heat source for eglu cube

Discussion in 'Coop & Run - Design, Construction, & Maintenance' started by furry, Sep 29, 2010.

  1. furry

    furry Out Of The Brooder

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    This will be my first winter with the chickens. I got an Eglu cube, which is pretty well insulated. The manufacturer says you don't need any supplemental heating, but they're in the UK. Here in northern Illinois, we usually get some nights that go well below zero, and have weeks where it doesn't get above freezing. I've been reading about using a ceramic heat emitter like they have for reptile cages. Anyone have any experience with those? I have four SLW girls, and they're supposed to be quite cold hardy. I plan on moving the coop to a sheltered area and covering the sides of the run with thick clear plastic to protect them from the wind.
     
  2. rebelcowboysnb

    rebelcowboysnb Confederate Money Farm

    Ain't England way north compared to Illinois? Almost all of England is north of all of the US but Alaska I think.
     
  3. Judy

    Judy Moderator Staff Member

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    I grew up in northern Illinois. You don't need supplemental heat.
     
  4. elmo

    elmo Chillin' With My Peeps

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    Those Eglus are so small, I think it would be very, very dangerous to put a ceramic heater in one. It would be pretty much impossible to have a minimum of 18 inches clearance (what's recommended) between the heater and the ceiling, walls, and bedding. Not to mention, in such cramped quarters your chickens could burn their combs on the bulb if you didn't have a guard on it.

    Here's an excellent reference on the subject of winter coop heat management:



    https://www.backyardchickens.com/web/viewblog.php?id=1642-winter-coop-temperatures
     
  5. linben

    linben Chillin' With My Peeps

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    What about just covering it when it is really cold with old blankets etc....that helps insulate.
     
  6. vatterpa

    vatterpa Chillin' With My Peeps

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    Quote:They may be more north, but they rarely get severe winters. I think I read that they are zone 6 or 7. I think northern Ill. is a zone 4.
     
  7. furry

    furry Out Of The Brooder

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    Jul 12, 2010
    Lisle, Illinois
    I guess I never thought about England being further north as far as latitude. I do know that their weather isn't as extreme as the midwest, I read that it's because it's an island, and something about the ocean currents. I know that generations of chickens have been surviving in unheated coops through Illinois winters, but still I worry about the girls. Maybe I should just keep a thermometer in the coop an see how cold it gets. The Eglu cubes are larger than the original Eglus, so I think I could fit a caged lamp in there easily, and supposedly the ceramic heat emitters don't get really hot (I guess it would depend on the wattage, though). Anyone have any experience with the heat emitters?
     
  8. gryeyes

    gryeyes Covered in Pet Hair & Feathers

    Your chickens - when adult - will NOT need supplemental heat. They do generate body heat as a group, but they're also wearing the best organic insulating material there is: feathers! If you're worried, pile in the pine shavings, and they can snuggle into that if necessary.
     
  9. WoodlandWoman

    WoodlandWoman Overrun With Chickens

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    I think they'll be alright without heat in the Cube. Have you joined their forums? That's what I would do and ask other owners how things went last winter. I know that one of the members here has the original Eglu down in Chicago and it did great in the winter. My impression is that the biggest problem with the original in severe weather wasn't the cold, it was needing to cover it so the doors wouldn't freeze shut from frozen precipitation. Well, that and getting buried if you had more than a little snow. I'm guessing the Cube will do as well and not even have the door issues.

    I think covering at least the top of the attached run is a great idea. If you do the sides, make sure to leave enough open for air exchange. They need at least some air exchange in the coop, too, even in winter. You've got a great breed for winter weather, too.
     
  10. elmo

    elmo Chillin' With My Peeps

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    Quote:Yes, I used a 50 watt ceramic heat bulb for our anole tank. As I was cleaning one day, I carelessly put the lamp fixture down on the desk. By the time I'd finished cleaning the tank, the bulb had started to burn the wood of the desk. The bulb was not even in contact with the desk because it was in the fixture, raised perhaps by as much as three inches. Those things get hot! So hot, in fact, you can't use a regular metal socket, but need to use a special ceramic one.

    Take a tape measure out to your coop and see where you could put a lamp fixture so that it would be at least 18 inches from the roof, the walls, and especially the bedding.
     

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