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#74249 - 09/22/05 04:51 AM lights in coop
Nolte Offline
Bantam

Registered: 08/23/05
Posts: 51
Loc: Minnesota
I have a "newbie" question. I have 8 week old bantams. I have had a light on them (heat lamp at first, now just a 60W bulb) continuously since they arrived. We have had cool nights already so I didn't want them to get cold. Since I live in Minnesota, I plan on using a heat lamp some of the time this winter, but do folks run that during the day, so they are in the dark at night?

Thanks

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#74250 - 09/22/05 09:21 AM Re: lights in coop
CJR Online   content
Coop Master

Registered: 07/16/02
Posts: 8483
Loc: Montana
If they are well feathered, a 60W or 75W will probably take care of them, even in the winter. Temperature you want (40-50f for another month, perhaps) should be checked with a thermometer and you just hang the light the distance from the floor that will give them a comfort level. Heat lamp uses far more W than you need and only heats a small area that it touches. I keep my houses just above freezing in winter (it is minus 30 at times) and do use radiator heaters. I have single combed roosters that can freeze comb tips at 27f. By 4-5 months, your bantams will be pretty hardy to cold. You can tell if they are cold, if they are hunchy, gather together and do not spend time eating and scratching in their bedding. Good luck, CJR

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#74251 - 09/22/05 09:44 AM Re: lights in coop
Nolte Offline
Bantam

Registered: 08/23/05
Posts: 51
Loc: Minnesota
Thanks much for the info. Does it matter if the light is on 24 hours a day, or should it be shut off for some part of the day?

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#74252 - 10/27/05 09:06 PM Re: lights in coop
Uno Offline
Lord of the Fowl

Registered: 08/26/05
Posts: 1280
Loc: Canada
Hello Nolte:

CJR has practical and clever advice. As for me, I run a red 250 watt bulb from now until spring. It costs a small fortune. My hen house is built fairly well, 6 inch walls with vapour barrier, 6 inch fiberglass, double pane windows, plywood interior and cedar board and batten exterior. And even with a heat lamp the water STILL freezes solid. So will the eggs.

Our usual winter time temps hover around freezing. But last year for about 10 days they dipped to -28 C. ( about -16 Farn.?) Australorp rooster went outside without his toque ( toook) and froze the decoration off his comb. Then I added a 1500 watt space heater and pushed the electric bill ( and hubby's blood pressure) to a whole new high.

I probably overheat, but just can't stand the thought of the girls being chilly. And I always have a night light on, summer and winter, only 7 watts. It keeps them from being afraid of the dark. Okay, you got me, I'M afraid of the dark! wink

Don't be afraid to heat, just don't let your better half get a look at that electric bill. We figure with winter heat and feed, it costs us $3.60 to produce an egg eek

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#74253 - 10/27/05 10:44 PM Re: lights in coop
CJR Online   content
Coop Master

Registered: 07/16/02
Posts: 8483
Loc: Montana
Lights can be on 24/7, it does no harm. CJR They will be afraid of the dark and make distress noises the first time they are without lights at night. No harm, they quickly get used to the dark when they are older and in summer!

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#74254 - 10/28/05 10:57 AM Re: lights in coop
Anonymous
Unregistered


Nolte,
I've kept my chickens in an unheated coop for four years in Minnesota. From fall through spring I turn a light on at 4:00am so they have enough light to keep laying, but I let darkness descend naturally, so they're not caught in the dark when the light goes off.
Good luck!
Patrick

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#74255 - 10/29/05 04:53 AM Re: lights in coop
Nolte Offline
Bantam

Registered: 08/23/05
Posts: 51
Loc: Minnesota
Thanks Patrick....I have been doing almost exactly that except the light has been going on at 5 am. They seem quite happy although the coldest it's been so far is around 30 degrees. I also read somewhere that using the "deep litter" method helps them stay warm too. I have noticed that it's around 10-15 degrees warmer in there than outside already. Put double layers of the thick plastic over the window screens. Next year they will be in new quarters, I'm enjoying them som much we've decided to put some $$ into remodeling the big barn instead of putting more $$ into the coop. Then I can have more pens, etc. Plus will have space there for an outside run.

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