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Coop Heater For Winter?

Discussion in 'Managing Your Flock' started by ALRwild, Oct 18, 2011.

  1. ALRwild

    ALRwild Songster

    Jul 9, 2010
    Where I live it tends to get pretty cold in the winter, so I wanted some of your suggestions on ways to keep my coop warm. Here are my questions...

    1. Should I coverup the ventilation on the top/side of their coop to minimize cold air getting in?

    2. Should I get a heater of some sort to put in their coop?

    3. If you think I should get a heater, what are some good brands of heaters that will not burn down my wooden coop?

    4. Are there any other things you recommend for me to do to keep my ladies warm?

    Any help is appreciated!!!


  2. Yay Chicks!

    Yay Chicks! Songster

    Apr 15, 2010
    Forest Grove, OR
  3. mommissan

    mommissan Songster

    Jul 4, 2011
    This is our first "chicken-winter". I have read:

    1: No heat
    2: Good ventilation
    3: No drafts

    I probably over-insulated my coop (2" styrofoam covered by reflectex). I use artificial light (compact flourescent = 60w) to keep the eggs coming. When it gets nasty cold, I will switch to an incandescent bulb for a little heat. I am desperately trying to resist the urge to heat the coop. They should acclimate themselves and feather out to adjust to the cold weather.

    We get 30-40 F below for a few weeks in the winter.

    Good luck.
  4. dirtsaver

    dirtsaver Songster

    Mar 20, 2010
    Northern Kentucky
    Quote:Cover any vents,holes,cracks in the wall or whatever will allow drafts directly on your girls. BUT....make sure there is plenty of ventilation in the coop. Venting should be well above the roosts and away from the prevailing wind direction. The chickens will create a lot of moisture in the coop just from breathing and that must be vented to the outside to prevent frostbite and pneumonia.

    Heaters are not needed and sometimes can do more harm healthwise than not having them. A properly designed,built and vented coop will be plenty warm..remember... chickens are already wearing down coats!

    To protect their feet make the roosts from 2x4s laid on the side(the 4" side will be for them to stand on. This allows them to cover their feet and toes and prevent frostbite there too).

    Make sure there is a thick layer of shaving/bedding on the floor to help keep them warm. Search "deep litter method" for more info.

    Make sure they always have plenty of water they can get too. Water is as important in cold as it is in summertime.

    Finally, do a search here on BYC for winter coops. Several have posted very good info that is aimed to those of you up north....even waaaay up north in Alaska where even there they rarely use heaters in the coop.
  5. ALRwild

    ALRwild Songster

    Jul 9, 2010
    Thank's for all your help! I think that I'll probably keep my coop ventilated, consider adding some insulation, and only use a heater if it gets in the negatives. [​IMG]
  6. woodmort

    woodmort Songster

    Jul 6, 2010
    Oxford NY
    Unless you live in an area where the temperatures are tropic one day and arctic the next your birds will adjust very well to the cold. (This is one of the reasons a heater is not recommended because if the power goes out, you're going to create that kind of a scenario.) As above, make sure the coop is well vented with an area the birds can get out of drafts, have access to unfrozen water and they will be fine. You'll suffer more getting to and from the coop than they will tucked inside it for the winter.

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