cordless heat source?

Discussion in 'Coop & Run - Design, Construction, & Maintenance' started by Moselle, Jan 21, 2008.

  1. Moselle

    Moselle Chillin' With My Peeps

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    Jan 17, 2008
    I'm planning my "chicken tractor" of sorts. It's way too small for a heat lamp. I am wondering if there are ways to add just a bit of heat to a very small henhouse that doesn't require electrical wiring. Anything battery operated? A small heating pad? A hot water bottle? (I can't imagine that would be terribly effective on a below freezing night.)

    I'm in the mid-south, so it doesn't get below freezing for long periods, but I know there will be times when the hens might need just a bit more warmth.

    We could run a huge outdoor extension cord if absolutely necessary. I could bring them into the garage too, I suppose.
     
  2. FutureChickenMan

    FutureChickenMan Chillin' With My Peeps

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    Quote:Insulate the coop when you build it. Batteries/solar won't be able to genreate any noticeable heat and certainly won't be able to maintain the heat all night long unless you have a big pile of batteries.

    If you really want to insulate it well, build it with 2x6's. insulate the walls, floor and ceiling. Hang a rag over the door opening like a curtain. If possible use the deep litter method and be sure to make the roost perches wide. Their little bodies will generate the heat needed. If you do this, keep an eye on moisture though.
     
    Last edited: Jan 21, 2008
  3. patandchickens

    patandchickens Flock Mistress

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    I am wondering if there are ways to add just a bit of heat to a very small henhouse that doesn't require electrical wiring.

    Yes, it is called "chickens" [​IMG]


    Pat​
     
  4. Moselle

    Moselle Chillin' With My Peeps

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    Jan 17, 2008
    Ha! I'm acting like a mother hen already!
     
  5. Itsme

    Itsme Chillin' With My Peeps

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    Yes, it is called "chickens" [​IMG]

    That's what I was thinking. If it is too small for a heat lamp.and you have several chickens in there they will create enough body heat to keep it warm in there......I think anyway!!

    where you at? Mid south? You should be good!​
     
  6. patandchickens

    patandchickens Flock Mistress

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    Yeah, well, having given my correct but smartypants contribution earlier [​IMG], I should also say that in my limited experience with 2 chickens in a low-roofed 2.5'x4' house, you may actually HAVE problems with cold temperatures despite the built-in cordless chicken-source heating.

    The problem is that you need ventilation. The more moisture you have in the coop (poo, damp litter from spills, and exposed water surface in waterer), the more ventilation you need. Yet, the ventilation needs not not to be ONTO the chickens. If you have a very small house, as you will in a tractor, it can potentially be impossible to get sufficient ventilation without drafting right onto the chickens, forcing you to choose between cold-and-humid (bad for chickens, promotes frostbite and disease) or cold-and-drafty (bad for chickens, promotes frostbite and hyperthermia).

    So it depends entirely on your coop/tractor design and management, but based on my own experience I can very well see that many people might NOT be able to satisfactorily keep two chickens in a small tractor thru a winter that gets freezing temperatures.

    I ended up moving my chickens into an outbuilding for the winter (well, I was going to anyhow, but I did it earlier than expected) when nights in the upper 20s F caused the above problem in my tractor. (Most of the ventilation is at roost level - great in hot weather, bad the rest of the time, sigh).

    Alternatives include moving the tractor somewhere with more moderate temperatures during cold snaps (e.g. garage), or building the chickens temporary winter quarters for the whole winter or just for cold snaps. Some tractors might also be able to be insulated further with haybales.

    Good luck,

    Pat
     
  7. Moselle

    Moselle Chillin' With My Peeps

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    Well, that makes sense. I'm trying to include plenty of ventilation because of the hot summer weather we get here, but with this cold snap we're having I realize we may need to make occassional adjustments. (Anything under 20* here in TN is considered unbearable - I'm so spoiled now, having grown up in MN!) We do have a huge attached garage which is used for everything except the cars, so I think we could easily move the Chicken tractor in there for temporary shelter if necessary.
     
  8. Buckguy20

    Buckguy20 OKIE MOSES

    Apr 13, 2007
    Choctaw Oklahoma
    I saw the best possible cordless heat source today.
    It was the [​IMG] sun. [​IMG] Hello old friend, long time no see. Please stay out until July and then you go away again.
     

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