Ceramic Heat Emitter Safety and Installation

Discussion in 'Coop & Run - Design, Construction, & Maintenance' started by rainwolfeh, Jan 6, 2016.

  1. rainwolfeh

    rainwolfeh Chillin' With My Peeps

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    Hello! With the winter months (finally) approaching where I live, we're at last finishing on winterizing the coop. We're going to be putting shutters on the windows - one line of open ventilation up top) and using a heated waterer, but since it's a big coop with only 5 chickens and temps get really low, we're considering putting in a ceramic heat emitter for the really cold nights.

    Thing is, I'm sort of terrified of the coop catching on fire with my girls in it so I want to get feedback on how safe they are in the coop, and the safest way to install it? Coop is wood with an aluminum roof and 1/4 wire mesh covering the windows. It would be high enough that I'm pretty sure they wouldn't be able to get burned, but I guess I'm worried about freak accidents and want to know the best way to avoid any issues.

    So, who uses CHEs in their coops in the winter, who doesn't, pros and cons?
     
  2. aart

    aart Chicken Juggler! Premium Member

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    Most folks don't heat their coops.
    With proper ventilation it's a waste of money and your typical layer breeds really don't need it as long as they're dry and out of the wind.

    How cold is "temps get really low"?
    What is your climate?
    Putting your location in your profile can help folks give better answers/suggestions.

    What type of CHE were you thinking of using?
    The screw in type are rather ineffectual, IME, I tried them in the brooder.
     
  3. rainwolfeh

    rainwolfeh Chillin' With My Peeps

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    I've read both ways, so just want to get a good idea of what's best from the best!

    Okay, maybe not really low, we aren't subzero most of the time. : P 14 degrees at night, usually. Enough that the horses are blanketed most nights and we're sparse blanketers.

    I am in the Southeast US. Hot, humid summers, relatively cold winters, decently wet with ice and sleet more common than snow. Coop is dry and insulated, but it's not snug enough for body heat to be enough where they roost and they puff up a lot during the day in the run with much higher temperatures. I'm a bit overly paranoid about everything health and safety wise, don't want any frosbite or cold girls or anything of the like. We've got a jersey giant who's in mid molt so rather bald, red star, buff brahma, delaware and EE, if that helps at all. They all huddle together at night on the highest roost, so that might be good enough.

    The kind you'd use for reptiles, so the screw in ones with the porcelain dome, and thermostat for safety.
     
  4. GodofPecking

    GodofPecking Chillin' With My Peeps

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    I don't heat my coop in winter, temperatures drop to freezing and there is ice in the mornings. For little ones I give them an old fridge to live in, put onto it's side with an entrance cut into it. It prevents them being exposed to the cold and completely conserves the heat that comes off them. It's also free.

    you can see an attached run on this one, made from supermarket shelves and fridge shelves. The moveable shelves in the doors of fridges are IDEAL for food and water containers too.
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    the heat from the chickens goes straight up and is trapped until it cools. That heats the inside of the fridge. It all reflects back to the chickens.
     
  5. oldhenlikesdogs

    oldhenlikesdogs Let It Snow Premium Member

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    I'm way up here in Wisconsin, I have never heated my shed and wouldn't, to easy for fires to start, save your money, chickens can heat themselves, and extra heat can actually be stressful and mess with acclimation. Block any prevailing winds, fresh water, good food, proper roosts and something to keep them occupied is more important.
     
  6. rainwolfeh

    rainwolfeh Chillin' With My Peeps

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    Alright, thank you! Definitely seems to be the prevailing opinion to not worry about it. I was very worried about the fire hazard, but also worried about my girls' toes and combs. Thank you all for the information! We'll be blocking most of the windows where the wind blows and the nest boxes are tight enough for them to stay extra warm if needed - they have deep litter as well so I'm hoping that will help as well. This is our first winter with our girls so want to get everything right.
     
  7. oldhenlikesdogs

    oldhenlikesdogs Let It Snow Premium Member

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    Your chickens have a natural down filled layer of feathers, they are hot little furnaces, I don't see frostbite until it gets really cold, -20, the best way of avoiding frostbite in warmer temperatures is to have enough ventilation that moisture doesn't build up, so block the winds but don't close up the coop too tight, I have an open door year round facing the south east. And I never put a blanket on my horse either as it interfere with their ability to regulate their own temperatures.
     
  8. GodofPecking

    GodofPecking Chillin' With My Peeps

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    For fire hazard, think of the lamp as if it was already on fire and then place it where it cannot set anything else on fire. If you got an old clothes drier, opened it and removed the insides and then reassembled the outside, you'd have a metal box with a lovely round chook size hole in it. Drill a hole in the center at the top and hang the lamp inside. Regardless what the lamp does, it cannot catch fire. The chooks can enjoy their little heated room with ease.
     
  9. rainwolfeh

    rainwolfeh Chillin' With My Peeps

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    Thank you!

    We have two senior horses, 26 and 28, so we blanket them if it gets below 20 degrees, they're the exceptions. The younger ones don't get blanketed.
    Don't want the seniors using up their energy trying to keep warm and losing weight though, so they do, usually only cold and wet though. No silly light sheets or anything here, lol.
     
  10. aart

    aart Chicken Juggler! Premium Member

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    You really don't want them sleeping in the nests...poopy eggs......or daily refreshing of nest bedding.

    Ventilation up high is most important for avoiding frostbite.
    A bit of air movement is fine as long as there are no drafts strong enough to literally ruffle feathers on roost area they will be fine.
    Wide flat roosts(2x4 side side up) so they can cover their feet.
     

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