Heating my coop..

Discussion in 'Coop & Run - Design, Construction, & Maintenance' started by Critter Crazed, Oct 10, 2009.

  1. Critter Crazed

    Critter Crazed Chicken Cuddlin' Cheesehead

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    Jun 22, 2009
    I want to buy a heater or something for my coop but I'm going to need your guys' help.

    It gets extremely cold here in the winter and I really need to heat my coop. I have decided that.

    This will be my first winter with chickens and I just need someone with experience to tell me what is the best way to heat my coop! I have 9 silkies and 1 cochin bantam. But I'm giving 4 silkies away tomorrow so I'll only have 5 silkies and a cochin bantam.
    This is my coop
    [​IMG]
    Very simple. I added a piece of felt to the door and put slits in it to prevent at least a little wind. I need suggestions for a better door too, please. The coop box is probably somewhere along 5' x 4'. I forgot the dimensions!

    So, should I get a lamp? What colored bulb?
    Should I get a heater for my coop or is my coop too small?
    Fire hazards?

    Thanks for any info or opinions, I need it. And I did do some research but I just don't know which kind of heat source I should use... lamp, heater... do I need an electric water heater?

    EDITTED TO ADD: my coop isn't really insulated. There is tar paper surrounding it! I guess that kind of counts as a little insulation. I wasn't planning on keeping my chickens through the winter. My parents were going to make me give them away so I guess I didn't plan for the winter.
     
    Last edited: Oct 10, 2009
  2. Elite Silkies

    Elite Silkies Overrun With Chickens

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    My Coop
    I am going to cover the sides with a tarp and put them a heat lamp in their in their coop. The only reason I am putting the tarp is because it faces the North winds.
     
  3. Critter Crazed

    Critter Crazed Chicken Cuddlin' Cheesehead

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    A tarp isn't a bad idea. I could do that.
    I have a heat lamp but isn't that really fire hazardous?

    Thanks. [​IMG]
     
  4. card5640

    card5640 Chillin' With My Peeps

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    A heat lamp would do it just hang it where it wont come in contact with combustables, I use a 100 watt flood light I have one too and I plug it in from 11pm until about 6 am when the sun comes up. Will the coop get some sun?I use a see- thru plastic if you can so some sun can get in, I have clear plexiglass on one side of mine. Once ground freezes put some bale of straw around the coop maybe even 2 high since you dont have insulation, or stack bags of leaves. This time of year Im getting free bags of dry leaves and pine needles off craigslist as I use that instead of straw on the floor of the coop and I dig up dry soil in 5 gallons pails and bring it in and use it to fill a dish pan so they can dust bath during the winter. You'll need something to keep water from freezing unless you go out 2xs a day at least. A small heated dog bowl would work and it is the cheapest way. Good luck
     
  5. Wildsky

    Wildsky Wild Egg!

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    How cold does it get where you are?

    We go down way below freezing, and even to the minus side of things and I don't heat my coop at all. I do have a bigger coop and more chickens.

    I used a ceramic bulb when I was brooding my babies, that might be a good option - no light just the heat. For a smaller area its ideal, but it won't make any difference in a large area.

    Good luck.
     
  6. Critter Crazed

    Critter Crazed Chicken Cuddlin' Cheesehead

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    Thank you for the idea card5640! I will put bags of leaves around the coop. [​IMG] Luckily we didn't rake yet.

    I live in Wisconsin and it gets freeeeezing here. Right now it's probably already in the 30s F!

    Every year we usually get a week of -35 F weather. The rest through the winter is mainly below zero and sometimes in the single digits. It gets freeeeeezing cold.
    And my chickens are already shivering. I feel so bad! I need to get some heat soon.

    I was thinking of either a heater or my old heat lamp I used to brood my chickens as chicks. I'll put a red light in there or something and put maybe a wire cage to prevent fire if it falls? I would also get a controlled heat timer that would turn the light on and off at certain temperatures. But I'd need to know where those would be sold.. I have no idea. [​IMG]

    How's that for an idea?
     
  7. Wildsky

    Wildsky Wild Egg!

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    Try not to worry about them too much.

    We're not even up to 30 yet, it was around 19 last night here and I have some chickens that sleep by themselves.

    I haven't had a chance to close up a window yet, so they were open last night.. [​IMG] (one window in our coop broke a year or so ago and we closed it with fencing wire, and in winter we board it up.


    Make sure your girls have a small enclosed little place to roost all squished up together, on a flat roost so they can keep their feet warm. Out of any drafts and such they should be fine.

    [​IMG]

    EDIT TO ADD: I lied - we're at 31 now.
     
    Last edited: Oct 10, 2009
  8. Critter Crazed

    Critter Crazed Chicken Cuddlin' Cheesehead

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    Quote:I worry about everything. [​IMG] Wow!! That's cold. I know they are hardy but if I can I'd like to give them at least a little heat. I know if I can't they can survive.

    My girls don't roost, they are silkies (except for my one bantam cochin) and they don't roost very often. When they sleep they all huddle in the back of the coop and they keep each other warm. But the roost I have in my coop is flat so their toes don't freeze off. Someone told me that that can happen if they can wrap their feet around a roost! o_o Yikes.
     
  9. miss_jayne

    miss_jayne Lady_Jayne

    Jun 26, 2008
    Columbiaville, MI
    one thing i didn't see here as i am scanning the posts (forgive me if i just didn't catch it) but if you are going to heat it, put a SMOKE DETECTOR IN IT!!!!!!! for pete's sake!

    i cannot tell you how many posts we see here on BYC that begin like this, "This morning I woke up to my coop on fire!"

    if you are going to heat it, put a smoke detector out there too! and check the batteries because if it's cold, the batteries will be challenged. CHECK THEM OFTEN!!!

    it's worth the $10. DO IT. [​IMG]
     
  10. Critter Crazed

    Critter Crazed Chicken Cuddlin' Cheesehead

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    Quote:Ooooh thank you so much for telling me that. I forgot!
    How would I be able to hear it though from in the house? I think I'd hear the chickens squawking before the detector's alarm. Unless there's something that I can put in the house to hear it?
     

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