Winter heat lamp placement?

Discussion in 'Managing Your Flock' started by sheetmetalpete, Jan 7, 2011.

  1. sheetmetalpete

    sheetmetalpete Out Of The Brooder

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    Aug 23, 2010
    Central Minnesota
    So far this winter I have yet to add a heat lamp in the coop for my layer flock. At times it's been as cold as -15F overnight but the girls have been just fine. In preparation for super cold snaps I'd like to put a heat lamp in the coop that I could turn on when needed (like -20F or so).

    My question is where do you think is the best place to put it? Should I put it over the roosts or elsewhere in the coop like over an open floor space area?

    Thanks!
     
  2. teach1rusl

    teach1rusl Love My Chickens

    If you're talking about for night time only, then I'd go for over the roosts, assuming you have LOTS of clearance there. That way you can use a lesser wattage bulb. Securely wire or chain the lamp (use a back-up wire too) and make sure you have ample space so that feathers or bedding cannot come in contact with the lamp. I'm sure you're aware that coop fires due to carelessness are a sad reality.
     
  3. sheetmetalpete

    sheetmetalpete Out Of The Brooder

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    Aug 23, 2010
    Central Minnesota
    OK. I'll try it above the roosts. I wasn't sure if that would mess up their sleeping but it's gotta be better than freezing. [​IMG]
     
  4. teach1rusl

    teach1rusl Love My Chickens

    The red bulbs are better...they're available in "regular" bulbs too, not just heat lamp bulbs. Those seem to not mess with night time activity...
     
  5. woodmort

    woodmort Chillin' With My Peeps

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    Jul 6, 2010
    Oxford NY
    To be on the safe side, I'd keep it in the box in the attic until you need to brood chicks. If they've manage 15 below, they'll take -25.
     
  6. sheetmetalpete

    sheetmetalpete Out Of The Brooder

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    Aug 23, 2010
    Central Minnesota
    I was going by what I read here, roughly -20F as a trigger point in adding temporary heat. At what point do you folks add temporary heat? Or don't you at all?
     
  7. woodmort

    woodmort Chillin' With My Peeps

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    Oxford NY
    There is cold and there is COLD. If your temperatures have been down to 20 below the extra loss of 5 or 10 degrees isn't going to require heat as long as the birds are inside a well ventilated place and out of the wind/draft--they'll take it because they're used to it. On the other hand if it were 20 above and dropping to 25 below overnight, I might be inclined to stick a heat lamp out there for the overnight at least just to keep the chill off. Over the years our outdoor temperatures have fallen to 30 below and my birds haven't shown any stress or ill effects--besides if it is 30 below outside it generally isn't much below -25 inside anyway.
     
  8. Ryan McEachern

    Ryan McEachern Out Of The Brooder

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    Apr 2, 2010
    Maple Ridge, BC
    We use a heat lamp to help dry the coop out in the winter because the hens keep coming and going in the pouring rain (rains most of the winter here). In the few really cold snaps we get here, as long as the chickens are dry, they don't seem cold at all, the only time they really seem miserable is when the coop gets too wet. We get close to 100% humidity for days on end, and hens going out looking for bugs and worms and coming back in dripping wet, and then the temperature drops below freezing, and thats a cause for concern.

    I think livestock have a much harder time of it when the temperatures swing back and forth across the freezing and thawing range, its actually easier for them to cope when it freezes up hard and the air dries out nicely .

    Hanging a small heat lamp above the common area in the coop has made a huge difference in the humidity and circulation and the smell and condition of the litter, and the hens are able to dry out quickly and get "fluffier" faster, if that makes sense. The temperature of the coop doesn't seem to change with the lamp on, or off, but it FEELS much better. (due to the lower humidity) I would recommend a lamp for that reason, rather than for heating up the hens themselves.
     
    Last edited: Jan 7, 2011
  9. cabincrazyone

    cabincrazyone Chillin' With My Peeps

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    Dec 26, 2010
    NE Minnesota
    I'm from Minnesota, too. I just finished reading the post "You think It's Too Cold for Your Chickens?" in this same topic Managing Your Flock.
    There will be no heat in my coop.
     

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