Red Heat Light

Discussion in 'Coop & Run - Design, Construction, & Maintenance' started by KCNC06, Jan 21, 2010.

  1. KCNC06

    KCNC06 Chillin' With My Peeps

    211
    5
    111
    Sep 19, 2009
    Central NC
    About a week and a half or two weeks ago we put a red light in the chicken house to help keep it above freezing at night. Normally NC doesn't get "that cold" during the winter months, but we've been having freakishly cold temps both during the day and at night. I hadn't originally planned to put any sort of heat in the chicken house because I figured that they were mostly old enough to keep themselves warm (all except the Seabrights, I don't have any idea how old they are but one started laying January 2nd). The Seabrights would snuggle in between two of the bigger hens and that seemed to work fine for them.

    Anyway, we got into this freakishly cold weather pattern and we weren't even getting above freezing during the day. After a few days of finding frozen/cracked eggs in the nest loft I decided we had to put a heat light out there. Besides, it was so cold out that I was getting cold just thinking about my chickens being out there with no heat. Our chicken house isn't insulated. Now I'm starting to wonder how I would know if the light is disturbing their sleep. None of them are acting unusual. (Other than Hawkface, or EE, with her new habit of squatting every time she comes near me...which I actually think is her way of playing the "I'm so adorable and let you pick me up and pet me, so I get first dibs on whatever treats you're bringing out" game. She'll come running and let me pick her up, but once I set her back down she checks out my fingers, decides they might be crickets or worms, and takes a beakful. Of course, this isn't really all that unusual for her. Some girls are just more of treat whores than others I suppose.) [​IMG]

    Back to the light. Everyone still goes into the house when it gets dark and they all seem quite happy. Plus, no more frozen eggs! Could the light be causing problems that I wouldn't notice though? We do keep it on all night, because it's really stinking cold at night!
     
  2. annie3001

    annie3001 My Girls

    Jun 11, 2009
    Ct.
    dont know?
    we keep the heat lamp on all night long.. its just too cold right now
     
  3. 4CiTyCHicHENs

    4CiTyCHicHENs Out Of The Brooder

    97
    0
    39
    Jan 20, 2010
    MO
    I plan on using a red heat lamp too. Im in StL & our winters get pretty cold sometimes! But then then next day it could be 40!! CRAZY!! But i plan to have electricity in the coop for a light & exhaust fan. I plan on using a red heat light blub during the winter for warmth. I am not sure if im going to insulate the coop. I could because we have extra insulation from a previous project but I would only wana insulate it for the added protection for the winter. Because Im thinking the insulation will keep the Heat & possiblly the smell in the summer when we get 90/100+... so the red lamp is not bothering the chickens? good! I didnt even think about that possibility!
     
  4. NorthernOntario

    NorthernOntario Out Of The Brooder

    28
    0
    22
    Jan 19, 2010
    Sudbury
    Quote:This is why large vents are important in the summer; and the roof should be a nice neutral colour to help cut down on the solar gain (a dark roof generates more heat than a white/grey roof).

    And the insulation shouldn't hold in the smell if you've got it sealed off with a vapour barrier... but you need to be sure the venting is adequate.
     
  5. 4CiTyCHicHENs

    4CiTyCHicHENs Out Of The Brooder

    97
    0
    39
    Jan 20, 2010
    MO
    Quote:This is why large vents are important in the summer; and the roof should be a nice neutral colour to help cut down on the solar gain (a dark roof generates more heat than a white/grey roof).

    And the insulation shouldn't hold in the smell if you've got it sealed off with a vapour barrier... but you need to be sure the venting is adequate.

    vapour barrier??? huh???
     
  6. PandoraTaylor

    PandoraTaylor RT Poultry n Things

    Jun 29, 2009
    Alaska
    if your worried about the heat lamp keeping them up, you could install a thermocube, they turn on at 35F and off at 45F, keeps the coop comfortable but not over hot.

    I have thermocube in my coop for the heatlamp, a timer for the white light, and I don't have frozen eggs in my coop. (Frozen in the run 1 egg thus far).

    Hope that helps.....
     
  7. RocketDad

    RocketDad Chillin' With My Peeps

    346
    2
    121
    Jul 25, 2008
    Near US 287
    I ran a red light for a while when it was super cold. I noticed that the hens seemed to sleep less deeply with it, and they were more likely to be irritable with one another at bedtime. I started using white lights on a timer and they mellowed out - the lights turn off and the day ends, but the red light stayed on.
     
  8. patandchickens

    patandchickens Flock Mistress

    12,521
    101
    341
    Apr 20, 2007
    Ontario, Canada
    Insulation is not going to make the coop hotter in the summer if it has plenty of ventilation (like PLENTY, which in your climate means at least one wall completely mesh in the summertime). An insufficiently-ventilated coop will be hot even if uninsulated. Thus, I would suggest the best plan for dealing with summer heat is simply to ensure lots and lots of open wall area [​IMG]

    There should not BE any "stink" in a well-managed sensibly-stocked coop to begin with, and if there were, insulation would in no way "hold it in", although lack of ventilation might.

    I mean, it is not like you *have* to insulate in your location; but there would be some real benefits to it, not the least being that if you are dead set on running electric heating you will save on your electric bill and be able to use lower-wattage and thus SAFER bulbs.

    As far as the original question, it honestly doesn't sound to me like you *do* need to be running a heatlamp, but that's a personal decision... if you ARE running it (SAFELY... there have been at least 3 "my heatlamp burned my coop to the ground" threads so far this season) then I would not worry about the 24-hr light as long as you are not seeing problems. A lot of people use 24hr red light without particular problem, so, why borrow trouble [​IMG], just keep an eye on them.

    Good luck, have fun,

    Pat
     
  9. gkeesling

    gkeesling Chillin' With My Peeps

    398
    0
    129
    Nov 24, 2008
    Hagerstown, IN
    Here in Indiana it's gotten down to close to zero a few times, and one week was below 15 degrees all week. I never did put any heat in the coop and everything was ok. No chickens died and I didn't even get any frozen/cracked eggs. My coop is pretty much draft free but not insulated. I do have a white light in the coop that's set on a timer to turn on at 3:00 a.m. and off at 8:00 a.m. so the chickens can get up and get to laying eggs since they go in to roost at 4:30 in the evenings these days. I was somewhat concerened about the cold for awhile, then it struck me, that there are all kinds of birds that live outside all winter no matter the temperature and they seem to survive.
     
  10. teach1rusl

    teach1rusl Love My Chickens

    Well I'm sick of the rain now, but the really bad cold spell broke a week ago for us. I do use a heat lamp when it gets down really cold, and I've never noticed it bothering my girls. I haven't had to use it at all for the past week though [​IMG] Our coop is insulated, so that helps...
     

BackYard Chickens is proudly sponsored by