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coop heaters

Discussion in 'Coop & Run - Design, Construction, & Maintenance' started by sashurlow, Jan 17, 2010.

  1. sashurlow

    sashurlow Chillin' With My Peeps

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    Aug 18, 2009
    West Rutland, VT
    Could someone please just give a list of sorts for all the options of heating a coop.
    Also I wonder about the most energy efficient heaters.
    Has anybody used a timer for the heater? 5 minutes on, 20 minutes off, would that work?
    Does it make sense to have a coop heater/water heater in one or should they be separate? Some one recently posted the idea of using a crock pot that could easily be used for both.
    Thanks,
    Scott
     
  2. Cheryl

    Cheryl Chillin' With My Peeps

    If you look in the archives....you'll find lots of information on how people heat their coops...
     
  3. patandchickens

    patandchickens Flock Mistress

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    Ontario, Canada
    Quote:See the "cold coop" link in my .sig below. It does not go into great detail about the various electrical-heat alternatives because IMO they should be your *last* option after you've exhausted all other possibilities including just HAVING a coldish coop; but it does talk somewhat about them.

    Also I wonder about the most energy efficient heaters.

    The most energy efficient thing is to use other methods of dealing with coop temperature.

    If you are bound and determined to use electric heat, there is no major difference in "efficiency" among different appliances -- they all put out essentially the same heat output per watt no matter what. Types that get untouchably hot on the surface are a lot less safe than things that don't. If using lamps (bulbs), several smaller-wattage bulbs are safer (relatively speaking) than one single higher-wattage bulb, while giving the same amount of heat (depending on the mathematics of the wattages you are adding together of course).

    Has anybody used a timer for the heater? 5 minutes on, 20 minutes off, would that work?

    You'd be better off swapping bulb wattage (if using a lamp) according to weather, or having a bank of several lights that you manually flip on more or fewer of them depending on the weather. Or, use a thermostat.

    Does it make sense to have a coop heater/water heater in one or should they be separate? Some one recently posted the idea of using a crock pot that could easily be used for both.

    If you are using a heatlamp to heat your coop -- which IMO is a bad idea and generally unnecessary -- you may as well put it over the waterer, I suppose. For any other circumstance, a lamp over the water is a very very inefficient way of keeping water thawed, as heat *rises* and most of the output of the lamp is wasted in the air. Various arrangements that result in most of the appliance's heat going direclty into the waterer allow you to use much less wattage to keep yer water thawed.

    Bear in mind that even if you are for wahtever reason trying to electrically heat your coop and are spending hard-earned money on it and all that, you still NEED GOOD VENTILATION OPEN ALL THE TIME. Humidity is as large or larger a contributor to frostbite than cold temperatures per se, and it is woefully common for people to shut their coops up tight (or nearly so) in an effort to retain heat, only to wind up with frostbitten chickens precisely BECAUSE they closed it up so tight it got real humid in there. Cold is not generally a problem in a well-managed coop; humidity seriously IS.

    Good luck, have fun,

    Pat​
     
  4. sashurlow

    sashurlow Chillin' With My Peeps

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    Aug 18, 2009
    West Rutland, VT
    Thanks pat,
    What got me thinking about this was really the crock pot idea posted with in the last week. Unfortunately I built my coop in the shadow of a shed, so a morning heat up will not be happening in the coop. A black shelter in the sun will help that. Birds come in the spring so I really don't know how much heat they will be producing themselves.
    Thanks,
    Scott
     

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