spiritpots

Songster
May 17, 2018
81
182
127
East Central Minnesota
My Coop
My Coop
When thinking about heating your coop...imagine this:
Put on all your heaviest winter gear, down coat, carhart pants, wool hat and scarf...
(not boots because chickens have specialized circulation to keep their feet from freezing)
...then sit in your house next to the wood stove.
How's that gonna feel, eh? :gig
@bobbi-j says it better, but you get the idea ;)
Great visual!
 

spiritpots

Songster
May 17, 2018
81
182
127
East Central Minnesota
My Coop
My Coop
I hang Sweeter Heaters over the roost in the winter when it gets really cold. I raise and lower them as needed. My hens have the option to roost away from the heat if they want so I leave it up to them to decide. We also have a portable generator for when the power goes out which was a great point raised by Wamtazlady. Hope this helps.
Thanks for your reply @ChickConcierge. Are you also in the midwest or are your winters similar with bitterly cold weather? Also, how warm does your coop get using the Sweeter Heater? If I did add heat it wouldn't be all winter - only on those coldest of days.
 

Claires Poultry

Crossing the Road
Mar 24, 2019
3,650
16,924
852
Out chillin' with my ducks!
My Coop
My Coop
I don't heat my coops at all in the winter and temps have got down to below -30* without the wind chill.

The most important thing is to keep the coop dry and well ventilated. It would be better for it to be on the colder side with less humidity, then for it to be on the warmer side with more humidity. Too much humidity in the air can cause the birds to get frostbite on their combs, wattles, and feet. It can also give them respiratory problems, if I remember right.

Most importantly keep the coop dry and well ventilated and they won't need supplemental heat.

We as humans tend to over think how much heat our birds really need. It's hard because we always end up thinking that they must be cold, but the truth is they aren't as cold as we think.
Even I still struggle with it sometimes, but I just have to remind myself that they don't really need it.
 

ValerieJ

Enabler
Premium member
Jul 24, 2016
7,658
44,101
1,147
Washington State
I have always heated at least one of my coops so the chickens could decide. That being said, they can get out of the coop if they need to. This year I'm going to try one of the heated chicken pads. No risk of fire but a cozy place to cuddle up to when desired or needed. I will still only put it in one coop, so the hens can choose.

That being said, I have a generator, so if my electricity goes out I still have power to the coop. I think that makes a huge difference.

I just read today that the midwest and northeastern states are going to have a severe cold winter. I hope it's not so, but just passing on what I read.
 

ChickConcierge

Chirping
Aug 29, 2019
24
88
59
Michigan
I’m in Michigan. It rarely gets below -10. I agree that the chickens would probably be fine without the heat but they have a choice and sometimes they huddle under the heaters. My coop is really a small barn so I have 12 chickens roosting in an 8 x 8 foot space. The ambient temperature is only maybe 5 degrees above the outside temp and humidity seems low but I never measured it. The chickens themselves create heat with or without the heaters. But now I’m going to test the Humidity this winter. Always learning!
 

jreardon1918

Songster
Jul 13, 2016
451
696
206
Southeast, MA
My Coop
My Coop
We are in SE Mass. We do not heat the coop. We get a few days a year that dip into the negative farenheit range. We do monitor the temp and humidity with a remote sensor. Here is a current picture. Note the humidity is a bit higher in the coop than in our house. We just let them out. The coop was really buttoned up last night due to mosquito spraying over night. We're closed the windows and pop door. In a couple hours the humidity will adjust. The lowest it got last year was -7f (-21c).

Also Inotice the battery indicator is showing low. It lasted 2.5 years. Not bad.
 

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aart

Chicken Juggler!
Premium member
7 Years
Nov 27, 2012
72,891
77,410
1,557
SW Michigan
My Coop
My Coop
I hang Sweeter Heaters over the roost in the winter when it gets really cold. I raise and lower them as needed.
Could you post pics of your heater setup and how you raise and lower it?

The ambient temperature is only maybe 5 degrees above the outside temp and humidity seems low but I never measured it. The chickens themselves create heat with or without the heaters. But now I’m going to test the Humidity this winter. Always learning!
Temp and humidity will be about the same inside and out, with some lag, if you've got good ventilation. Where are you in MI @ChickConcierge ? It's really humid here.
 

spiritpots

Songster
May 17, 2018
81
182
127
East Central Minnesota
My Coop
My Coop
I don't heat my coops at all in the winter and temps have got down to below -30* without the wind chill.

The most important thing is to keep the coop dry and well ventilated. It would be better for it to be on the colder side with less humidity, then for it to be on the warmer side with more humidity. Too much humidity in the air can cause the birds to get frostbite on their combs, wattles, and feet. It can also give them respiratory problems, if I remember right.

Most importantly keep the coop dry and well ventilated and they won't need supplemental heat.

We as humans tend to over think how much heat our birds really need. It's hard because we always end up thinking that they must be cold, but the truth is they aren't as cold as we think.
Even I still struggle with it sometimes, but I just have to remind myself that they don't really need it.
That was my challenge last year... reminding myself that they would be ok. :)
 
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