Building coop. Have heat question.

Discussion in 'Raising Baby Chicks' started by Kgudie, Apr 17, 2011.

  1. Kgudie

    Kgudie Out Of The Brooder

    Mar 6, 2011
    I am building my coop and I am trying to plan ahead for next winter. Coop is 4x6 and 4' at the peak and 3' at the eave. It will be insulted with R13 on floor,ceiling, and walls. The coop will house 6 RIR,s. I will have a 4"x 8" adjustable vent at each end. I live in central WI, will I need a heat lamp in the winter, or will a 100 Watt light bulb provide enough heat?
  2. Lesa

    Lesa Chillin' With My Peeps

    May 28, 2008
    Upstate NY
    You should not need heat of any kind, with an insulated coop. The chickens will adapt and really feather out... you will be freezing and they will be fine!
  3. Delmar

    Delmar Chillin' With My Peeps

  4. ARose4Heaven

    ARose4Heaven Chillin' With My Peeps

    Apr 16, 2009
    Flippin, AR
    Chickens are VERY winter hardy. Mine are in large uninsulated unheated coop all through the Iowa winter. You should not need any heat in that small insulated coop. It is best to NOT keep them too warm in winter.
  5. jennh

    jennh Chillin' With My Peeps

    Jun 21, 2007
    You didn't say where you're from, but it really doesn't matter. They don't need heat. If you have birds with large single combs, you might want to put vaseline on the combs to prevent frostbite, though. But they really don't need heat.
  6. sourland

    sourland Broody Magician Premium Member

    May 3, 2009
    New Jersey
    A draft free, well ventilated coop will not need to be heated.
  7. 6chickens in St. Charles

    6chickens in St. Charles Chillin' With My Peeps

    Mar 25, 2009
    St. Charles, IL
    Quote:I second that. Just make sure the birdies are in good health going in to the winter [​IMG]

    We learned from our birdygirls that THEY DONT WANT HEAT. They're not like us. Maybe from another world. They just fluff up and keep going. They are made for the cold!

    That being said, there are people who treat them to vaseline pedicures and facials, to help prevent frostbite.

    (But don't use vaseline on them if you're using a heat lamp. Vaseline is flammable.) Heat lamps cause fires, in general, too. The little monkeys have no idea how to behave around a live wire. They'll ride the lamp around and toss water onto it to make it explode, and keep checking their reflections in the shiny lampcover til it falls and starts the coop afire.

    Here's a cute picture of 4 month old banty Esther, this FEB after the snowstorm, less than 10degrees out! Didn't stop her at all. She dug the snow like it was dirt. DH says "I'm pretty sure they'll keep excavating til they find the original Mayan civilization settlement":


    Oh and here they are up on top as they couldn't get IN to their run after the snowstorm:


    I think the sturdiness of our coop is the most important part of Midwestern American backyard chickens! We get those monsoon type storms once or twice a year, I am SO GLAD our birdies are safe in their sturdy coop, safe from predators and weather. [​IMG] and good luck!
  8. ECBW

    ECBW Chillin' With My Peeps

    Apr 12, 2011
    I have similar setup in NJ but un-insulated. My experience is that as long as the coop is draft free, heat is not necessary. I use a black light (75W) when the temp goes to the teens to take the edge off, so I feel better as a caregiver. I read somewhere that a bird gives off 10W equivalent of heat.

    You did not mention but keeping the water from freezing is probably the real concern you need to prepare for.
  9. Nicole01

    Nicole01 Overrun With Chickens

    Mar 28, 2011
    What your doing is very similar to what we are doing with our coop. Except our bulb is 150 watts. It gets very cold here and temps have been as low as -40F without the windchill. A neighbor of mine lost their chickens to the cold weather when their heat lamp burnt out. The chickens were actually frozen.
  10. Mervin

    Mervin Chillin' With My Peeps

    Jan 25, 2010
    Central Pennsyltucky
    In central PA, I don't use heat at all. I use the deep litter method which provides them with plenty of insulation to snuggle down into if they need it. In fact, the coop isn't insulated and I keep it wide open as far as ventilation goes (my coop is semi-open fronted). The girls laid great all winter. Truth be told, they're having more trouble with the wet conditions now than they did with the cold and snow.
    Last edited: Apr 18, 2011

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