When are Heat Lamps necessary?

Discussion in 'Managing Your Flock' started by gotweim, Jan 31, 2011.

  1. gotweim

    gotweim Chillin' With My Peeps

    Jan 25, 2011
    Romeo, MI

    I live in Michigan so we do get pretty cold, bitter winters. I have a heat lamp in the coop that is temperature controlled to turn on when the temp in the coop drops below about 38-35*. Is that too warm for them or too cold for them? I read in the last issue of BYP that keeping it too warm for them isn't good for them and it's almost like they are wearing little down coats! [​IMG]

    I did research the different breeds I have and all of them have been classified as being "relatively tolerant of cold" and they don't seem to mind coming out when it's snowy. I have Rhode Island Reds, Orpingtons, and Ameraucanas.

    What are your thoughts on warming the coop and what are your practices and guidelines for keeping your chicks warm?
  2. scbatz33

    scbatz33 No Vacancy, Belfry Full

    Jan 23, 2009
    South GA
    I dont. Once they are fully feathered out, they are on their own. But then I don't blanket my horses either. Animals naturally have a higher body temp and tollerance to extreme weather than people. You do run the risk of causeing more harm than good. Plus, there si the whole fire risk too.

    unless my birds are having a problem coping, they get no "extra" care. I do have a roo int eh house now who was suffering from the effects of the cold but he will go back out as soon as he is "normal" again.
  3. Judy

    Judy Chicken Obsessed Staff Member Premium Member

    Feb 5, 2009
    South Georgia
  4. gotweim

    gotweim Chillin' With My Peeps

    Jan 25, 2011
    Romeo, MI
    Thank you so much!!! [​IMG]
  5. featherz

    featherz Veggie Chick

    Mar 22, 2010
    Saratoga County, NY
    My chickens made it through -26F fine, no heat. Just a bit of frostbite on my non cold hardy leghorns, but they hardly even notice it's cold. It's been 20ish the last week or so and they act like it's a heat wave. [​IMG]
  6. blefky

    blefky life in the yard

    Mar 18, 2010
    stamford, ct
    The breeds you have are also in my flock, and none of them appear to mind the cold at all. Keeping the coop well ventilated and keeping down drafts is important. What they do miss is having bare ground to scratch around in. Here's a pic I posted yesterday, made me laugh cuz they found the only little spot of bare earth in the yard (maybe in the state!) and made a beeline for it - underneath the trampoline. [​IMG]

  7. chickfamilyonsleepyhollow

    chickfamilyonsleepyhollow Chillin' With My Peeps

    This is my first winter and I use the heat lamp when the temp gets below 10 degrees ... not sure if they really need it but I get a better night sleep not worrying about them as much bec I hate the cold. I agree with the fire dangers and have the lamp cord secured on hooks and wrapped around a beam to prevent any accidents [​IMG]
  8. gotweim

    gotweim Chillin' With My Peeps

    Jan 25, 2011
    Romeo, MI
    Thanks so much!! I'm definitely going to be making some adjustments today!!

    Love the photo!! Too Cute!! [​IMG]
  9. JodyJo

    JodyJo Chillin' With My Peeps

    Sep 27, 2010
    I live in southern Colorado, high desert, with night temps dropping well below ), we are almost always coldest in the state, my chickens, now all feathered out, have a lamp only on their water dish, I haven't gotten a heated one yet...they are fine. They determine when to be outside in our cold temps, if I can't find them, they are in the coop, all warm and toasty in their down coats! I WISH we had the temps you do at night, that would be a heat wave!
  10. Buck Creek Chickens

    Buck Creek Chickens Have Incubator, Will Hatch

    Nov 26, 2008
    Neenah, WI
    you don't need heat, plus if you loose power and you heat go's off or it burns out, you will actually hurt your birds, sudden heat loss. there is a fire hazard, heat lamps are not meant for large areas
    once they get used to the heat, your stuck with it for the rest of winter
    Last edited: Jan 31, 2011

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