Red light or regular light bulb? (or bulb at all?)

Discussion in 'Managing Your Flock' started by corgiscatsandchickens, Oct 20, 2011.

  1. corgiscatsandchickens

    corgiscatsandchickens Chillin' With My Peeps

    133
    3
    91
    Jun 3, 2011
    Gallifrey
    I've been reading a bunch of posts about heat in the winter and have come to the conclusion that I'll do the girls more harm than good by heating their coop, BUT I still do have a question and hope some of you can help out.[​IMG]

    We're in Middle TN, where it's not uncommon to have nighttime temps in the 40's for 6 weeks in the wintertime, then suddenly drop into the teens for a week. I'm a little concerned as to how that will affect the chickens. Been thinking of installing a light over the roost for heat on those cold nights. (Seriously considered a light bulb for egg laying purposes, but since chickens have a limited number of eggs, didn't want to "burn them out" so to speak).

    Can anyone tell me, 1: if I'm thinking clearly on this point, and 2:Should I use a red heat lamp for heat instead of a regular light bulb?


    Been ages since I've had chickens, and never in TN. I've forgotten how much I knew, and am beginning to figure out how much I've forgotten!

    Many thanks in advance!
     
  2. CupOJoe42

    CupOJoe42 CT Chicken Whisperer

    1,110
    20
    151
    Apr 11, 2011
    You can use a low wattage (i.e., 15-40 watt) red light in there. They will be fine without heat as long as it is dry and draft free. The red just helps to discourage picking. Is your coop insulated? That helps with heat and cold.
     
  3. Fred's Hens

    Fred's Hens Chicken Obsessed Premium Member

    Red lamps mostly are infra red which makes heat, but won't make white light. White light is what the photo react to for egg laying.
     
  4. corgiscatsandchickens

    corgiscatsandchickens Chillin' With My Peeps

    133
    3
    91
    Jun 3, 2011
    Gallifrey
    Thanks. Heat is exactly what I'm talking about. I'm suspecting that I do need to provide some heat on those sorts of nights when the temperature suddenly drops, (not sure, so would really love some imput on that) but since I"m not going to use artificial light to stimulate egg laying, I was wondering if the red light will be the same thing or if it will affect their sleep patterns at all.

    The coop is not insulated, but we're using DLM, and there are bales of straw on the north wall behind the nestboxes.
     
  5. Fred's Hens

    Fred's Hens Chicken Obsessed Premium Member

  6. Mrs MIA

    Mrs MIA Chick Magnet

    7,988
    41
    303
    Mar 3, 2008
    Quote:You do not need to add heat when the temp drops. [​IMG] They are wearing down coats, keeping the body temps at about 101-102°F under there. If you do not add heat at all, they will acclimate by growing a thicker coat, and are really just fine in the teens. Heck, mine sleep OUTSIDE when it's 0F. Unless you find them piled in a corner somewhere freezing to death, I would not add heat. [​IMG]
     
  7. gritsar

    gritsar Cows, Chooks & Impys - OH MY!

    28,907
    124
    408
    Nov 9, 2007
    SW Arkansas
    Our winters are much like yours. I don't add heat or light. The only thing we do to prepare for winter is to block the wind. Bales of straw on the exterior of the coop work great for cutting wind; just make sure they are secure and can't fall over.
     
  8. Mrs MIA

    Mrs MIA Chick Magnet

    7,988
    41
    303
    Mar 3, 2008
    Quote:That's a great idea... and in the spring, they can be used in the garden, right? [​IMG]
     
  9. gritsar

    gritsar Cows, Chooks & Impys - OH MY!

    28,907
    124
    408
    Nov 9, 2007
    SW Arkansas
    Mrs. AK-Bird-Brain :

    Quote:That's a great idea... and in the spring, they can be used in the garden, right? [​IMG]

    Right. I just remember a story from a few years back here on BYC where someone's hen was trapped behind a bale that had fallen over. That's why I said be sure they are secure. Stacked up against the sides of the coop they also act as insulators.

    Right now I'd be very grateful to find a bale of straw at a decent price. I use hay in my nestboxes and I'm in need of some to clean the nestboxes out, but hay is like hen's teeth around here after a summer of drought. I may be forced to use straw.​
     
    Last edited: Oct 20, 2011

BackYard Chickens is proudly sponsored by