Heat or no heat?

Discussion in 'Managing Your Flock' started by I have WHAT in my yard?, Nov 26, 2009.

  1. I have WHAT in my yard?

    I have WHAT in my yard? Chillin' With My Peeps

    Jun 24, 2008
    Eggberg, PA
    Dh is going to be not working here soon, and we had planned out our heating arrangements, but now he is telling me he will not pay to heat the coop.

    I have several breeds, any thoughts on how well they will do in Eastern PA winter??? They are RIR's, buff orps, barred rocks, and one we think is a leghorn.
  2. annie3001

    annie3001 My Girls

    Jun 11, 2009
    could you just use heat at the coldest temps, like - degrees?
    Also, have you used heat in the past for them? because, i have aclimated (not sure on spelling) mine to get used to the cold, so their bodies have adjusted, ill just use the heat source when its extreme conditions.
    good luck tho. [​IMG]
  3. MaransGuy

    MaransGuy Chillin' With My Peeps

    Oct 25, 2007
    Greenfield, MA
    You do not need to heat your coop, even in -0 temps. The birds do not feel the cold like people do so you cannot compare what we feel to what they do. Provide a DRY coop that protects them from precipitation and wind and they will be fine. Dry conditions are the most important part as any amount of moisture build up will quickly cause frostbite on combs. Many people make the mistake of trying to keep things tightly closed up in an attempt to keep the birds warm and wind up injuring the birds in the process. Ventilation is very important to prevent the moisture from respiration and droppings from building up, even when it means allowing 3 degree air into the coop. Even my Dutch bantams (wafer thin combs!) are in an unheated building and will sometimes go below freezing. They will come through unscathed. I can assure you that trying to keep them insulated and closed up in very cold temps will hurt them far more than protect them. Watching the birds try to deal with bloody combs in the middle of winter is not fun. Keep them airy, dry and protected from the elements and they will do just fine. They adjust to cold much better than heat.
  4. greyhorsewoman

    greyhorsewoman Chillin' With My Peeps

    Mar 3, 2008
    Endless Mts, NE PA
    I live in northeastern PA and have never heated my coops .. or barn (where some of my chickens freerange). I've never had any problems. As long as they can in a sheltered area and get out of drafts, they are built to 'winter' !
  5. dickies chics

    dickies chics Chillin' With My Peeps

    Nov 7, 2009
    Baldwinville MA
    I'm in mass and have never had to heat my coop. This is the first year we have insulated it and my girls have been just fine.
  6. patandchickens

    patandchickens Flock Mistress

    Apr 20, 2007
    Ontario, Canada
    With dry coop air (i.e good ventilation without drafts on chickens) and otherwise-healthy conditions, you should be fine [​IMG]

    Good luck, have fun,

    Pat, who grew up about a half hour north of Philly
  7. juliawitt

    juliawitt Chillin' With My Peeps

    Aug 9, 2009
    We have one low wattage heat lamp that we use just to keep it slightly above freezing. Hung from a chain, suspended 3 feet up and secured in two places. It really doesn't make a lot of heat but keeps the coop slightly above freezing. We also use pine shavings and spot clean daily. I feel pretty confident in the set up.
    1 person likes this.
  8. chickensRheaven

    chickensRheaven Out Of The Brooder

    Sep 21, 2008
    Farmington, Maine
    Okay. Truly. I will be totally honest here...my chickens didn't have heat most of the winter. MAYBE I occasionally turned it on - but truly not often at all. They were fine and I feel much more confident this winter knowing how hardy my chickens are. I live in Maine and it gets darn cold here - 10 ...wind chill and all... -20...it has been known to happen often. I'll turn it on but...not often at all.
    1 person likes this.
  9. teach1rusl

    teach1rusl Love My Chickens

    Well, I have to somewhat disagree with the post that somewhat implies cold doesn't bother chickens. Now, my chickens are young (so maybe they're not as cold resistant as they'll be when they're adults), but they are already hanging out in the coop A LOT on colder days, and I'm just talking 40 degree days. So they definitely ARE aware of and don't care for the cold. My chickens are pets, so when it comes to weather (both hot and cold), I consider my chickens the same way I do my dogs and cats. I would worry about my cats if one got stuck outside all night on a 10 degree night (even though I know they would try to find a sheltered area), but that's just me. I'd worry about my dogs if they were stuck outside all day on a 95 degree day. I'll try to help my chickens avoid extreme temps.
  10. MaransGuy

    MaransGuy Chillin' With My Peeps

    Oct 25, 2007
    Greenfield, MA
    Quote:If they are young then they will still likely benefit from some heat but adult birds do not require it. In a typical winter here our birds will not see a balmy 40 degrees for at least 2 months, sometimes three. We can go weeks without temps even rising above freezing. While they may prefer warmer temps, providing heat is certainly not required and they do not need it to be healthy and happy. I consider my chickens pets as well and want them to be comfortable. They come out to free range in the snow daily and even like eating it. The birds do not suffer because of it and they do not feel it the same way that we do. Providing them with a dry roost protected from wind and snow will keep them quite content.
    1 person likes this.

BackYard Chickens is proudly sponsored by