heating big coop

Discussion in 'Coop & Run - Design, Construction, & Maintenance' started by MED747, Aug 20, 2011.

  1. MED747

    MED747 Out Of The Brooder

    Aug 13, 2011
    I have a 8'*16' coop for 25 birds it's fully enclosed with awesome ventilation I was just wondering if I need to heat it this winter or if the birds will produce enough heat themselves im kinda lost and have no idea how I should heat it if I even should at all and what temp to keep it heated at. Ohh and I live in michigan on the big lake so it can really chilly!!
  2. Ridgerunner

    Ridgerunner True BYC Addict

    Feb 2, 2009
    Northwest Arkansas
    First, read these articles by someone in Ontario. They may help you a lot more than I can.

    Pat’s Big Ol' Ventilation Page

    Cold Coop (winter design) page:

    obviously don't live in your climate. The coldest it gets here is a little below zero Fahrenheit. I usually overwinter a flock of maybe 8 chickens without any problems in an 8' x 12' uninsulated coop with good ventilation but with them sleeping well below any drafts. But I'll let others in climates similar to yours tell you their experiences.

    One thing I will mention. If you do heat and the power goes out, they may be in more trouble than they would be if they were used to the cold.
  3. BoltonChicken

    BoltonChicken Chillin' With My Peeps

    Apr 14, 2011
    Bolton, Mississippi
    Chickens can withstand amazing amounts of cold, and produce equally amazing amounts of body heat. The settlers of this country kept chickens successfully with none of the modern conveniences that we have, and they survived just fine. (Of course in your area they may have kept them in the house near the fireplace!)

  4. Kountreefok

    Kountreefok Chillin' With My Peeps

    Jul 12, 2011
    Graceton, MN
    We are in (very) Northern Minnesota and have been known to get winter lows in the -40's and highs below 0 that can stay for a couple weeks at a time. Haven't had that for a few years though.

    Our coop is divided into two (yet to be insulated) rooms +/- 8x20 and 12x16 with a full interior wall with adjoining interior door that stays open all winter .
    The 8x20 has the roosts but both have nest boxes and ledges. We use the deep litter method and line the lower walls of the 8x20 with straw bales for insulation.
    In the 12x16 when it gets below zero we'll leave the 100 watt light on, much below zero and we'll add the use of a hanging drop light with either a 100 watt bulb or heat lamp bulb. Real nasty snap and we might use both the heat lamp and 100 watt.
    We winter around 60 birds average and they are our thermometer. We base our heating decisions on there behavior as well as the weather forecasts.
    This year we may have some younger birds in the flock so will tend to veer more to the warmer side.
    The biggest problems we have had temperature wise as regards their health and comfort are weather changes so generally we will not use any more heat than necessary and do what we can to keep temp. changes caused by the weather gradual.
    Hope this helps some. Good luck over wintering your flock.

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