Heat for colder weather

Kaitiwolfe

Chirping
Mar 28, 2018
39
18
54
We have a small flock of 6 but we are going to start getting below freezing weather very soon, what are the best options for heating the coop?
 

R2elk

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Premium Feather Member
8 Years
Feb 24, 2013
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We have a small flock of 6 but we are going to start getting below freezing weather very soon, what are the best options for heating the coop?
It may depend on where you live but around here where the winter temperature can get down to -30°F, we don't heat chicken coops. Heating a coop prevents the chickens from properly developing their fat layer and feathers for the coming cold.
 

Kaitiwolfe

Chirping
Mar 28, 2018
39
18
54
Makes perfect sense. Is there a certain degree that we should start worrying about helping with heat?
 

Kaitiwolfe

Chirping
Mar 28, 2018
39
18
54
It may depend on where you live but around here where the winter temperature can get down to -30°F, we don't heat chicken coops. Heating a coop prevents the chickens from properly developing their fat layer and feathers for the coming cold.
Oh wow, we are in Georgia we rarely get below 20 degrees. This is my first winter with chickens so I'm glad I asked before I just jumped in and did it. Will they go into the coop and warm up if they are too cold? Today it was so rainy and cold and they wouldn't go into the coop and just looked miserable
 

R2elk

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Premium Feather Member
8 Years
Feb 24, 2013
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Natrona County, Wyoming
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Makes perfect sense. Is there a certain degree that we should start worrying about helping with heat?
It depends on where you live. In cold climates they do not need supplemental heat other than some method of keeping the water liquid. In warm climates during a sudden temperature drop it may be beneficial to supply temporary heating.

Here where the temperature can make drastic swings of 40°F to 60°F in a matter of hours due to Chinooks and northers, I do not provide any supplemental heat at any temperature. I do make sure that their water is liquid during the daytime.
 

llombardo

Crowing
Mar 11, 2018
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Illinois
Oh wow, we are in Georgia we rarely get below 20 degrees. This is my first winter with chickens so I'm glad I asked before I just jumped in and did it. Will they go into the coop and warm up if they are too cold? Today it was so rainy and cold and they wouldn't go into the coop and just looked miserable

I had this same issue the other day. I ended up soaking wet chasing wet chickens to get them into the coop. I was worried about them, but they dried off over night.

We are in the 25-30 range at night and 30-35 during the day now. Oddly the regular water hasn't froze yet. I have a heated nipple waterer that they are not using and I'm testing a heated water bottle in the coop, it doesn't look like they are using that either. Next option is the heated dog water bowl

I do have 2 heated roost bars in there. It's a radiated heat and goes on once it hits 35. They are all using those. The idea is that it warms their feet and therefore warms their body, but not to the point where it shocks the body going from hot to cold and vice versa.
 

ChickenLeg

Crowing
9 Years
Feb 15, 2012
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Oh wow, we are in Georgia we rarely get below 20 degrees. This is my first winter with chickens so I'm glad I asked before I just jumped in and did it. Will they go into the coop and warm up if they are too cold? Today it was so rainy and cold and they wouldn't go into the coop and just looked miserable
Im in west Tennessee and it sounds like we get about the same weather as you. Never heated any coops just kept them shut up tight on windy winter days.

Ive had the same problem with stubborn chickens in cold and rain, as long as they have a large enough coop keep them locked in it a few days and make sure they have an easy way to get inside. Keep the food and water inside the coop and lock them inside every night a few hours before sunset. You'll eventually figure out a way to break them, don't worry!
 

Mimi13

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Premium Feather Member
Jan 6, 2018
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Centre, AL
I’m just next door to you in Alabama and even though I don’t use supplemental heating, I do wrap their run with plastic. We do have several spells with that cold, brutal wind. I do use the electric water founts to keep their water from freezing.
 

wamtazlady

Crowing
7 Years
Jul 18, 2013
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Kalispell MT
At 20 degrees your chickens will be very comfortable. Chickens can deal with cold easier than they can deal with heat. Here in Northern Montana we get a lot of days below 0. Chickens spend all day outside in the run eating and drinking and pecking. They only go into the coop to sleep.
 

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