View Full Version : Heat Lamps???
10-30-2008, 02:09 PM
The weather is just beginning to turn a bit cold here in Florida, so I went in search of a heat lamp to keep my three hens comfortable. I was told that chickens can't see red light, so a red lamp won't disturb their sleep. I purchased as red filtered heat lamp and properly installed it in the hen house. The hens were awake and walking around when I checked on them after dark last night and before dawn this morning. Is there a problem; can they see the red light? What's the solution to keeping them warm without getting their nights and days mixed up? Thanks!
Hi Florida. A heat lamp is good to have for those extremely cold nights there in Fla. But there is no need to use it unless the temps get to be about 25 degrees F or below for an extended period. I know it may feel cold to us, but they are quite comfy in their feather coats. As far as the light color .... In my opinion, they can see the red (this is debatable). Birds have better eyesight and color distinguishing sight than us humans. On the other hand, most fur bearing animals are color blind. Therefore, using an amber or red light at night can be a useful tool against them. What you could do is use a dimmer switch to lessen the brightness for the chickens, but it will also lessen the heat temp. However, with the amount of cold nights you have in Fla, I wouldn't worry too much leaving it on all night every once in a while ........ (excellent question, BTW)
10-30-2008, 04:37 PM
Thanks for the imput. I thought the hens were uncomfortable because on the nights that dip to 48 or lower they run to the back door of the house instead of going to the coop. Believe it or not, my hens are house broken (really), and on a couple of cold nights I let them sleep in the laundry room, although they aren't usually allowed indoors. I thought because the didn't come to the door on the warmer nights (and instead returned to the hen house) that they were cold.
10-30-2008, 05:23 PM
i am going to try and mount a 250 watt red light somewhere low in the coop where most or all of the light is covered. That way they will get the heat without messing up their day night schedule. plucker
10-30-2008, 06:04 PM
I thought because the didn't come to the door on the warmer nights (and instead returned to the hen house) that they were cold.
And so they probably were.... but that doesn't mean they won't survive a dip in the temp!
Being in Canada, I just find it so funny that people from Virginia on down to Florida, seem to panic for their birds when it gets around freezing temps.
I'm not being facetious nor trying to belittle your concern..... but these birds can well withstand below freezing temps.
10-31-2008, 10:49 AM
Up where I live (seven USDA climate zones colder than the coolest parts of Florida) it is absolutely necessary to have heat lamps on sometimes weeks at a time. During those times, I don't use "white" light at all, but only give the birds the red light from the heat lamps.
The birds can remain active at all hours when the lights are on 24/7, and they simply go to sleep whenever they feel the need. Their laying doesn't seem to be affected, either. That is, they lay as if the regular lights are on to give them a longer day.
However, they do seem to get cranky after a while, and their pecking order fighting gets to be more of a problem, considering they have more waking hours to get into trouble with.
From what I have seen, the birds can see fine in red light, but they don't see blood. It looks like the red colour of blood on a pecked bird encourages more pecking, so red lights give the bullied birds a break.
I guess I'm a bit of a cheapskate, but if the coop is dry and draft free, I wouldn't put heat lamps on unless there is a chance that the water or the eggs might freeze. Why spend the money on electricity when you don't have to?
10-31-2008, 02:51 PM
you could also try one of the heater panels (like the one that i / James won in the last comp from shop the coop).
Either that or try getting a dull emitter bulb - theyre ceramic, and emit the heat, but not the light and fit a standard screw holder - although you really need a ceramic holder to be safe.
11-01-2008, 11:50 AM
They can see even if there is a red heat lamp in the coop.
11-01-2008, 12:24 PM
Thanks for all the great advice. I guess I'll heat the hen house with the red light on the colder nights. It uses so little electricity considering how infrequently I'll be using it, and while I'm not worried about frozen chickens, it will make them a bit more comfortable
11-01-2008, 12:39 PM
I think what most people are concerned with is the hours that the birds are exposed to white light, as in aggravating them. Yes, they can see in the red light, but it is less stimulating.
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