Emergency coop heat for Chick n Hutch- ideas needed


Granite State Chook
10 Years
Jan 30, 2009
Prescott, AZ
Our 8 x 10 coop in our barn is started. I will include pics. Here is my worry: My five girls are still in their Chick n Hutch until the coop gets finished. My husband has promised he will work on it for four days straight, starting tonight, BUT.... I have heard coop construction can go slower than expected. AND... it has been in the high 30's and low 40s at night, but it is supposed to drop to the high 20s Saturday night. I am scared that the temp dropping below the 32 degree mark will freeze my chickens in the hutch. I have the hutch and the run that comes with the hutch completely covered in a tarp, and during dry sunny days I take the tarp off and have a custom cut piece of plywood covering the small run. (my large dog kennel run is uncovered) Is the tarp enough to keep them warm enough??? The tarp does not extend over the end that attaches between the hutch run and the big kennel run, so that end has always been open to air (it has hardware cloth). The hutch and run are so small, a space heater would surely catch the whole thing on fire. The hutch is too small for a light bulb, but I could hang one in the run maybe???? Does anyone have any temporary ideas until we can get this coop finished???
My current temporary set up:

Here is how far we are on the permanent coop-the vinyl is down on the floor and one wall bracing is up:


6 chooks, 1 slave. . . me!
10 Years
Jun 12, 2009
I have an infrared heat lamp that I hung in the Chick-n-coop for warmth when the chooks were very young. Worked well. With your setup, I might hang it in the covered run just outside of the coop.


Flock Mistress
12 Years
Apr 20, 2007
Ontario, Canada
How old are your hens, they look pretty much grown? If so, I would not worry. Chickens are fine with freezing temps as long as they are indoors, and with the hutch their body warmth will warm it up noticeably too. They should be *fine*

Good luck, have fun,



In the Brooder
10 Years
Sep 14, 2009
I am new at this too and preping for my first winter with 4 hens and a rooster. I read and was told at various times at the Tractor Store by fellow backyard chicken folk that it is not the cold that kills the chickens. It's dampness, which causes frost bite. If the coop is draft free and dry chickens should be fine. I am in NJ and it gets below freezing most every day in winter. Tight enclosures are often humid which I am told can be lethal.

My plan is to loosely cover coop with tarp to avoid drafts and allow air exchange.

I kept a rabbit warm for years by extending a clothes dryer vent into the hutch and on very cold nights getting up in the middle of the night and turning the dryer on for 20 or so minutes. Rabbit lived in spite of it.

Any comments from the more experienced?

Also heard that summer is more dangerous than winter. Too hot is bad.


11 Years
Aug 18, 2008
Olympia WA
If you are really worried you can do this to relieve some of the worry--get some fiberglass insulation and wrap the coop with it, but be sure and leave some ventilation area open near the top. I did this last year with my tiny coop when it got in the teens. Then get a thermometer and rig it so you can read it without opening the coop--which requires either a thermometer with a remote sensor or a window. This will reassure you that they can stay warmer with their body heat. Please don't stick anything inside that tiny coop--I'm sure it would get really hot and uncomfortable for them. But really, they should be just fine!


Granite State Chook
10 Years
Jan 30, 2009
Prescott, AZ
Thank you. I am going to put the insulation just on top of the roof, under the tarp. And I will move my High/Low thermometer out there as well. I can now breathe a little easier with all this good advice. They will get transitioned into their new coop soon, where I am sure I will have new worries (if it ever gets done)!


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