What type of light?!

Discussion in 'Coop & Run - Design, Construction, & Maintenance' started by ChickenPeep, Nov 20, 2011.

  1. ChickenPeep

    ChickenPeep Faith & Feathers

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    May 1, 2011
    Olathe, Kansas
    Hello!
    I recently got a (about) 5.5 by 3ft coop for my 4 hens. It is wonderful! They love it!
    I know that it is going to get much colder, and they will need a heat source. I want a light that gives off a good amount of heat, but not too much light. I was thinking about a heat light, but the only ones i've seen were huge (there may be smaller ones that i have just not seen).
    What kind of light should i use?!? Do they make mini heat lights? [​IMG]
     
  2. OregonChickenGal

    OregonChickenGal Chillin' With My Peeps

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    If your chickens are fully feathered, they won't need any heat. They will keep each other warm. Here in Central Oregon, it gets below zero in the winter, and I never provide heat. Just make sure the coop is dry and draft free. Ventilation high up is very important also. I also put alot of pine shavings on the floor.
     
  3. seanb

    seanb Chillin' With My Peeps

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    May 24, 2011
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    Are you sure that they need heat?

    I'm new to this so please don't think I'm trying to come off as a chicken authority but I've been reading a lot of threads here lately and my opinion has been leaning more toward the idea that chickens in most climates don't need supplemental heat in the winter. Controlling drafts and humidity seem to be of higher importance.

    If you plan on providing heat regardless, you could use a regular light bulb of any wattage and hit it with a coat of high temp spray paint (like they make for touch up on gas grills or stoves) of a darker color. It would make future purchases of light bulbs easier on the wallet.
     
  4. ChickenPeep

    ChickenPeep Faith & Feathers

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    Quote:Thanks for the relpy,
    I know they don't need a light, but i'd like to provide one for extra comfort. You see, our chickens are family pets, and i don't like knowing that they are chilly in their coop while we are nice and warm in our beds! [​IMG]
     
  5. Snack Giver

    Snack Giver Chillin' With My Peeps

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    our 6 hens are pets, too. and from what i've read over the months on this topics, making the coop warm with a lightbulb isnt what you do. pets or not. i guess ventilation is really the key. they create so much humidity that without vents, the urine in their poop along with their breath condensation combinded can make a sick bird. so i have been careful about a clean coop and draft-free vents.
     
  6. ChickenPeep

    ChickenPeep Faith & Feathers

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    My coop has plenty of ventilation.
    The coop we bought came with a lightbulb socket, so i want to put it to use.
     
  7. sharol

    sharol Chillin' With My Peeps

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    I'm from down by Emporia. I use a "Sweeter Heater" this year. It is a flat panel heater that you hang from the roof over the roost. It is lower wattage and should be lots safer than a heatlamp. it was also more expensive.

    http://www.sweeterheater.com/bizweb.asp

    It hasn't gotten cold enough for it to kick in yet (I have it plugged into a thermocube that turns on at 20 degrees and off at 30 degrees), but when I tried it, it got nice and warm. I used a 250 watt heatlamp last winter and worried every night that it would catch something on fire.

    Sharol
     
  8. ChickenPeep

    ChickenPeep Faith & Feathers

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    Quote:Thanks! That will be something to think about.
    Were not too far away!
     
  9. ButtersMama

    ButtersMama Chillin' With My Peeps

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    I am thinking of the same things right now. I am leaning towards seeing how they manage on their own. I added weather stripping to the coop door and also put 6 mil plastic over the window and will add more next week to other areas. I read this ...I am copy and pasting. It contadicts what the above poster says about the poop in the coop over the winter....I'm confused.............

    Deep litter. The deep litter method is low-maintenance, and it keeps hens warm through winter as the litter and manure slowly compost and release heat into the coop. Just start with a clean coop and about 4 inches of litter (hay, straw, wood shavings, or a mix) in the summer or early fall. Simply add more litter throughout the season as needed to keep the bedding fairly dry and clean. By winter, the litter should be about 8 to 10 inches deep. It will be composting nicely and giving off heat. The chickensÂ’ scratching will keep it aerated and turned, especially if you throw scratch grains in the coop for them, but you can give it a hand with a pitchfork every once in a while


    Any thoughts?
     
    Last edited: Nov 20, 2011
  10. sharol

    sharol Chillin' With My Peeps

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    I do a modified deep litter. I pick up the poo under the roosts in the morning, but I don't dig around for it. That way they have a pleasant coop for laying during the day. With true deep litter, you just turn the poo under to create warmth with the breakdown of the feces. I have about 6 inches of wood shavings in the coop and I'll be adding more as the winter progresses.

    I insulated the coop over the summer because it is a metal building and the walls were miserably cold last winter. It will be interesting to see how that affects the ventilation and temperature of the coop. It is staying about 5-8 degrees above the overnight lows, so we won't need as much heat from heat lamps this winter (I hope).

    The amonia problem from urine comes when there is insufficient bedding to cover and turn and absorb. I don't have much odor at all, but like I said, I pick up the poo under the roosts in the morning. I only leave the daytime poo in the shavings.

    Sharol

    Quote:
     

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