Thursday, January 11, 2018

Staying safe, while staying warm

With winter's cold and damp days, it's no wonder folks are bringing out their heat lamps and putting them to use in lambing barns, brooders and else where. Which makes it a good time to remind folks about proper use with heat lamps and other heat producing items.

A few rules that we follow on the Premier farms:


Hang lamps and heaters secures by clips and chains.  
  1. Unplug the lamp when not in use, or use thermocubes (which automatically turn the lamp off when the ambient temperature is warm enough). 
  2. Use 175 watt bulbs, they produce sufficient heat for most of our needs. 250 watt bulbs cost more to use per hour. The 175w pressed glassed bulbs a very durable. 
  3. Clip lamps securely by the top clip holder, not the cord and do not place chords where animals are likely to reach them—particularly if adult sheep, goats or pigs are exposed to them. A lamp that falls onto animals and or bedding has consequences, including fire. 
  4. Hang carbon fiber heaters higher than heat lamps. They produce significantly more heat and hanging higher allows that heat to dissipate (rather than overheating animals beneath it).
  5. Allow space for animals to get away from heat producing items. 

A heat lamp that is clipped to a PowerBilt panel and whose cord is woven through the panel for added stability. 


  1. Don't hang lamps closer than 20" from bedding or baby animals that can't move away from them. 
  2. Don't enclose heat lamps in barrels or similar small spaces. The heat must be allowed to move away from the lamps.
  3. Don't use heat lamps any longer than necessary. Lambs and kids only need extra heat when they are wet newborns or weak, or suffering from hypothermia. (We've heard reports of folks using them continuously for 2-3 months.) However, chicks and young poultry need an additional heat source until they are fully feathered.  

Once lambs and kids are dried and past the initial chill, heat lamps can be removed or turned off.