Heating a coop

Discussion in 'Managing Your Flock' started by RoseZubal, Nov 13, 2013.

  1. RoseZubal

    RoseZubal Chillin' With My Peeps

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    We live in Michigan and it's our first time having chickens. We are getting mixed answers about heating a coop. We have a 60 watt bulb and it seems to be 40 degrees in the coop. I have also have read that if it cold then hens won't lay eggs. So I need to know how warm should it be in the in the coop to keep them happy?

    Thanks,
    Stacey
     
  2. MyPetNugget

    MyPetNugget Enjoying the cold!!!

    A chicken can survive down to 30 degrees or even less without wind rain or snow on them. But if you want them to lay eggs, it should be room temperature. Hope this helps.
     
  3. MyPetNugget

    MyPetNugget Enjoying the cold!!!

    Oh and [​IMG] ! hope you have a great time!
     
  4. JackE

    JackE Chillin' With My Peeps

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    My chickens lay eggs all winter long, in a uninsulated, unheated open air coop. Just give them a dry draft free house, and they will be fine. They are built to handle the cold, and don't need any help from us. All you are doing with a heatlamp is needlessly running up your electric bill, and taking a chance on possibly burning your coop down.
     
  5. Chicks Galore3

    Chicks Galore3 Artistic Bird Nut

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    I strongly, strongly, strongly, suggest not using a heat lamp. I used a heat lamp last year and I nearly lost some chickens because the electricity went out. The chickens, who were used to heat, were suddenly thrust into cold conditions. They wouldn't go outside because they were used to warm and outside was cold. Several got frost bite because the heat lamp evaported the water and poop and made it humid. And, like JackE said, you run the all to real risk of a coop fire. This year, I am NOT using a heat lamp, and my chickens are doing SO much better. They are actually going outside because they are acclimated to the cold. No frost bite, even on my rooster. And, it was -9! And, even during molting and no extra lighting, I am getting 8-9 eggs out of 16 hens. Which is really good.


    Bottom line is: no heat lamp unless it is -20 or -30!
     
    2 people like this.
  6. donrae

    donrae Hopelessly Addicted Premium Member

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    Sorry, but this is wrong. Temperature doesn't effect egg production, at least as far as cold. It's the length of daylight hours that cue a hen to lay or not, not the temperature. My first year hens always lay right through the first winter with no supplemental lighting, and after that I let them take the winter off. They don't need supplemental heat--folks in your area successfully raise chickens with no heat and they do just fine. Even Canada and Alaska folks have birds in unheated coops. IMO the risk of fire is just too great. Plus, the birds are designed to tolerate the cold, and I think it's good for them to get acclimated to it. What if you're always heating the coop and the power goes out? Then you have wimpy birds that aren't used to the cold that can get pretty shocked!

    If the coop is dry and out of the wind, your birds will be fine.
     
    4 people like this.
  7. RoseZubal

    RoseZubal Chillin' With My Peeps

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    What about insulating the coop? My hens were laying eggs over the weekend and then up it got cold and no eggs.
     
  8. bobbi-j

    bobbi-j Chicken Obsessed

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    On the MN prairie.

    Sometimes a sudden change in weather will cause that to happen. Give them a few days and they should pick up again. I live in MN and my coops are neither heated or insulated. The chickens survive just fine.
     
  9. RoseZubal

    RoseZubal Chillin' With My Peeps

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    Ok so since I have the coop heated, should I just stop the heat now before it gets super cold or will the shock them?
     
  10. Chicks Galore3

    Chicks Galore3 Artistic Bird Nut

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    I would take the temp with the heat to see how warm it is, and the next warmish day that is close to that temp turn it off.
     

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