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Re:heated roost

post #1 of 8
Thread Starter 

Ordering my new coop.  I have the option to have a heated roost installed.  I live just North of Philadelphia.  My flock is going to be composed of Rhode Island Reds, Barred Rocks, and Black Australorps.  Looking for experience with heated roosts, advantages, disadvantages, or even if a heated roost is necessary.  Is different heat source better (light, etc.).  Thanks for all input.  I know I can depend on the members for the info!!!

post #2 of 8

Oh goodness, you FOR SURE DO NOT need a heated roost where you are!!!!!!!! Not remotely. (Honestly I don't think anyone does, but, certainly not in Willow Grove tongue  I know what I'm talking about <g>, I grew up in Montgomery County and in fact will be down there next week visiting my sister and parents who live in the Langhorne area)

Frankly, in a well-managed well-ventilated coop you're unlikely to need heat at ALL wink

Good luck, have fun,

Pat

post #3 of 8

Well..this is my experience with heat in a coop..
Winter before last we used a wall mounted heater in the coop.. to keep it just above freezing..and we put some heat lamps on them too..
That winter several of my birds got frostbite on their combs... hmm

This winter we used no heat...i think we had one light on ALL of them at night.. thats it.. and we had no problem with frost bite this year at all..
I think that the heat caused moisture in my coop and so made them get frostbite....

I prefer an ugly truth to a pretty lie. If someone is telling me the truth that is when i will give my heart. ~ Jack Nicholson 

Look! A ladder!! Maybe it leads to heaven, or a sandwich... 

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I prefer an ugly truth to a pretty lie. If someone is telling me the truth that is when i will give my heart. ~ Jack Nicholson 

Look! A ladder!! Maybe it leads to heaven, or a sandwich... 

Reply
post #4 of 8

Just give them a wide, wood perch and they will do fine.  Wood is a warmer material than some other surfaces.  The width of a gently rounded 2x4, wide side up, let's them cover their feet with the feathers of their belly, when they crouch down to sleep.  Those feathers will keep their toes warm.

post #5 of 8

This is just my opinion (no science to back it up), but I think heated roosts are just a gimmick dreamed up by the folks who sell stuff to bird  owners, are unlikely to be of benefit to the birds, and could actually be harmful.  Parrot owners are frequently targeted by this marketing,  too. A heated perch is completely unnatural to a bird. It's not like a reptile who naturally seeks out sunwarmed rocks to rest on.

The risk I see is if the bird has no where else to perch they might become overheated from perching on the warm roost. Heat is transferred most efficiently through the feet, since uninsulated by feathers.  And then there's the issue of malfunction: what if the device doesn't perform as it's intended and gets too hot, gives a shock, etc.

At best, you're spending money on something that is of no real benefit to your birds, and at worst, you're spending money on something that might actually harm them.

If you want to provide supplemental heat, I'd look for a different way to do it than a heated perch.


Edited by elmo - 5/19/10 at 3:12pm
post #6 of 8

I'd spend the money on insulating the coop (helps in summer AND winter) before I'd spend money on heated roosts, and I'm a person who has been accused more than once of "coddling" my chickens. tongue   Something you may or may not want to look into as winter draws near again is the SweeterHeater (a type of flat panel heater).  Some folks really seem to like them.

Caretaker of a lovely mixed flock including: australorp, plymouth rocks, wyandotte, d'uccles, silkies, EEs, andalusian, and a few seramas, plus a golden retriever, great dane, and three cats.  I always swore that I wouldn't succumb to chicken math.  I lied.
 

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Caretaker of a lovely mixed flock including: australorp, plymouth rocks, wyandotte, d'uccles, silkies, EEs, andalusian, and a few seramas, plus a golden retriever, great dane, and three cats.  I always swore that I wouldn't succumb to chicken math.  I lied.
 

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post #7 of 8
Quote:
Originally Posted by elmo 

This is just my opinion (no science to back it up), but I think heated roosts are just a gimmick dreamed up by the folks who sell stuff to bird  owners, are unlikely to be of benefit to the birds, and could actually be harmful. 

At best, you're spending money on something that is of no real benefit to your birds, and at worst, you're spending money on something that might actually harm them.


Agree 100%. 

I don't know how cold it gets in Philadelphia. It gets pretty cold for a long time in MN and even so, there are plenty of folks who don't provide heat. I'm a pushover and provided 24/7 heat (sometimes from two separate sources), and even then my coop averaged around 15F this winter -- a long long ways from freezing temps. My coop has been as cold as -5F inside (and that's with the heat) and I still have not had a single problem with frostbite. The secret is to have a DRY COOP. Luckily in MN, that's completely possible.

Alternative sources for heat could include a infrared bulb, a plain white light bulb, a ceramic heat emitter or a flat panel heater. All have advantages/disadvantages. I'd recommend a search...

Only you are going to know where your comfort level lies with your chickens and the decision to heat a coop. But my chickens saw 32F in early November and then not again until March and they did just fine.

My friends all think I've flown the coop....
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My friends all think I've flown the coop....
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post #8 of 8

I just knit slippers for my girls....wink

It is pretty wild around here. I try to stay out of the way.
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It is pretty wild around here. I try to stay out of the way.
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