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Heating the Chicken coop in Winter.. Any suggestions

post #1 of 86
Thread Starter 

What is the best way to heat the chicken coop with a portable heater, Electric no gas. What is best radiant, Wall.. ext... I don't want propane or gas, Any suggestions on what will keep the chickens warm in the winter? now winter is far a for me but I want to stay on the Bright side!

~Kyle~

Father to 2 Buff Orpingtons, and 4 cats! See my Chicks here:
http://www.backyardchickens.com/web/viewblog.php?id=6701
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~Kyle~

Father to 2 Buff Orpingtons, and 4 cats! See my Chicks here:
http://www.backyardchickens.com/web/viewblog.php?id=6701
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post #2 of 86

I use ceramic heat lamps, ensuring there is no way they can touch anything or be knocked down. Just make sure you have the necessary capacity electrically. They work beautifully.
I also use a disk furnace to help take the edge off the cold in the building within which the coop resides, a building they have the run of in the daytime (in addition to the outdoors).
I know others on BYC have found other things that work well too - I'm sure they'll be along at some point.
Good for you, thinking ahead!
JJ

"You must be the change you wish to see in the world" ~Ghandhi

"Procrastinate now. Don't put it off." ~Ellen Degeneres
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"You must be the change you wish to see in the world" ~Ghandhi

"Procrastinate now. Don't put it off." ~Ellen Degeneres
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post #3 of 86

our coop is insulated and we have a red heat lamp in there. We have a 'remote thermometer' (hubbey likes gadgets) and we were able to easily see it never dropped below freezing all winter in the coop. Worked great for us in Nova Scotia.

Molasses (Gold Laced Wyandotte), Irving (Bantam Game Hen), Hamlet (Speckled Sussex), Pablo (Columbian Rock) and Roxy and Gidget (Copper Marans babies)
http://www.backyardchickens.com/web/viewblog.php?id=3832-

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Molasses (Gold Laced Wyandotte), Irving (Bantam Game Hen), Hamlet (Speckled Sussex), Pablo (Columbian Rock) and Roxy and Gidget (Copper Marans babies)
http://www.backyardchickens.com/web/viewblog.php?id=3832-

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post #4 of 86

We're in Nova Scotia, coop is in barn, insulated.  We have a brooder lamp but don't plan to use it much.  We also have remote thermometer in coop and another in main aisleway of barn to compare temps.  We will use an electric dog bowl ...oh and roosts made of 2/4's wide side up to keep feet warm plus two platforms which they also like.  Pop door is as small as practical.  See link below for pics and details...cool


Edited by LynneP - 12/19/08 at 9:25am

Focussing on the black Australorp.  Facebook page under Linda Pattison.

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Focussing on the black Australorp.  Facebook page under Linda Pattison.

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post #5 of 86

My coop is insulated, but in the winters here in New Egland I use a "SnuggleSafe".  Microwavable disk that keeps the coop at a nice safe, and consistant temp.  You can pick them up at most pet stores.

post #6 of 86

my guy at the feed store , his family has owned for 50plus years and he's worked in for 40 looked at me like I had 3 heads when I asked him about a heater for the coop.

  And then he told me it would mess up their molt and throw them all off.He said food is heat and to supplement them with corn.
   I live in southern new england and it gets well below freezing for extended periods in the winter .

just me and dh , daughter, son in law  grandson Logan9,grandaughter Sophie5 and  Garret 2 a 1 yr  old cairn/poodle puppy  40chooks of various pedigree and temperament 8 ducks  BLESSED BE
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just me and dh , daughter, son in law  grandson Logan9,grandaughter Sophie5 and  Garret 2 a 1 yr  old cairn/poodle puppy  40chooks of various pedigree and temperament 8 ducks  BLESSED BE
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post #7 of 86

I think we overdid it (sorry hubby!) our first winter.  As long as the coop stays above freezing and is ventilated but draft free, you should be fine.  We keep one heat lamp in there for the waterer, which keeps the water from freezing.  In Jan/Feb when it's -20, -30°F, we have a second heat lamp above the roosts, and a towel tacked over the door to keep the drafts out, and that's it.  The coop is insulated to keep heat in with 2" foam board. 
The 2x4s, like Lynne said, allow them to settle over their feet to keep them warm, and if you keep it above freezing in the coop then the eggs won't freeze.  Definitely supplement with a little more corn in the evenings... they should be fine. 
Also, if you have a way to provide them with a covered area outside, free of snow, I think you'll be surprised to find that they do spend a lot of time outdoors in the winter.
thumbsup  Good on ya for thinking ahead, though! smile

post #8 of 86
Quote:
Originally Posted by purr 

my guy at the feed store , his family has owned for 50plus years and he's worked in for 40 looked at me like I had 3 heads when I asked him about a heater for the coop.

  And then he told me it would mess up their molt and throw them all off.He said food is heat and to supplement them with corn.
   I live in southern new england and it gets well below freezing for extended periods in the winter .


I never thought of that...chickens DO come with their own duvet don't they.  I've never seen city pidgeons walking around with a heater big_smile  This year I'll try it without the snugglesafe.


Edited by angels4 - 6/29/08 at 6:36pm
post #9 of 86

Adult chickens do not need extra heat.

An adult chicken properly fed in a draft free coop can generate upwards of 5 BTU's of heat per hour. Unnaturally heating them will weaken them.

On the coldest of winter nights a good helping of cracked corn just before roost helps them generate a lot of body heat. Their feathers insulatge them and they huddle on the roost. If you worry about frost bite put a coating of vaseline on their comb and wattles - it won't freeze and protects their skin.

When I go out in winter my barn is always noticably warmer in the chicken house.

LF Blue/Black/Splash Orpingtons - Appleyard Ducks - Geese - Bronze Turkeys - Dairy Goats - Fiber Sheep + eleventy hundred more animals
My Etsy Shop
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LF Blue/Black/Splash Orpingtons - Appleyard Ducks - Geese - Bronze Turkeys - Dairy Goats - Fiber Sheep + eleventy hundred more animals
My Etsy Shop
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post #10 of 86

Our coop is well insulated and when it gets real cold, i turn on the brooder lamp for them. A friend of mine tells me i am going to love them to death roll But i cannot help it. If i am cold......everyone else must put on a sweater wink  I think that the most important thing is to be safe.  They are better off cold than over-cooked. I agree with the 'guy at the feed store' ....... i think too much heat messes them up, and it did some crazy stuff to my electric bill too hmm

"Sometimes when we expect the worst, we forget to Hope for the Best"
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"Sometimes when we expect the worst, we forget to Hope for the Best"
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