Has anyone had success with radiant heating pads?

Discussion in 'Coop & Run - Design, Construction, & Maintenance' started by Farmer Fletcher, Nov 29, 2012.

  1. Farmer Fletcher

    Farmer Fletcher New Egg

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    Jul 7, 2012
    Boston Area
    I have 4 cold hardy chickens and live in New England. I am thinking of getting a radiant heat pad and putting it on the bottom of my coop which is about 4 x 6. Has anyone tried these? I think it might take the edge off when the temps drop below freezing...
     
    1 person likes this.
  2. Chick_In_The_Burbs

    Chick_In_The_Burbs Chillin' With My Peeps

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    Jun 26, 2010
    Western Washington
    I used a small one on the floor of the coop. It was maybe 18"x28". It helped a bit but in the end I stopped using it unless there was a bad temperature dip. I don't use it at all now. The intent was for my three girls to snuggle on it at night if they got cold but after they moved into their new coop they would perch and wouldn't come down at night. And the heat wasn't strong enough to make a difference beyond a few inches away from the matt.
     
  3. helios

    helios Out Of The Brooder

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    Dec 30, 2010
    Bureau County, Illinois
    Bump. I put a heating pad under the roosts between the linoleum cover on top and plywood poop board tonight--it's about 5 inches below the roost.
    We hit 0 last night and my thermometer read a low of 7F inside the coop, and was about 10 degrees warmer than outside whenever i checked. We will have a similar night tonight and i've been seeing 26 steady with the heating pad in place with 9F outside. The thermometer is above the east-facing window, where i spotted a slight gap today, plugged now, and directly under the opening to the straw-stuffed ridge vent and plastic covered open gable...very small coop.(3x4', 4' tall on 18" stilts). Their roost is in the west side, and i imagine it's a few degrees warmer directly above the poop board, where the mat is. I'm not sure i can check the low in the morning, as i forgot to reset the min-max thermo when i had the coop open at sunset.
    I did add double foil insulation over the last weeks, which helped tremendously with drafts and helps retain their body heat. They get nice morning sun that heats the closed coop surprisingly well; it was 46F at 8:30am this morning when it was something around 6 or 7 outside!
    This is a snug coop designed for 4 chickens, so i might set up an insulated 'heat box' of an appropriate size in a larger coop to catch the heat of a mat... I think i'm going to put a partition in the ceiling to box off the roosting area to maximize body heat at night . I'm also thinking of sandwiching the heating pad between saltillo clay tiles to act as a heat sink for the pad and the nice solar heat in the morning. I should also mention that it seems that the reptile heating pads might be safer than a standard heating pad, fire-safe-wise.
     
  4. helios

    helios Out Of The Brooder

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    Dec 30, 2010
    Bureau County, Illinois
    With heating pads, first night, see above: With a low of 3F last night, the low in the coop was only 21F. I feel comfortable with 15-20 degrees inside the coop, and since the chickens' body heat seems to keep the coop 10 degrees above the outside temp, I'll probably only plug the heating pad in on nights where it dips below 10F.

    The heating pad itself seemed pretty cool to the touch, and I moved my min/max thermometer next to the roost for a more accurate reading. It's only supposed to get down to 17 tonight and I'll leave it off. I'm going to test again tomorrow night, which should get down to 11F, and I might try the Medium setting on the heating pad.

    I've used this pad with a couple duckling hatches (wrapped in a towel for them to snuggle on), and I think I used Med. for a couple of the chillier spring nights with them along with a 75 or 100 watt light in an XL Dogloo. Still, any electricity in the coop makes me worry a bit, and I'm thinking of picking up a seedling mat (they are regulated at about 80F), which is cheaper than the radiant heat mats for reptiles, and might be safer than the heating pad.
     

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