Using an infrared lamp for rescued featherless hens

Hi everyone!

I recently rescued 5 hens from an industrial poultry house and the conditions there were so bad they miss most of their feathers. They are recovering swiftly, however, the weather is getting colder here in central Europe, with autumn approaching – temperatures at night are about to drop to around 8°C in the upcoming days. I was thinking about ways to give the hens additional heat during nights and I realized that an infrared lamp I originally bought for chicks (which, in the end, didn’t hatch) could be used just for that.

It’s a 150W lamp that is originally meant for human use, but I figured it will work as well as any other – the technology is pretty much the same. It’s quite warm I would say, especially after being turned on for a couple of minutes, but I saw that the bulbs that are sold for poultry are even stronger with 250W. I originally thought I would keep it running through the night, but while checking up on the hens I quickly realized it would be too much – the coop gets heated nicely after several minutes. The manual says that the sessions (for humans) should be around 15 minutes optimally and can be as frequent as one likes, but there should be at least an hour of pause between them.

So I was thinking I would buy a digital timer and set it so that the lamp turns for 15-20 minutes during the night and then switches off for say 1-1,5 hour before turning on again.

Do you think that is optimal? Would it be too much for the hens or the infrared light can’t be overused (is there something like an overdose from infrared?)?

I figured the light would not only help with the heat, but it would boost their immunity (which is really needed after what they’ve been through) and it could also help with moulting and regrowing back their feathers.

Thank you in advance for your opinion!

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