When do I bring out the heat lamp??

Discussion in 'Managing Your Flock' started by packmomma, Sep 1, 2009.

  1. packmomma

    packmomma Chillin' With My Peeps

    Mar 10, 2009
    Argos, IN
    whats cold for me might not be for my chickens..they are all laying. At what temp do most of you turn on the heat light above the roosts?? What is the ideal temp outside for a chicken anyway?
  2. ksct

    ksct Chillin' With My Peeps

    Apr 23, 2009
    upstate, NY
    i hope you can get some answers..... i'd like to know this too. i'm concerned we will be having a cold winter, yesterday was the last day of August and it got down to 41 already at night.......
  3. Chicken Boo

    Chicken Boo Chillin' With My Peeps

    Jul 16, 2008
    Glenn Dale, MD
    Last winter, we turned ours on when it got into the 30s or below or there was a cold wind. I have 9 hens in a 4 x 8 hen house that is 4' tall in half and 6' tall in the other half, so not much air space to heat. They seemed fine. It is kind of hard to worry about them when they insist on walking around in the snow when they have a perfectly dry hen house and raised roosts in the run.
  4. Chickenmaven

    Chickenmaven Chillin' With My Peeps

    Feb 6, 2009
    I run a lamp when it gets below 15 degrees F. Otherwise, a sturdy coop & alot of body heat does the trick.

    This topic has been explored ALOT. Many folks do not use any heat. Their rationale is that keeping a coop 40' when it is 5'F outside is asking for trouble. What if your electricity goes out? You have a bunch of birds unacclimated to what they will be forced to contend with. I see that point. I also know that having a lamp on a timer kept my rooster from losing his comb in our -15'F weather.
  5. Cara

    Cara Chillin' With My Peeps

    Aug 30, 2007
    Heat lamps are for chicks in brooders. They're not for grown birds in hen houses. They are a serious fire risk, and if you have a power outage you may lose them all to hypothermia. Let them acclimatise naturally and they will be just fine, just be sure to have a draft free dry house for them.
  6. Chicky Tocks

    Chicky Tocks [IMG]emojione/assets/png/2666.png?v=2.2.7[/IMG] Ru

    Oct 20, 2008
    Benton, Arkansas
    I'm in the south and we rarely get below 30 in the winter. I do think that we might have some teens this year though. My girls have been through these temps with no problems, and even before we had an actual coop for them to sleep inside. I think if you have a place to keep the wind and the damp off, you won't need a lamp.

    BUT if we drop into the teens, I will add one of the brooder red lights to the coop.
  7. teach1rusl

    teach1rusl Love My Chickens

    As others have said on other threads, I'd probably be more concerned with their water, making sure IT'S not frozen.
    That being said, I think it's kind of an individual decision. Lots of people keep their dogs outside, some with adequate shelter, some not so much, even in extremes of weather. I grew up with outside dogs, but my dogs now (goldens) live in the house and come and go as they wish. They have life pretty cushy.
    I think many people's attitude toward your question also comes from whether they keep chickens as farm stock for meat or eggs, or whether they have more of a "pet" mentality with their chickens. My henhouse is insulated. And if it drops down into the teens here, I will probably put at least an extra light (100w) out there to help. I like the earlier poster's suggestion of the red brooder bulb. But I'm a "pet" person (or at least pet w/benefit of eggs person), not a farmer. I coddle my animals a little...and I'm okay with that...lol.
  8. gritsar

    gritsar Cows, Chooks & Impys - OH MY!

    Nov 9, 2007
    SW Arkansas
    Quote:I agree. My chickens did just fine in 16 degree weather last winter and were out every day.
  9. Katy

    Katy Flock Mistress

    Quote:I agree with Cara. I've never used a heat lamp for my adult birds and we can get darn cold.... with wind chills well below zero.
  10. feckless_son

    feckless_son Out Of The Brooder

    Jul 24, 2009
    Too close to Boston
    Heat lamps create a temperature differential which causes humidity to collect in your coop.
    Moisture in cold weather = frostbite and illness.
    Avoid this for the health of your birds.
    Last edited: Sep 1, 2009

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