Roasted Chicken . . . almost

Discussion in 'Managing Your Flock' started by chicknjane, Jan 5, 2010.

  1. chicknjane

    chicknjane Chillin' With My Peeps

    Jul 2, 2009
    Pine Grove, PA
    My husband had to go away for two weeks, so I'm doing his chores as well as mine. (Makes me appreciate all he does) Needless to same at the end of the day I'm exhausted. Well, I fell asleep at the foot of my daughters bed while putting her to sleep. Woke up at 10:00 p.m. realizing that I never turned the lights off in the coops. My big girls just get a light, but my 8 week old little ones were still geting a heat lamp at night. I drug myself outside just to turn off the lights and saw a bright red glow coming from under the coop.

    Somehow the little ones knocked the heat lamp down and it landed bulb side down against the floor without the bulb breaking. It burned a 6" diameter hole through the 1/2" luann floor of the coop. No flames broke out, it sort of just smouldered. I could see right through the ground.

    I soaked the area with water to be sure it was out and placed a couple 12"X12" pavers over the hole to prevent anything from getting in and went back to bed. Needless to say at 8 weeks, they are not getting a heat lamp unless the temps get into the teens, which it hasn't yet.

    So here I am this morning trying to figure out how to repair the hole and where to put the 25 chicks until I get the hole repaired. I suppose I could just keep the pavers over the hole temporarily. My biggest concern is predators getting into the coop. Should I put a piece of hardware cloth over the hole or just leave the pavers?

    Any thoughts?

  2. SurprisingWoman

    SurprisingWoman Chillin' With My Peeps

    May 27, 2009
    South Weber, UT
    I would definitely put something over the hole that would keep any predators from moving the pavers and reaching through.

    So sorry but I am glad all it okay.
  3. chicknmania

    chicknmania Overrun With Chickens

    Jan 26, 2007
    central Ohio
    Definitely use hardware cloth and make sure it's secure. I did that once with a heat light too; it burned the door of the pen, same thing, just smoldered, but left a big hole. Didn't have to make repairs in that case, just cosmetic damage.
  4. teach1rusl

    teach1rusl Love My Chickens

    Wow! Despite the damage to the floor, you and your chicks were lucky. If you do put the lamp back out there during cold weather, be sure to wire it up securely...don't clamp!! Glad everyone was okay!
  5. chookchick

    chookchick Chillin' With My Peeps

    Aug 18, 2008
    Olympia WA
    I would cut a piece of plywood, put it over the hole, and screw down the corners.
    Thanks for sharing your story--helps people realize the dangers of heat lamps, and how to be safe. I am sure your chickens will be just fine without additional heat. You could put in a "snuggle safe", or hot water bottle near them if they are roosting on the floor still. IF you really feel that you need to add heat--use a lower wattage such as 75 or 100 watts, fasten it with two methods (NOT with the clamp) and keep a guard over the front. Great thing you got out unscathed!
    BTW--chickens are remarkably tolerant of construction work on their coop. You probably don't even have to move them.
    Last edited: Jan 5, 2010
  6. chicknjane

    chicknjane Chillin' With My Peeps

    Jul 2, 2009
    Pine Grove, PA
    Thank you for the ideas.

    I stapled down hardware cloth then put 4 pavers over the hole (about 8 lbs each) then put their 20lb feeder on top of that. Hopefully that will keep anything out until DH drives all the way home from VA this weekend just to fix the hole for me. I am truly blessed with a wonderful husband.

  7. tcltoughmom

    tcltoughmom Out Of The Brooder

    Jan 25, 2009
    Well--I have hooked up my third heat lamp in the little barn coop----my thermometer said -4* today-- I am too afraid that it will get knocked down and start a fire. If I get up for anything during the night I look out the window to just be looking. Its just a utility barn shaped building without insulation---but I did get electricity hooked up to it in October. Thank goodness. I have lost 5 chickens and about 5 chicks since Dec tho. They have broken two heat lamps----so I worry. I will be looking for a few plug up dog dishes the next time I go to walmart, I have one for the dogs and its doing fine but the one I put in the coop is not working. I still have a few chickens that is not coming inside the barn---thinking about putting them in a kennel inside the barn in a few days. Making them all be inside. We had 26 inches of snow, and every day since we get 2 to 4 more, and it is staying colder longer. I work 10 hour shifts outside the home with 1 hour comutes each way--so I dont have alot of time for them. I carry 3 to 4 gallon of water each evening. And no eggs the last 3 days, the last three were frozen when I got them. Good Luck everyone, Teresa in WV
  8. chicknjane

    chicknjane Chillin' With My Peeps

    Jul 2, 2009
    Pine Grove, PA
    Quote:Thank you Teresa.

    You have just made me so much more appreciative of my situation. We get wind, good strong wind, constantly, but only 6" of snow and lowest temps in 20s so far. I can sympathize with lugging the water though, I take 4 gallons in the morning and 2 at night between 2 coops. I hope you get a break on the weather soon.


BackYard Chickens is proudly sponsored by