I have approx. 86 chickens and 7 adult guineas. 8 little chicks and about 34 guinea keets. They are in a very big barn that is 60' long. They is a lot of open space. I have 34 keets that are over 2 months old all feathered in a horse stall with one heat lamp on in cold nights. I have had 3 keets die over the last three nights. One full grown chicken die but was still in molt not many feathers. Everything I read says DO NOT provide heat over winter for chickens. Information on guineas is very mixed some say YES PROVIDE HEAT cause they are not cold hardy others say no because theirs survive in trees all winter. I want what is BEST for my entire flock. It is only fall we have not even reached winter temps yet.
I'm guessing that just 1 heat light for 34 keets was not enough and might have caused them to pile on each other and some got smothered or crushed trying to get under the light. If the light is just hanging in open space and not in an enclosed area it really only warms directly under it.
I don't use lights but make smaller spaces so the hens body heat can keep the space warm. I make little houses out of cardboard boxes they can get in its the cheapest thing for me to do. Its easier for them to heat up a box than the whole coop. I also feed them corn at night I read somewhere it makes their body temp higher.
My hens are pets so when they are molting and its going to be under 35 degrees I move them to a heated shed at night. I realize you have a lot more so maybe not an option for you to do the same.
Hope this helps....
you are right we added lights we now have 3 and they are doing better. thank you
I am glad to hear everything is better. :-)
even with the lights they started dying one this day one another. we really didnt understand why but now i think it was because they got a little bigger and they we getting over heated. I raised the lamps higher and things seemed better. Our temp dropped to -20 degrees with a wind chill causing the real feal of -41 degrees. all of my birds have survived the cold so far. Thank goodness. They did get some frost bite so far but seem to be doing alright. cant wait for the cold to go away. good luck to all with there flock in this winter cold
That's great that you might have figured out the reason to the untimely deaths.
Out of curiosity, thought, what are you feeding them diet wise? I haven't wintered chicks outside, but our layers (two comets, eight Araucana hens and one roo) get bird seed, cooked pasta and rice, and oatmeal as a treat during really cold times. We're actually going to pick up some cat food to make a hot mash for them with, seeing how we're due to get another blast of artic air soon. (Our cat eats wet food, so it feels really odd buying dry cat food.)