Does our coop need an additional source of heat?


10 Years
Aug 24, 2009
I am a chicken newbie and we are in the process of building our first coop. We live in the California Bay Area so winters here can drop into the 30's occasionally but winter days are usually in the 50-60's.

The coop is 3.5' w x 4' d x 5' H and segmented into 2 floors. We have insulated the siding with 1" styrofoam but we are wondering if it is worthwhile to rig a solar powered light bulb for heat in the winter.

We have 3 EE hens this year and possibly add up to 3 hens (other breeds) in the near future.

Any ideas on the additional heating source (ie the solar powered light blub) or am I just being over-protective?

Build and manage your coop intelligently and you will not need heat at all.

If you did, a solar-powered lightbulb would be inefficient and it'd be expensive to rig something to put out a meaningful amount of heat. If you wanted to go solar powered, just capturing as much solar energy possible during the day and arranging extra thermal mass to keep it there through the night would be a much simpler solution anyhow

You might want to check out my Cold Coop page, link below in my .sig.

Good luck, have fun,

Wow! I am on information overload! Well the walls and the celing are being insulated and the coop is partitioned off into two floors.

I do have another question though...I see a lot of people saying that their coops are ventilated "but not drafty." How does one accomplish this? Are there certain locations where one should add vent holes?
Short answer: ensure the only openings are in locations where air will not blow on chickens. (Also avoid little air 'leaks', as they become condensation farms).

Longer answer: see my Ventilation page, link in .sig below, I'm not retyping it all

Good luck, have fun,


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