Originally Posted by Farmergyrl23
This is our first year keeping chickens in the winter. We have enclosed their coop so no drafts can get in, but left openings in the top for ventilation.
May I suggest that you close the holes at the top of the coop to make it warmer. I drew a picture to explain my idea to you. If you can only have holes at the top, you could possibly add a channel, inside and/or outside as shown in the 3rd example.
This only will apply to chicken houses that have a roof without holes in it, rather than netting or wire mesh roofs. You can convert a wire coop to make it warmer for chooks by simply covering the whole coop. You can use many things, pool covers, bubble wrap, building foil (sometimes called things like sarking or aircell, things that you can put under a waterproof layer would include old blankets, old carpet, cardboard, newspaper amongst other things. These would work by reflecting the heat from the earth (which comes through the floor) back down again. The thicker the layer and the more layers the better, because successive layers will decrease the thermal conductance of the roof, the inside layer would become warmer. This all applies to houses, rv's, rents and caravans too.
For very very cold climates, you can use an old fridge or freezer. I lay tall ones on their back so that the door becomes a door on the top. In what is now the side of the fridge, you can drill through with regular drill bits, you can cut (use gloves) the sheetmetal using tinsnips, or if you have no tinsnips, you can use an angle grinder (dangerous) or an old knife or lawnmower blade. Put the blade or knife into the hole and hit the back of the blade with a hammer in the direction you want to cut. Good idea to cut larger than the chook by enough margin to line the hole with wood, so the chooks are not tempted to eat the insulation. If the fridge is put into the chooks current coop, you'd have to wait until after they settle in for the night on the old perches and then move them into the fridge for up to a dozen nights until they learn to go in themselves. If it is a new coop or chicks, they get the idea straight away.
I've done this many times so I can advise on whatever is not clear if I am still here.