Originally Posted by project7030
Im in Montana. Havent had many below zero days, but a few. My coop is insulated, and I use deep litter too. Also under the coop is open for the chickens so I stack straw bales around for a little extra insulation. I have a heat lamp in the coop too, and when its negative temps, I have a heater fan hanging from the ceiling. Stays pretty cozy. It might be overkill, but I spoil em.
Andrea, is there really anything called overkill in sub-zero temps? I don't think of it as spoiling them. I think its good management of your animals. I wish I could have more birds which would help produce adequate body heat to keep each other warm, but that's not an option.
I've been planning with the new coop to have it completely insulated but with vents for summer heat reduction. But I've been also thinking of some not so common options... like a solar panel for heat. I figure I really don't want to depend on the grid more, but I want to make sure my animals are having to consume huge amounts of energy just to stay at body weight. There is enough egg loss in winter to freezing and lower production rates, no need to loose more to higher stress in winter.
I've been looking at "heat sink" walls to go together with my solar panel and also I'm looking at some windows facing south in the enclosed winter run, to allow the girls plenty of sunlight since it seems Winters we get plenty of sunshine, but temps that just don't match the sunshine! My though is to take reclaimed aluminum windows with screens and storms and install them so that I can raise or lower the storms depending on the weather. If its warmer weather, I can open all the windows and let the air flow thru. But in colder then cold weather, I can close em down and let the sun in, but not the arctic blasts that we often experience. I'm aware the amount of sunlight affects birds production and health. I'm not so much concerned with production as I'm game to reducing it for their own health. But I do want them to be healthy mentally and I know how I feel and my husband during our short days and long dark nights.
so, perhaps I am "spoiling them". but health birds are healthy birds