Do I really need heat in my coop?

jayceesue

In the Brooder
Mar 28, 2020
37
39
36
North Central Mississippi
I have four Cinnamon Queens that are about one year old. They are all laying fine. This is my first winter having chickens in Mississippi. We are transitioning the girls from a prefab coop to a repurposed shooting house (still in process of renovating it). I’m attaching a photo of it. Mississippi isn’t known for freezing temps in winter but we do get ice storms occasionally and a little snow where we are.

My girls free range all day (cattle fenced one acre area) so they are not “cooped up” inside their housing or a pen 24/7.

I have solved the lighting issue with some battery operated lights with a remote control timer. There is no electricity at this area of our yard but I can run a heavy duty extension cord if needed.

What are your thoughts?
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DobieLover

Easily distracted by chickens
Premium Feather Member
Jul 23, 2018
24,661
188,192
1,592
NY Southern Tier
My Coop
I have four Cinnamon Queens that are about one year old. They are all laying fine. This is my first winter having chickens in Mississippi. We are transitioning the girls from a prefab coop to a repurposed shooting house (still in process of renovating it). I’m attaching a photo of it. Mississippi isn’t known for freezing temps in winter but we do get ice storms occasionally and a little snow where we are.

My girls free range all day (cattle fenced one acre area) so they are not “cooped up” inside their housing or a pen 24/7.

I have solved the lighting issue with some battery operated lights with a remote control timer. There is no electricity at this area of our yard but I can run a heavy duty extension cord if needed.

What are your thoughts?
View attachment 2392543 View attachment 2392544
You will never need heat in a coop in Mississippi.
Can you post pictures of the inside?
From the outside it looks like you need more ventilation. It also looks like a HUGE upgrade from a pre-fab.
 

BDutch

Crowing
May 19, 2015
1,957
6,298
387
the Netherlands
My Coop
You definitely don't need any heating where you live. Its better not to heat if temperatures don’t go way below freezing,

Upgrade: I would make a glass window in the new coop for some sunshine and a view during bad weather
Look for second hand windows. Natural light Is cheap , sustainable and never fails.

Make lots of hwc for ventilation in summer and shutters to close the big hwc openings in winter and stormy weather.
 

jayceesue

In the Brooder
Mar 28, 2020
37
39
36
North Central Mississippi
You will never need heat in a coop in Mississippi.
Can you post pictures of the inside?
From the outside it looks like you need more ventilation. It also looks like a HUGE upgrade from a pre-fab.
The shooting house has “windows” on three sides that I am going to put welded wire screen on so that will help. The windows have “flaps” that can be closed or opened. I think there is enough ventilation
 

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Aapomp831

Crowing
Oct 4, 2017
1,468
2,093
251
Lincolnton, NC
All you need is proper ventilation. Chickens survived winters long before human beings started building them coops and caring about their wellbeing. They’ll be fine.
 

cmom

Hilltop Farm
13 Years
Nov 18, 2007
24,418
15,790
751
Florida
My Coop
I think your new coop will be fine. You may want to put a pen up. Free ranging is ok but eventually your birds will be discovered and you will loose a bird. It's good to have a safe place for them. I'm sure you can't be out supervising them all of the time. I no longer free range due to losses from predators in the past. I got complacent since I had free ranged with no incidences until a fox got my favorite bird during the middle of the day while I was distracted. Since then I don't free range anymore but the birds have nice large covered pens. I covered the pens with good heavy duty netting. Good luck with your project...
 

Castlemaid

Chirping
Mar 26, 2019
28
60
64
Northern BC
We have temps in the -30C to -40C ranges on a regular basis where I live, and my coop has no power to it. Chickens come through the winter just fine. I bring them water a couple times a day since the water will freeze solid. They do just fine, maybe get a few little spots of frostbite on their comb here and there, but nothing major. You probably won't have any of these issues where you are. The only thing to watch for would be that they have water.

Last winter we had temps of close to -40, and my lone Muskovy who is housed with the chickens decided to take a bath in the water bucket. I found him covered in ice and shivering. I brought him inside for a few hours to warm up, and he was good to go.
 

Alaskan

The Frosted Flake
Premium Feather Member
Jul 26, 2008
31,776
60,550
1,392
Kenai Peninsula, Alaska
My Coop
The shooting house has “windows” on three sides that I am going to put welded wire screen on so that will help. The windows have “flaps” that can be closed or opened. I think there is enough ventilation
If possible I would extend the roof out the backside 20 feet, and make that the solid roof of an enclosed safe, predator proof run. That would give you a secure place to lock up the girls if you ever leave for a weekend, or a predator shows up.

Then the coop wall up against the new roofed run, I would completely remove. If you aren't sure about the new run being 100% predator proof, replace the coop wall with hardware cloth.
 

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