What heat lamp to get?

Discussion in 'Managing Your Flock' started by Keggen, Dec 17, 2013.

  1. Keggen

    Keggen Chillin' With My Peeps

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    I know the normal advice is to skip heat lamps, but we just lost our 3rd hen in 2 days due to the cold. Last winter I lost 1 hen during the coldest snap we had. Losing 3 this fast really stinks and I want to avoid losing any more.

    I remember seeing a heat lamp of some kind of that was actually a flat shape type thing, not the usual one used with brooders. The one I am thinking of is mounted to the wall and is flat, supposedly a low fire hazard too. Anyone know what Im talking about? Any help would be appreciated!
     
  2. granny hatchet

    granny hatchet Tastes like chicken Premium Member

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    how cold is it there? i use the brooder lights but not in my coop this year. just my babies. i did find one this yr. w/ frost bite. i seen someone take the oil filled heaters ,the ones that look like radiators, and enclose it in their coop with wire or lattice i dont remember which one so the chickens couldnt get too close to it.
     
  3. Brookliner

    Brookliner Chillin' With My Peeps

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  4. Brookliner

    Brookliner Chillin' With My Peeps

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    I also use a reflector lamp but instead of a heat bulb I use a 100 or 150 watt ceramic bulb - heat but no light. They are meant for reptiles.
     
  5. bobbi-j

    bobbi-j Chicken Obsessed

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    What part of MN are you in that it's that cold? I'm in MN, too, and haven't lost any chickens. Are you sure there aren't some underlying problems (fleas, lice, mites or something else) that could be weakening your flock? I know it's been cold, but a healthy chicken with protection from the wind should be able to withstand it. Something to think about before you give them artificial heat. How stable is your electricity during a storm? If you're heating them and you get a storm, and your power goes out, those poor birds will stand more of a chance of freezing to death than they do now without supplemental heat. Even if they don't freeze to death, they will be plenty miserable.
     
  6. Keggen

    Keggen Chillin' With My Peeps

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    Im about an hour west of Minneapolis. We are expecting it to warm up to the 30's for tomorrow but up until now we've had about 2 weeks of single digit or below zero temps. I think part of the problem is that all 3 had significant feather loss, 2 from too much rooster attention and 1 that was molting. I have 2 or 3 others that are also molting and Im a little worried about them. Its a bad time of year for that! I'm keeping the roosters separated from the hens for now and that is helping prevent more damage, but there is already feather loss on some of them. The only common factor between them was the feather loss. We don't have any illness or mites, etc.

    I was leaving the lights on during the day periodically (100 watt bulbs x2) but was hoping to provide some heat without additional light that might stress them out. I was previously an anti-heater advocate but losing all 3 this way really sucks. :( They are definitely freezing to death based on their circumstances. Its possible they weren't feeling well also, but death was from freezing. I don't plan to use the heater all winter, just at the worst points like this. We're already doing deep litter and using scratch and warm food to help but it doesn't seem to be enough.

    Thank you for the link to the sweeter heater, I am going to check it out!
     
  7. bobbi-j

    bobbi-j Chicken Obsessed

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    I'm about another 2 hours west of you - right next door to South Dakota. I know what you were going through with the weather! It probably was the combination of molting and the cold. I don't know how much physical stress they experience when molting and regrowing feathers, but it is hard for them to stay warm when they don't have any feathers! I would think though, that if you start with the heater you may need to plan on using it all winter, or figure out a way to gradually wean them off it once their feathers grow back.
     
  8. lalaland

    lalaland Overrun With Chickens

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    HI Keggen,
    I'm thinking the same thing that Bobbi is - I also live in MN, and haven't provided heat for my flock. Cold is a stress, no doubt, but it isn't going to kill your chickens. Assuming you have a place out of the wind - and some hay or something so they aren't on subzero floor/dirt. I think there there has to be an underlying problem. If I was losing hens, I would probably also temporarily provide a low amount of heat to provide supportive therapy almost, but would also do a really good mite and lice check - at night too.
    Best of luck figuring out what is wrong.
     

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