Think it's too cold for your chickens? Think again...

rjlanger2

In the Brooder
8 Years
Jun 22, 2011
52
0
29
Central Texas
This is the best information I have seen about dealing with coop heating.

Last winter I did use heat lamps. I admit it was more for my benefit than the girls! After reading the posts from those in Alaska, Washington, Wyoming, and other places that get a lot colder than it does in Texas, I am changing my thinking and will NOT use heat lamps this year. If y'all aren't heating and you're well below 0F, I probably don't need to even think about it since the coldest it's gotten is +6F. An average cold snap is +20F and usually only lasts a few days.

Thank you for sharing.
 

Farmerboy16

Rebuilding my Farm
9 Years
Dec 30, 2010
2,486
66
226
Sparta, MI
Thanks for the information with the heating issue!
I am wondering how old do you start weaning the chicks from the heat lamp? I have some shipped eggs hatch, and want to avoid the big electric bill this winter. Thanks.
 

Mrs MIA

Chick Magnet
11 Years
Mar 3, 2008
7,988
62
303
Quote:Personally, I start them in a brooder with a 100w bulb. After the first week or two, I drop it to 60w, then by 3-4 weeks they're at about 60F without a bulb in the heated garage. I wean them as quickly as I can. They will feather out very quickly when they're not smothered with heat.
I hatched 3 chicks under a broody, in a 4x4' pen inside the breeder coop... we were already getting down into the 30s and 40s. By 3 weeks they were too big to fit under the silkie, so I took her out. But I didn't add any heat. At 6-7 weeks old, I put them outside. They've already been down to 17F without heat, only extra bodies. I think we do more of a disservice to them by spoiling them with heat. WE might be cold, but they have a down coat.
 

Farmerboy16

Rebuilding my Farm
9 Years
Dec 30, 2010
2,486
66
226
Sparta, MI
Mrs. AK-Bird-Brain :

Quote:Personally, I start them in a brooder with a 100w bulb. After the first week or two, I drop it to 60w, then by 3-4 weeks they're at about 60F without a bulb in the heated garage. I wean them as quickly as I can. They will feather out very quickly when they're not smothered with heat.
I hatched 3 chicks under a broody, in a 4x4' pen inside the breeder coop... we were already getting down into the 30s and 40s. By 3 weeks they were too big to fit under the silkie, so I took her out. But I didn't add any heat. At 6-7 weeks old, I put them outside. They've already been down to 17F without heat, only extra bodies. I think we do more of a disservice to them by spoiling them with heat. WE might be cold, but they have a down coat.


I only have 125 watt bulbs, so I can raise the heat bulb up higher each week, until they do not need any heat lamps, will that work? Thanks!​
 

Mrs MIA

Chick Magnet
11 Years
Mar 3, 2008
7,988
62
303
Quote:Personally, I start them in a brooder with a 100w bulb. After the first week or two, I drop it to 60w, then by 3-4 weeks they're at about 60F without a bulb in the heated garage. I wean them as quickly as I can. They will feather out very quickly when they're not smothered with heat.
I hatched 3 chicks under a broody, in a 4x4' pen inside the breeder coop... we were already getting down into the 30s and 40s. By 3 weeks they were too big to fit under the silkie, so I took her out. But I didn't add any heat. At 6-7 weeks old, I put them outside. They've already been down to 17F without heat, only extra bodies. I think we do more of a disservice to them by spoiling them with heat. WE might be cold, but they have a down coat.


I only have 125 watt bulbs, so I can raise the heat bulb up higher each week, until they do not need any heat lamps, will that work? Thanks!

Yep.
That works! Just make sure you secure the lamp well... I've already read at least one story about a heat lamp falling into the bedding and burning the barn down.


BTW, these are just normal incandescent bulbs... the cheapest ones I can find, and they're like $0.99 for 4. I use 40s, 60s and 100s. The only time I've ever used one of the whopping 250w bulbs is when I had over 100 chicks in one big fiberglass kennel/brooder, and wanted to make sure they all had space under the heat. For a few chicks, a 60w bulb about 3" above their heads is sufficient. I had some 3 week olds in the garage (heated to ~ 60F) that did just fine when their bulb burned out. I just left it off, and they feathered out very fast.
 
Last edited:

Farmerboy16

Rebuilding my Farm
9 Years
Dec 30, 2010
2,486
66
226
Sparta, MI
Mrs. AK-Bird-Brain :

Quote:I only have 125 watt bulbs, so I can raise the heat bulb up higher each week, until they do not need any heat lamps, will that work? Thanks!

Yep.
That works! Just make sure you secure the lamp well... I've already read at least one story about a heat lamp falling into the bedding and burning the barn down.


BTW, these are just normal incandescent bulbs... the cheapest ones I can find, and they're like $0.99 for 4. I use 40s, 60s and 100s. The only time I've ever used one of the whopping 250w bulbs is when I had over 100 chicks in one big fiberglass kennel/brooder, and wanted to make sure they all had space under the heat. For a few chicks, a 60w bulb about 3" above their heads is sufficient. I had some 3 week olds in the garage (heated to ~ 60F) that did just fine when their bulb burned out. I just left it off, and they feathered out very fast.

I have a 8x8 shed just for brooding chicks, and I have hooks to hang heat lamps on along the wall. So, no worries about fires.
 

vmdanielsen

Songster
9 Years
Sep 20, 2010
2,603
55
182
West Lebanon, NY
Mrs. AK-Bird-Brain :

Quote:I only have 125 watt bulbs, so I can raise the heat bulb up higher each week, until they do not need any heat lamps, will that work? Thanks!

Yep.
That works! Just make sure you secure the lamp well... I've already read at least one story about a heat lamp falling into the bedding and burning the barn down.


BTW, these are just normal incandescent bulbs... the cheapest ones I can find, and they're like $0.99 for 4. I use 40s, 60s and 100s. The only time I've ever used one of the whopping 250w bulbs is when I had over 100 chicks in one big fiberglass kennel/brooder, and wanted to make sure they all had space under the heat. For a few chicks, a 60w bulb about 3" above their heads is sufficient. I had some 3 week olds in the garage (heated to ~ 60F) that did just fine when their bulb burned out. I just left it off, and they feathered out very fast.

Mrs AK,
What do you put the bulbs in. A drop light?
Ginny
 

Farmerboy16

Rebuilding my Farm
9 Years
Dec 30, 2010
2,486
66
226
Sparta, MI
Quote:Yep.
That works! Just make sure you secure the lamp well... I've already read at least one story about a heat lamp falling into the bedding and burning the barn down.


BTW, these are just normal incandescent bulbs... the cheapest ones I can find, and they're like $0.99 for 4. I use 40s, 60s and 100s. The only time I've ever used one of the whopping 250w bulbs is when I had over 100 chicks in one big fiberglass kennel/brooder, and wanted to make sure they all had space under the heat. For a few chicks, a 60w bulb about 3" above their heads is sufficient. I had some 3 week olds in the garage (heated to ~ 60F) that did just fine when their bulb burned out. I just left it off, and they feathered out very fast.


I have a 8x8 shed just for brooding chicks, and I have hooks to hang heat lamps on along the wall. So, no worries about fires.


What do you think about this setup?
 

Mrs MIA

Chick Magnet
11 Years
Mar 3, 2008
7,988
62
303
Quote:Yep.
That works! Just make sure you secure the lamp well... I've already read at least one story about a heat lamp falling into the bedding and burning the barn down.


BTW, these are just normal incandescent bulbs... the cheapest ones I can find, and they're like $0.99 for 4. I use 40s, 60s and 100s. The only time I've ever used one of the whopping 250w bulbs is when I had over 100 chicks in one big fiberglass kennel/brooder, and wanted to make sure they all had space under the heat. For a few chicks, a 60w bulb about 3" above their heads is sufficient. I had some 3 week olds in the garage (heated to ~ 60F) that did just fine when their bulb burned out. I just left it off, and they feathered out very fast.


Mrs AK,
What do you put the bulbs in. A drop light?
Ginny

Yes.
Similar to the one a couple of posts above...
 

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