Do you think I will need heat?


14 Years
Oct 11, 2008
Oak Park, Michigan
Hi, I'm new so I hope I'm doing this right. My coop is designed to have good ventilation because of the hot summers. I'm wondering if I will need heat in the winter. I live in Israel where the winters are fairly mild. I rarely get to freezing but we do have many cool rainy days where the temp will be around 40-45 f. right now my 4 girls (one just reaching adulthood and 3 teenagers) are free in our little yard during the day but I plan to build narrow run that will go from the back of the coop to about 12 feet out. It will be 2.5 ft wide.

The coop itself is 2.5 ft off the ground and is 2/5 ft deep, 3 ft wide and 3 ft high.

If I did the pictures right you can see my design. I plan to move the nesting box higher. Yes there are 4 hens on that perch behind Rex (she is the adult). I have no idea what kind of chickens I have. They were purchased by my grandson for a petting zoo he made during summer vacation and we decided to keep them. they are all different colors and sies. When I get time I'll post pictures of all of them.

Also, since the coop is so small I just put some very heavy linoleum on the floor. I have been wiping out the poop every couple days and can take the whole thing out and wash it when it gets bad. I don't have a good source for litter or disposal. Hope it works.



My chickens don't have a heater but I do cover their coop with three blankets and any windows with plastic. They do get enough ventilation though.
18*F this morning. Once I gave them some warm water and shook their food dispenser so they could hear it, they all came running out of the coop and began their daily garden marauding. I peaked in at them the other night when it was 22*F and they didn't seem particularly huddled together. I stuck a finger under one and she was toasty near the body where the down was and her toes were warm (2 x 4 wood roosts, wide side "up"). No signs of frost bite on any of the roos. I have Silver Laced Wyandottes, Cuckoo Marans and Ameraucanas, so I'm hoping they do well with the cold. They did well as young pullets with the +100. I couldn't find a breed that was both heat tolerant AND cold tolerant, so that's what I ended up with.

Hi Peggy:

I have the same type of small coop ....
but mine has three wire sides, which means all three sides are open and exposed to the night air.

I live in a part of California where our temperatures are almost exactly like yours in Israel.

What I have found out is that as long as there are no drafts coming in to bother your girls, they should be fine.

I have been covering my little coop with a very big and heavy blanket at night, now that our night time temps have dropped to 50 degrees Farenheit, and I have added two wooden removeable 'walls' inside the coop, on two of the sides of the coop to help keep drafts / wind out.

when the rainy weather starts, perhaps you should throw a large plastic blanket (a tarp) over the coop, so the rain won't leak in anywhere. This is what I will be doing when our rainy season starts in December.

Also, I have a wood floor in my little coop ..... and to keep my floor clean, so I don't have to scrape droppings out often, I simply shred up newspapers and put them on the floor of the coop. My bantam cochin frizzles like to dig in the shredded newspaper, and nestle in it. The newspaper will also keep them warmer than having nothing on the floor, and the newspaper catches the droppings so the droppings don't stick to the floor at all.

I have raised small little bantam chickens in this weather before, and have never had any problems. As long as you keep them dry from your rainy season, and keep the wind away from hitting them directly (which should be no problem with your enclosed coop) your girls should be absolutely fine!

Bless you .....

I've been looking around, and can't find a definitive answer on the heating issue. I love the site, and come here constantly for answers, but this is the first time I've had to sign up to actually ask a question. So here it is: To heat, or not to heat?
We live in southern Alberta, and this will be our first year keeping chickens through the winter. It's usually -20 (Celcius) in the winter. Sometimes as low as -30 or more.
I'm thinking that people have kept chickens without heat for thousands of years, so why start now? But I obviously don't want them to suffer in any way.
Oh, and we're off-grid, so using electricity to heat the chicken house is about the last thing DH is going to want to do. Any suggestions?
If I had to, I could maybe keep them in the heated garage when it's really cold out? How cold is too cold?

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