Flat Panel Coop Heater- Has anyone used one?

Discussion in 'Coop & Run - Design, Construction, & Maintenance' started by Karen_at_LittleBrook, Aug 8, 2010.

  1. Karen_at_LittleBrook

    Karen_at_LittleBrook Chillin' With My Peeps

    114
    0
    109
    Feb 20, 2010
    Rome, NY
    I've been looking at my options for helping to keep a bit of warmth/heat in the coop. This will be my first winter with chickens. My coop is NOT insulated. I'm thinking about getting this Flat Panel Coop Heater http://www.shopthecoop.com/chickens/He.html in the appropriate size for my coop and Im wondering if anyone has used them, and if so how well do they work? And if I use one will I still have to insulate? I live in central new york so we do get some pretty bad winter weather. I would rather not insulate and use a chicken coop safe heater at this time, but will one work well without the other???? I dont want to keep the coop 70 degree's or anything... just enough to keep the girls comfortable on extra cold days and nights.

    Thanks!
     
  2. Tdub4chiks

    Tdub4chiks Chillin' With My Peeps

    556
    1
    121
    Jul 8, 2010
    Constantia, NY
    Karen, I also live in CNY and was thinking the same thing. I was trying to come up with an idea along the lines of the tin-can/light bulb waterer to keep water from freezing. Maybe a cookie sheet with xmas lights then a piece of tin on the front to reflect the heat in their roost area. Not sure if this would work, but it sure would be a lot less expensive.
     
  3. Pequena Bandada

    Pequena Bandada Small Flock

    229
    0
    99
    Jun 13, 2010
    A heater may be more than you need, since chickens can deal fine with cold weather (as long as there are no drafts in their coop). If you do decide to get a heater, it will work fine without insulation as long as you realize that you'll be heating much more than just the coop. A lot of your heat will go through walls/roof since there's no insulation to trap it. Your energy costs will be higher than they need to be since you're losing so much heat.

    Another option might be to insulate the roof only, since the majority of heat loss is up, not out.

    That said, the average winter temperatures here are similar to Rome, NY and we're not planning to use a heater. Our coop is sort of insulated - the roof has great insulation and the walls are so-so.
     
  4. elmo

    elmo Chillin' With My Peeps

    4,852
    52
    249
    May 23, 2009
    DFW
    I agree with cynanthus' comment. I would certainly insulate the roof first before thinking about providing supplemental heat. As long as you have good ventilation and a draft free coop, most chickens do fine in even very cold weather without artificial heating.

    You can also construct a sort of "huddle box" around the roost area. This is what I'm planning to do this winter, using some of that reflective foil insulation.
     
  5. NC29mom

    NC29mom Chillin' With My Peeps

    525
    8
    121
    Jun 15, 2010
    Scotland Neck, NC
    How do you keep their feet from getting frostbite?

    The ground gets sooo cold. And, is it a good idea to use a heater? What about a heat lamp? Does the change in temperature (going from heated inside coop to cold outside) really cause more harm than good? Anybody know?

    Yeah, I have been wondering about what to do this winter also. I live in NC, where it gets REALLLLLLLYYYYYYY COLD!!! [​IMG]
     
  6. Chickielady

    Chickielady Spiritwood Farms Premium Member

    18,123
    943
    411
    Mar 10, 2010
    Raymond, WA
    My Coop
    Don't know if this will help, but an old man I knew years ago used a crock pot for keeping the water from freezing, a sqaure of fence wire bent over the top prevent them from stepping in the pot.
    Shop the second hand stores, find a crock pot that is small...and low volts...you do not want one that simmers at 400 degrees.
    Then he set it at simmer, set it outside but where it was not going to get wet, and busted off the knob so it stayed on simmer.
    It worked great, and cheap !
    I have had a few pots that were way too much horse power and actually boiled on simmer...uncool !
    So, make sure it is a low "horse power model"
    I have not tried it yet, but maybe will.
    I usually put their water buckets in their coops and that keeps it from freezing.
    I am insulating coops, have 2 coops to go... and intend to use a oil radient heater (no exposed hot elements or flame) and I surround it with a roll of wire clear up to the ceiling so they cannot sit on it and poop !
    I blow off the dust daily as it may interferre with the thermostat...anyone tried these heaters ?
    Set on low, they are the way to go, but insulating is the ONLY way to go.
    Without insulation, you are wasting your time & money trying to heat the coop...and those warming pads are way expensive to get, especially when you have as many birds as I do...and they do not sit on them except when laying an egg, at night they roost on a big stick...days they are out and about coming in to feed or get a drink of water, so the heated pads go unused but for nesting hens.
    My birds go rototilling even in the snow !
    For some reason the cold does not bother their feet, but it will freeze the rooster's comb if it is big...sometimes causing frosbite and turning the comb black and it has to be cut off or turn gangrenous... It happened to my hens and rooster in North Idaho ! The birds froze !!!!!! IT SANK TO -20 DEGREES, THAT IS 20 BELOW ZERO ! [​IMG] I will never let that happen again. Insulate, you will feel so much better when it is so cold outside !
    It is itchy and hard work...and has to be done first before you get birds or has to be installed inbetween hens laying (they get mad when I am in there with power tools) but I sleep better knowing all my kids are not going to be frosbite black the next day.
     
  7. Chickielady

    Chickielady Spiritwood Farms Premium Member

    18,123
    943
    411
    Mar 10, 2010
    Raymond, WA
    My Coop
    Quote:Yes I have done this, and saw it in Mother Earth, a "warming hut" from a 25 gallon drum...cut a little door hole, and afix a heat lamp up on the "ceiling" of the drum...and birds can go in to warm up...look for "warming hut" in Mother archives to see the whole idea.
     
  8. HarryBun12

    HarryBun12 Chillin' With My Peeps

    141
    2
    111
    Jun 28, 2009
    I just have a small coop and last winter I had three bantams and two standard chickens in there. I live in WI and we had some very cold temperatures. I have the coop insulated but there are ventilation holes on the top. I also have a flat panel heater that I would turn on when the temperatures went below 20 degrees and it was just enough heat in there to keep them from freezing. If I had all standard hens I would've let it get colder before turning it on, but the bantams are a bit more sensitive. The flat panel heaters won't really warm it up much, just take the edge off. I didn't want it getting too warm in there anyway or else the girls wouldn't go outside at all. I had a heated dog dish for water and that worked out great. As hot as it has been here, it's hard imagining all that snow and cold!
     
  9. The Sheriff

    The Sheriff Overrun With Chickens

    11,140
    153
    321
    Jun 17, 2009
    Northern CA
    I have the flat panel coop heater and love it. I have it plugged into a thermostat that turns it on at 35 degrees and off at 45 degrees. Works great but I am in California! Shop around. You can google "Econo-Heat" and find it cheaper at places like Amazon. I found out the hard way that the poultry suppliers just call it a "coop heater" and charge more for it.
     
  10. elmo

    elmo Chillin' With My Peeps

    4,852
    52
    249
    May 23, 2009
    DFW
    Quote:Yes I have done this, and saw it in Mother Earth, a "warming hut" from a 25 gallon drum...cut a little door hole, and afix a heat lamp up on the "ceiling" of the drum...and birds can go in to warm up...look for "warming hut" in Mother archives to see the whole idea.

    My idea of a huddle box doesn't involve artificial heat, though. It simply involves helping my chickens retain more of their own body heat.

    There are risks that come with the use of heat lamps: fires, burned combs, and birds that haven't acclimated to cold suddenly forced to adapt during power outages.
     

BackYard Chickens is proudly sponsored by