Heating Coops. My opinion.

Discussion in 'Coop & Run - Design, Construction, & Maintenance' started by Backyard Bob, Dec 8, 2013.

  1. Backyard Bob

    Backyard Bob Chillin' With My Peeps

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    As winter rolls around every year, we see the same ole familiar posts about heating your coops. I would just like to add my opinion and the reasoning behind it.

    There is no reason to spend extra money heating your coop. Heat bulbs suck a lot of electricity. I have never heated a coop, my coops are tin or plywood with no insulation or heating at all. In a 6x8 tin coop, I have 13 White Leghorns. These birds are not described as cold-tolerant birds, either. These birds free range from 7 in the morning until they put their selves up at night. This weekend we had about 4-5 inches of snow, 1/2" of sleet and some ice. It was 0 degrees outside that night. When I went out there the next morning, there was no frost bitten combs, no shivering birds, or any frozen birds. I opened up the coop and they all came piling out to play in the snow.

    I also have another coop with 19, 4 week old White Leghorns. They have been outside, weaned off their heat lamp since they were 3 weeks old. I did not provide any heat for them during the 0 degree weather, and they were just fine that next morning and were ready to go outside. I also own Buff Orpingtons and Sebright Bantams, none have been affected by the weather and none have been in heated coops.

    The key to this is good ventilation.
     
  2. chicksurreal

    chicksurreal Chillin' With My Peeps

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    Arizona
    We had an interesting experience over the last couple of nights concerning heating the coop.

    It's gotten down into the teens here the last few nights, so we decided to put the heat lamp (light) in the coop with our 14 week old chickens who are used to much warmer temps.

    After the first night of doing that, they all were very reluctant to go into the coop at the normal time. Mind you, we have 14 Hamburgs, they all prefer to roost in the trees at night, but that isn't an option due to predators in our area, we also have a Cuckoo Marans cockerel and a Black Andalusian cockerel who ALWAYS want to go into the coop at night, they even chose to stay outside. We've never had ALL of them prefer to stay outside under a bush rather than go in. They did it again tonight, so I turned the light out in there and ushered them all in. We'll see if they continue this behavior or return to their normal routine.
     
  3. BatonRougeChick

    BatonRougeChick Chillin' With My Peeps

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    My Coop
    Thanks for the info! Makes me feel better about not heating mine. :)
     
  4. Hokum Coco

    Hokum Coco Overrun With Chickens

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    New Brunswick,Canada
    In Canada I am subject to -40º cold snaps. I do NOT heat my coop. Murphy's law says my birds will find out what -40 is all about when my hydro goes out. Regardless what you decide feed extra Corn over the winter you will not be sorry.

    Or something like this may help also; You could even knit a hoodie for those extra cold days..

    [​IMG]
     
    Last edited: Dec 9, 2013
  5. chkinut

    chkinut Chillin' With My Peeps

    Feb 25, 2010
    Leesburg, Ohio
    happy to hear that i don't need to heat my coop. i grew up in ohio.....and i remember some of our chickens with frozen feet. it didn't happen often though. i just moved BACK to ohio after 27 years of being away. i am 45 now and me and my boyfriend are going to get chickens in the spring. he will be making a coop for them. i spent 16 years in NC and i had chickens and all they needed was a coop with 3 walls. but here in ohio i want them to have a coop with 4 walls....a door and a window....but draft free for the winter. after reading peoples ideas and opinions, we have decided not to insulate the coop OR heat it. i think they will be just fine. :)
     
    1 person likes this.
  6. Backyard Bob

    Backyard Bob Chillin' With My Peeps

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    Yes! Good ideas! If you need any help on coop designs, feel free to PM me!
     
  7. BatonRougeChick

    BatonRougeChick Chillin' With My Peeps

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    @Hokum Coco WOW, -40??!??!! Now I feel MUCH better!
     
    1 person likes this.
  8. jstlitlome

    jstlitlome Chillin' With My Peeps

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    I tried. I really did! But today madge was huddled up in the corner and when I picked her up, she hunkered down into my arms and shivered! This is my first year with chickens and I'm a big softie! It was 10f today. I know they don't need it, but I can do it with my setup. I put it on a thermostat that goes on at 20f and off at 30f. It's well off the coop floor so I think it's safe. They seemed pretty happy about it. There was a fuss over who got to roost next to the light tonight! (also finally set up my heated base for my waterer)

    I tried to be tough! :-(
     
    Last edited: Dec 9, 2013
  9. chicksurreal

    chicksurreal Chillin' With My Peeps

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    Arizona
    I know the feeling! I hate to think of them huddling in there, cold and miserable.[​IMG]

    I really thought mine would prefer the heat. They did get under the lamp when it was on in there, but they acted really weird about going in the coop after that.

    I left it off last night and tonight they were back to going in on their own (except for the Hamburgs who insist on trying to roost in the trees). I still had to shoo them off the branches to go in, silly things.[​IMG]
     

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