Heating for nest boxes?

Discussion in 'Coop & Run - Design, Construction, & Maintenance' started by brewmiss96, Dec 9, 2009.

  1. brewmiss96

    brewmiss96 Out Of The Brooder

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    Apr 3, 2008
    Redmond, OR
    I am experiencing my first freezing winter in Oregon with my chickens... they are fine in the coop, but the eggs are freezing and I'm wondering if anyone has tried putting heating pads in the nest boxes to prevent this, or should I be investing in a heater or more heat lamps to prevent my eggs from freezing?
     
  2. Chicken Chat

    Chicken Chat Chillin' With My Peeps

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    Jul 19, 2009
    Southern Illinois
    I have never used a nest heater, I am kind of scared of them. I worry that it is too warm for the hens feet, I guess. I gather eggs just before I go to work and as soon as I get home and I have only had a few freeze and crack on me, but then again I have bantams and when it gets really cold here, they don't want to go outside. They like to sit in the nests on those days, so I have body warmers.
     
  3. dacdeihl

    dacdeihl Chillin' With My Peeps

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    Sep 24, 2009
    NorthEast, In
    Do you have any heat in the coop? Maybe you could put it buy the boxes? If they are on a outside wall of the coop that is something that could change??? Well, just collect them as often as you can. Good luck. I 'm expecting to have the same issues.
     
  4. patandchickens

    patandchickens Flock Mistress

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    Apr 20, 2007
    Ontario, Canada
    How much bedding do you have in the nestboxes? I'd suggest like 4-6" of shavings, minimum. This gives the eggs good insulation on 1/2 of their surface area, and slows freezing considerably. Insulate the nestboxes if they are exterior (you might want to add more insulation to the whole coop, in fact). And collect eggs as early and frequently as possible (I knwo that isn't possible if you work from 7 am to 7 pm or something like that, but, otherwise...)

    Good luck, have fun,

    Pat
     
  5. brewmiss96

    brewmiss96 Out Of The Brooder

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    Apr 3, 2008
    Redmond, OR
    I just put out more bedding and am planning on changing the nest boxes. The coop is not my design, it was in place when I moved in and I've been trying to make improvements to it. I think it needs more insulation and different nest boxes. Right now they are metal boxes and I don't think there was enough bedding so I'm hoping this helps. I am going to get another heat lamp as well, as one is okay but I think two would be better. But I don't think I will get a heating pad for the nest boxes, I like your point about being too warm for the hen's feet. I might put some of that foil bubble wrap in the nest boxes though.

    Really, if I had my way I'd have a heater in there, I'm just scared they will knock it over and it will catch fire.

    Thanks for the good ideas guys!
     

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