1. team_realtree

    team_realtree Chillin' With My Peeps

    Jun 28, 2009
    I'm starting to look into generators to keep my coop warmer for next winter. I had to sell my chickens because it got to cold in there coop.

    I just built a new coop which will be insulated and is 4x8 by 6 feet tall.

    Does anyone have experience with what I should look for in a generator? To run a 100 Watt lightbulb how long roughly would it last? I know there are many variable that would affect that but I just need some direction [​IMG]
  2. MiniBeesKnees

    MiniBeesKnees Chillin' With My Peeps

    I had a gas generator in my motorhome, and I had one in FL for hurricanes...I could not believe how much gasoline they used!
    Check into that, mine both took about ten times more than I expected.
    Ask other folks with generators. You should be able with an insulated small coop to keep it warm enough with just with a heatlamp...
    I use one of those oil or water filled space heaters that look like a radiator set very low and it didn't cost me as much as I thought it would through our recent cold spell.

    Terry in TN
  3. patandchickens

    patandchickens Flock Mistress

    Apr 20, 2007
    Ontario, Canada
    I've never seen a gas generator that tiny (perhaps they exist and I've never seen one, I'm just sayin'). And the thing about generators is that they put out however much power they put out, no matter how much you are USING, so it is really overkill-wasteful-spendthrift to be running a big ol' generator to power a 100w bulb [​IMG]

    Where do you live? There are not many populated places in N America that genuinely get too cold for chickens without electric service to the coop.

    There is a whole big lot you can do, without grid service to the coop, to warm it up and keep it warm. See my 'cold coop' page (link in .sig below) for an outline of some of them.

    If you live somewhere SUPER far north, like north of the arctic circle [​IMG], and just *have* to have electricity, I suspect you'd be better off with whatever size bank of rechargable (rv or marine type) batteries, that you recharge as needed off whatever source of power your house uses. PLUS all the other things that can be done, which will minimize the amount of heat input needed.

    Good luck, have fun,

  4. ChickensInTheNorthWoods

    ChickensInTheNorthWoods Chillin' With My Peeps

    May 4, 2009
    North East CT
    Gas Generator - [​IMG] I was wondering how you knew my wife's pet name for me!
    Now I realize you were refering to a piece of equipment not me.
  5. Chook-A-Holic

    Chook-A-Holic Chillin' With My Peeps

    Oct 5, 2009
    Central, N.C.
    If you decide to get a generator you will soon find out that the purchase of it will be the cheap part. Even if it is one of the power-miser models that throttles back as the load decreases you will still find yourself with a major fuel bill. Even when Idling you still have to produce enough power from the engine to keep the rotating mass moving without stalling. I know you don't need one as big as I have but for example's sake mine burns 1.5 gph in miser mode and 2.3gph in full power mode. So if I ran mine for 10 hrs in miser mode that 15gal of fuel at almost $3.00 per gallon. I also recommend what Pat recommended by using a bank of batteries if you feel that you really need heat in your coop.
    Last edited: Jan 25, 2010
  6. ranchhand

    ranchhand Rest in Peace 1956-2011

    Aug 25, 2008
    If you can build a well insulated coop you won't need a heat source. Though I am currently in SC, I have had chickens survive ice storms in a hard freeze for weeks because the coop was insulated and draft-free. You do need ventilation though. That's a great size coop you built, easy to keep warm. One biggie for me? I always put up some kind of a windbreak on the run, it allows them to come out no matter how cold.

    Here's a lot of info!


    Our gas generator is a huge gas hog, I refuse to fire it up unless we start losing food. And the noise is awful. Since it has to be run only outside, it's even worse.
  7. wildorchid053

    wildorchid053 Chillin' With My Peeps

    May 12, 2009
    syracuse area, ny
    the average generator goes through a tank of gasoline in less than 8 hours.. it is very expensive to run.. we have a whole house generator that kicks on once a week to keep charged and i cringe everytime thinking of the gas it is using up..it is a propane generator cause it is soooo big.. but the little gas ones .. they take alot of gasoline good for emergencies but not daily use.. how about a heater elec that runs only when it gets in the teens or single digits?
  8. Whispering Winds

    Whispering Winds Chillin' With My Peeps

    The one we have will run our whole household, as long as we don't have too many things going at once. It used about a tankful, and I don't know how much that was in just about 13 hours. It would get pretty costly if you planned on running it for any length of time.
  9. anthonyjames

    anthonyjames Chillin' With My Peeps

    Apr 22, 2009
    Port Washington, WI
    My first question is how did it get to cold? My coop is 4 x 6. No insulation, I leave the windows facing south open about 3/4 inch and the pop door open all year long. I have straw bails and plastic around the outside perimeter of the run and that is it. I live on Lake Michigan where it has no problem in the negative digits from Mid Dec - End of Jan.

    These are animals that have been around for long time and should adapt just fine. They have a down coat on all year round and when then cold they huddle with each other to keep warm.

    I personally think adding heat is a bad idea because it will throw their bodies and schedule out of sync with mother nature as they were built. Plus, using a gas generator makes a lot of noise and the cost to fill and run it is way to much.

    Don't get me wrong, I don't want anyone to think I am not compassionate but they are animals. I keep my rabbits in the same place and my quail on the outside of the run. Never had any issues as of yet and my birds run around like crazy all day long even this time of year. When they need to warm up they run into the run huddle down in the hay and chill out. And on occasion I will go out at night and a few are sleeping in the covered portion of the run huddled down in the straw.
    Last edited: Jan 25, 2010
  10. team_realtree

    team_realtree Chillin' With My Peeps

    Jun 28, 2009
    Never mind on the generator [​IMG] might as well put that money into building an extra warm coop.

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