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Will this heat work?

Discussion in 'Managing Your Flock' started by key west chick, Jan 2, 2009.

  1. key west chick

    key west chick Songster

    May 31, 2008
    Gainesville, GA
    I've had my key west chickens for going on 8 years. I have never lost one to the cold. We don't have alot of freezing weather or snow here. But, we do get the occasional cold snap where it can get into the teens at night and barely above freezing during the day. This can last several days. I recently got some seramas. They are not tiny but still pretty small. My chickens are in chain link dog kennels, 10x10x6. They have a 2x4 and tin roof. The back side is protected by a shed and during the winter, both sides are tarped, leaving only the front exposed. I keep no litter on the ground, they sleep on perches. My serama pairs are in big wire dog crates, inside one of these kennels.They seem to be doing fine but we haven't had a wicked cold front yet. My question is if I got a big brooder lamp from TSC and hung it over the top of the wire crates, would they still get the heat or would it all rise towards the top of the pen? I doubt if it would keep it toasty but maybe above freezing.
  2. vermontgal

    vermontgal Songster

    Most brooder lamps are infrared. They are like sunlight. When you stand under the light beam on a frosty morning, you are warm. When you are in the shade, you are instantly cooler. Move back into the sun, and it's warmer. This is infrared heat. The light warms up the objects that it shines on, just like sunlight will heat up your blacktop driveway.

    Over time, the light beam will heat up the air. But the primary way it works is as a heat beam. It doesn't really heat up the air. So the answer to your question is YES, it will work for your chickens if you shine it on them in their wire crates. Make sure your chickens are able to stand under their own private sunbeam, and they will be fine. (If some of your chickens are in the shade, not under the sunbeam, they will not get much heat.)

    NO, the heat will not all rise to the top. Because HEAT actually doesn't rise. Warm air rises. This type of heat works by shining on things, not by warming the air.
  3. crazyhen

    crazyhen Crowing

    Aug 26, 2008
    mtns of ,NC.
    I am not sure but if it is close enough they would get some heat if the light has a reflector on it. I do that over my hens water pan at this time and it has been down to 9 degrees here. The hens are in a secure house and out of drafts too. The water does not freeze. Be careful, it can be too close to them. It gets pretty hot if close to a 150 brooder bulb. I have it about 2 and 1/2 feet from the dish. Its the wind and drafts that get a chicken in trouble worse than anything else. Esp. if they get wet. Oh, also be sure they have room to get away from the light. They can get to hot under it. Jean

    another caution. If you use a drop cord use electrical tape on the joints(plugins) and do not let the cord touch the top of the reflector. Sparks and archs can occur.
    Last edited: Jan 2, 2009
  4. vermontgal

    vermontgal Songster

    True. You don't want to stand too close to the sun.

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