when do they need heat lamps? will they lay in winter. from Michigan

Discussion in 'Managing Your Flock' started by Wendy'sChicksRock, Sep 8, 2010.

  1. Wendy'sChicksRock

    Wendy'sChicksRock Songster

    Aug 8, 2010
    Oakland county ,MI
    Hi I was just wondering when I need to start using my heat lamps? How chilly does it need to be at night? I dont want my girls to get cold but I dont want to "jump the gun" either.. Also my flock is about 6 months old and was wondering when they should start to lay and will i have to wait till next spring for my eggs? I have a silkie who is almost 1 and gives us one wonderful egg every afternoon.. :eek:)

    Thank you for any info...
    Im spending all my free time out in the run with the girls... and Loving it... they all greet me now..and they love my coffee.

  2. patman75

    patman75 Songster

    I don't use heat lamps. You will need to give additional light 13-14 hours total light per day to keep them laying. Without heat the eggs might freeze on very very cold days if you dont collect them at least 2-3 times a day.
  3. bobbi-j

    bobbi-j Free Ranging Premium Member

    Mar 15, 2010
    On the MN prairie.
    I live in MN. I usually don't put a heat lamp in the coop until the water freezes. Then I put the water in a black rubber pan (with a big rock in it so they don't flip it) and hang a heat lamp over it. That way they get light enough to lay, also. I get more eggs in the winter than in the summer. Well, mainly because they free range in the summer and I can't find the eggs, but they do lay well in the winter for me. This year I have a new coop - an 8x12 shed - and plan to use a heated water dish and have a regular light bulb on a timer. All this to say, your chickens will be fine as long as they have shelter and are out of the wind. Give them plenty of light and you'll get eggs, too. You just need to check often because it doesn't take long for them to freeze when its -30 outside!
  4. DelawareSilkie

    DelawareSilkie In the Brooder

    Sep 8, 2010
    I haven't had much experience with the cold weather and my chickens yet, but I heard if it's above 50 degress F then that's suitable weather for your girls. Some farmers don't even use any heat sources, they let them huddle together in warmth during winter, in sheds and even the coop. But a heat lamp around late November, when it starts to get chilly may be the ideal time.

    Also, check your chickens waddles and combs. To prevent frostbite from the terrible Michigan winters, use vaseline or some other oil based lubricant. General rule of thumb, if the water isn't frozen then they're pretty much settled. Hope this helped.
  5. bigoakhunter

    bigoakhunter Songster

    Jul 29, 2009
    Quote:I might add if it's above 32 degrees don't worry about your birds. The main things in Michigan are good coop ventilation, vasoline on roo's comb if temp dip below 20 degrees, keeping fresh water for them, ( heated waterer or heated base or heated dog dish, etc.) . My birds do just fine in michigan winters!

  6. woodmort

    woodmort Songster

    Jul 6, 2010
    Oxford NY
    I've had experience with most of the breeds of chickens you list except the silkie and Dominques--and they are cold hardy. Temps below zero won't bother them if the coop is well ventilated and not too big. You will need something to keep water from freezing is all. Just be careful using any electrical device around water.

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