'm pampering them more because its our first winter with them and I don't want to lose any of them because of doing something stupid.
     
  7. Jillylam

    Jillylam Chillin' With My Peeps

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    Mar 16, 2007
    Kingwood, NJ
    I don't use lights at any time other than during regular daylight hours to help the girls dry off if they are soaked or really cold. I use an electric panel heater. This will be my second winter using it. It is amazing. It keeps their house 10-15 degrees warmer than the outside. Last week it went down into the teens one night and the house was around 30 degrees. That's pretty good considering it's heating a house that is 14'x12'x10'h. Also, a few of the girls love to curl up in front of it and sleep. It doesn't get hot enough to burn. When they are toasty on one side, they'll turn and get the other side. I got it from eheat.com and I'd be happy to answer any questions about it if anyone has any.
     
  8. Agilityscots

    Agilityscots Chillin' With My Peeps

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    Jun 9, 2007
    Central Ohio
    Quote:Hi Jen,

    I agree with all of the above! I know some people (even here) might scoff at heating for chickens, but I figure why not make them happy? They provide me with a wonderful treat (finally!) and there's no reason for them to "tough it out." I have the luxury of electricity run to the coop; if I didn't, they would have to tough it out. I did turn the lamp off since it's been about 35-40 this week and I want them to sleep normally, but as soon as it goes down to 20 or below, it's back on again. The straw is also a great idea.

    Amy
     
  9. AtRendeAcres

    AtRendeAcres Chillin' With My Peeps

    May 23, 2007
    Clarion County
    egh

    I love your chickens WHAT are they?
     
  10. Scrambled Egg

    Scrambled Egg Flock Mistress

    Aug 29, 2007
    Fayetteville, NC
    Mine seem to be doing well w/ the two 50watt red lamps in their coop and they seem to be pecking less too. I think they are getting plenty of sleep, they are in the coop at dusk and ready to get out at dawn, seems like alot of sleep to me, in fact it's more than I get!! [​IMG]
     

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