when to turn on the heat lamps

Discussion in 'Coop & Run - Design, Construction, & Maintenance' started by klleclair, Sep 17, 2011.

  1. klleclair

    klleclair Hatching

    Sep 17, 2011
    We are first raising our first group of hens and live in Maine, we bought from a local farm store so I am sure our breeds will be weather fine but we're trying to figure out the whole temperature/heat lamp dilemma. Its still 60-80 here during the day but were closing in on 40 degree nights pretty quick. Will 1 red lamp be enough for my 6 girls? Can I get some type of timer or thermostat timer so that we aren't wasting electricity and I know that the light will be on when they need it??????
    Thanks so much for any help!

  2. mljohnson05

    mljohnson05 Songster

    May 16, 2011
    First of all, How old are your chicks???
    are they inside the house or outside ?
  3. yellowirenut

    yellowirenut Chirping

    Aug 27, 2011
    New haven, IN
    i am just a rookie at this but i have herd you don't want to keep them to warm. What if the power goes out when its 3 deg out and they are used to 60 deg with the lamp.

    I got one of thees
    on at 20 off at 30
    Plug the heat lamp into it and let it be.
  4. Pharm Girl

    Pharm Girl Songster

    Jan 6, 2011
    Quote:Most people don't use any heat. My chickens are spoiled babies, however, and I do turn a 50watt reptile bulb on (they have a tiny coop) when the temps fall below freezing. If they are over 9-15 weeks, they will be perfectly fine at 40 degrees.
  5. Rosaleen

    Rosaleen Songster

    May 18, 2011
    Danville, Vermont
    We have always kept our hens in their coop at night without heat throughout the winter and they would free range outside during the day...not much to forage on so we'd put out plenty of scratch, grit and oyster shells. We always made sure the coop was draft free and the hens were never wet. Wet birds and freezing weather is a no - no.

  6. hudsonnascarfan

    hudsonnascarfan Chirping

    May 26, 2011
    well im just north of bangor maine and im just putting in 2 reg light bulbs in my 8x12 coop on a timer so that the lights come on at 3 am but thats more to keep up the egg production with the heated water dish in the coop it should be just fine the base will help heat it and when its really cold out they stay close to the water heater and are fine
  7. zengrrl

    zengrrl Songster

    Mar 25, 2011
    Oakland County, MI
    I'm dreading my first winter, its already pretty chilly here in Michigan and I'm eyeing all my latches, complicated waterer and thinking what the heck? Love that plug, I'll def be buying that.
  8. aleta hungarian

    aleta hungarian Hatching

    Sep 10, 2011
    aleta hungarian here. I used heat lamps until the new chicks were fully feathered. Seem to remember to gradually ruduce heat for a week or so, night and day. Would get new chicks early spring, keep them in a horse water trough with straw and food water, in the garage. Good idea to let straw and chicken manure build up in early autum in chick house, the heat from manure will keep their feet from freezing. make sure have roosts for them to purch on, remember, cold drops to the floor. Always use heated water base for water fonts, as they need plentyof water to keep warm too. Remember, high protien layer food the best thing for them to keep body temp. Scratch is for treats not growth and protien. Still let them out to roam as long as they can get back inside if they want. i would put straw on top of snow to encourage them to go outside for fresh air. amonia will build up in chicken house so keep it venelated.God created them to survive so we shouldnt mess too much. remember, they are really prehistoric little creatures. Good Luck. i always give mine kitchen scraps, no meat, use use food processor to make is easy to eat. milk is also good for them, ok if it is sour. no sugary foods though. some people do, but it may reduce their immune system like it does ours. a little apple cider vinegar ok, but someone told me too much can make their bones weak, so i caution on the side ofnot too much. best wishes to you all. aleta.
  9. Good luck on your first winter with chickens! Just BEWARE of fire hazard! Making sure electricity is absolutely safe, and space between heat source and flammables (everything) is per instructions! Make absolutely sure your chickens will not pull on it, jump at it, squabble around it, perch on it, shake water or snot drops at it (bulb will shatter) and they can't scatter anything flammable toward it, FIRST! Is your coop big enough to put a heat lamp in? Can they escape the heat if needed?

    Our first year we heated the chickens, but we don't anymore. The chickens do great in the cold. They are made for the cold. Its so shocking to see them change into poufy, heavy winter birds!

    The bigger winter problem is frozen ground which they can't forage in. So this winter I'm making them a covered hoop run, which won't have snow in it. They got BORED last winter and kept coming up to the door, "can we come in? What're you watching?" but we'd let them in and they'd pant like "OMG its so hot in here" and leave, snarling on the porch railing that they're bored, and whose fault was this frozen ground thing?!
    1 person likes this.

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