Going to try something new to me


In the Brooder
May 17, 2017
I realize that they are just chickens. But they are small creatures and they are mine.In my coop I have ALWAYS used heat lamps in winter.2 when it got real cold in winter. Because I didn't want the birds to freeze. I have only raised Golden Buffs. I have 4 still alive and going to move them to a new coop and get new chickens. Re doing my present coop soon and getting 12 new chickens. They will be Rhode Island Reds and Barred Plymouth Rocks and White Plymouth Rocks. They look interesting to raise. I have 2 very small red lights. That are 40watts. I want to use in the coop. So no heat lamps this time for winter. I'm worried about frostbite on the combs though. I know ventalation is a big thing in chicken coops. Do I have to worry about a non heated coop this winter. I live in Ohio.. I raise chickens for eggs not profit. I give them away to family and friends. Will the eggs freeze
I live in Illinois, and my 6 hens are without a heat lamp in the winter. Their heated water bowl is also outside. This was their first winter, and they did just fine. They huddle for warmth, and I have ventilation towards the top that was always open.
As far as the eggs freezing, if not collected, I can see how they would freeze, in an eight hours time frame (work hours.)
I have a 100W ceramic heating element that I use when it gets very cold here in Colorado. It is on a timer that runs for a few hours at a time when we need it (severe snow storms, negative wind chill, etc). Mostly just keeps the ambient temperature in the coop right above the freezing mark. We have had issues with eggs freezing if they were laid early in the morning before we got out there and keeping the coop right above the freezing mark has kept us from losing any more. We tried a heat lamp once but that almost ended very badly so swapped to the ceramic and have not had any issues since.
I am in Colorado too. I do not heat my coop.
We get temps well below zero at times. I only had one hen ever get frostbite. She was a leghorn. The other leghorn did not get it ever.

I have open soffits so heating the coop would be pointless. Any heat I would add would literally go right outside.

Been keeping chickens unheated for many years now.

A big thing to think about when considering heating is what happens if power goes out. A healthy, properly acclimated bird can handle the cold. They molt in the fall so they go into winter with a new coat.

The exceptions would be small delicate birds like Japanese bantams, silkies, sebrights, and quail d'anvers. I am sure there are others. Large breed chickens should do fine unless there are GIANT combs.
I am in Colorado too.

It was a recommendation when we first got them years ago. Ever since it has just been habit and with them being used to it I feel it would be hard to take it away. This next flock (probably will be harvesting our hens come fall-ish) we may or may not include the element into the coop. Hopefully with some experience under our belts we will do better this next time.
I live in Ohio and don't have a heated coop. In winter we usually leave the south window cracked, the popdoor is open during the day and there is a large vent (an opening covered with hardware cloth) near the ceiling. Never had any problem with frostbite. We usually colllect eggs twice a day so they don't freeze. The water (on a warmer) is kept in the run. The coop is kept very dry, condensation is the main problem with frostbite. Heat is much harder on chickens than cold.

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