Using CFL lightbulb for a break from cold?

Discussion in 'Coop & Run - Design, Construction, & Maintenance' started by aeasley, Feb 5, 2014.

  1. aeasley

    aeasley Out Of The Brooder

    Dec 20, 2012
    I live in Denver, CO and it has been REALLY cold this winter! It is -5F this morning and one of my girls isn't looking so hot. I do not heat the coop and they have been fine even when it got down to -20F, but when I see them looking all cold and miserable my heart just melts! I read an article in our paper about using a low wattage CFL bulb in a cage with a outdoor extension cord just to give them a little break in the morning (when I can monitor for fires etc) from the cold. I have good ventilation, no draft, and keep the coop as clean as I can. I do not want to create a dependence on a heat source and I"m aware of the fire safety concerns, I guess my chicken mom heart is just too big! [​IMG] Thoughts on the CFL idea? thanks!
  2. jetdog

    jetdog Chillin' With My Peeps

    Jun 18, 2013
    I don't think the cfl bulbs create any heat, I haven't had a problem so far this year, I would get a reptile bulb like a 100 watt not nearly as hot as a 250 brooder bulb and cheaper to run it might be enough to take the edge off.
  3. dheltzel

    dheltzel Overrun With Chickens

    Nov 30, 2013
    Pottstown, PA
    The CFL is pretty safe, fire-wise, because it produces almost no heat at all. It may brighten the coop up if it's really dark, but that is all. Turning it on early (like 3 AM) every morning will lengthen the day for them and might get the hens laying better too.

    It won't make them any warmer though. If you want to warm them up, give them grains (I use cracked corn, but in moderation) because they take more work to digest and generate more body heat.

    If you want to give them a treat to feel like you're doing something, try hot oatmeal. Just be sure there is enough ventilation because steaming hot cereal will raise the humidity. That can condense on their combs and chill them, making frostbite more likely.
  4. MoonShadows

    MoonShadows The Jam Man

    Jan 23, 2013
    Pocono Mtns
    My Coop
    You say you use it when you can monitor for fire. Don't you realize your coop would probably burn to the ground and all your chickens will probably die before you can do anything about the fire? Feed you chickens some cracked corn on cold mornings. It raises their metabolisms. My girls get a scoop every day during the winter, but not a piece during the summer when they can overheat.

    Believe it or not, most of what we do for our chickens doesn't really matter to them or make a difference; it just makes us feel good. I guess it's just a matter of how good one wants to feel. LOL
    Last edited: Feb 5, 2014
  5. The Lazy L

    The Lazy L Chillin' With My Peeps

    Dec 16, 2011

    Would you rather have your chickens acclimated to the weather? Or make yourself feel better by risking turn your chickens into Kentucky Fired by adding heat?
  6. aart

    aart Chicken Juggler! Premium Member

    Nov 27, 2012
    SW Michigan
    My Coop
    Ditto on no heat...and CFLs will give no heat anyway.

    I just give some scratch early when I take out liquid water... scraps or BOSS or wheat fodder at noon with more liquid water....
    .......and scratch late in afternoon with more liquid water so they go to roost with full crops.

    They are chickens, not human children....If my kids were cold I'd give them a down coat...... Oh look, chickens already have those!!

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