heating my coop

Discussion in 'Coop & Run - Design, Construction, & Maintenance' started by alaskapalo, Feb 5, 2011.

  1. alaskapalo

    alaskapalo Chillin' With My Peeps

    53
    0
    87
    Jan 10, 2011
    So right now in my coop I have a space heater hanging from the ceiling and also a lamp. It keeps my girls warm but I am looking for a better solution. The coop is getting a remodel this spring and some insulation [​IMG] !
     
  2. ChickensAreSweet

    ChickensAreSweet Heavenly Grains for Hens

  3. elmo

    elmo Chillin' With My Peeps

    4,852
    37
    249
    May 23, 2009
    DFW
    Here's my set up:

    [​IMG]

    It's a DeLonghi oil filled radiator ($39 at Lowe's) set inside a birdcage on patio blocks. The cage prevents the chickens from coming in direct contact with the radiator, roosting on it, or knocking it over. A couple of patio blocks are also on the top of the birdcage to make sure poop doesn't fall down onto the radiator. My chickens do like to hang out up there on very cold days.

    On freezing nights (and days when we get them), I run the radiator at its lowest setting. The radiator never gets too hot to the touch, even when I had to run it continuously from Monday morning to Saturday morning this week (the whole week stayed below freezing and even into the teens). The inside of our 8' x 8' x 7' insulated coop stayed steady at around 40-43 degrees. The heater has its own thermostat, although you can't set it directly to a particular temperature. It cycles on and off to maintain the level that you set it for.

    I use sand on the floor of my coop so I don't have to be concerned about flammable bedding like pine shavings. On the other thread, I notice folks concerned about using oil filled radiators in a dusty environment, but I'm puzzled about how this really applies to the actual units in question. The radiator is sealed, and doesn't have any venting that I can see that could become dust clogged. I do wipe down the outside of the radiator periodically, just in case, because I'm a worry wort.

    It is important to run this radiator on full for 24-48 hours outdoors (on a porch or in your garage, etc.) to burn off the protective coating they place on it for shipping. There's a bad odor during this process, and you would not want to risk the possibility that the fumes could be toxic to birds. But after the coating burns off, there's no odor or fumes from the radiator.
     
  4. True Grit

    True Grit Chillin' With My Peeps

    I like elmo's set-up the best of what I've seen. My coop is too small for it so I have a Premier 1 heat lamp with a ceramic 250 watt bulb set in the ceiling. If I were remodeling, this time I would spring for a double paned insulated single hung window inserted upside down and inside out so that for ventilation you can lower the top from the outside.
     
  5. obaan1

    obaan1 Chillin' With My Peeps

    334
    1
    116
    Jun 9, 2010
    Great Lakes State
    That is a very neat set up, Elmo. It looks really cozy in there. I hope your birds appreciate how great you are treating them.
     
  6. ChickensAreSweet

    ChickensAreSweet Heavenly Grains for Hens

    Quote:Oh thank God you are here elmo! I even went to your BYC page looking for that pic- I thought it was you that had one with the cage over it!!! I did a search in the search bar and everything!!!
     
  7. elmo

    elmo Chillin' With My Peeps

    4,852
    37
    249
    May 23, 2009
    DFW
    Quote:Thanks very much! I think our bantams do appreciate the warmth, although I thought the smallest ones would appreciate it the most, and it's turning out to be the larger ones who are the biggest babies when it comes to cold weather. Our smallest bantams are only about a pound each, while the biggest girls are our Belgian d"Uccles who weigh in close to 1.75 lbs. each. They even have feathers on their feet to keep their toes warm, but they're always the first back inside the coop in the morning, sometimes even before I've finished doing the morning chicken chores!
     
  8. elmo

    elmo Chillin' With My Peeps

    4,852
    37
    249
    May 23, 2009
    DFW
    Quote:It seems I just can't stop tinkering....

    This setup works fine from a heating perspective, but the chickens do like to sit on top of the cage during the daytime and, of course, they poop. I have to clean poop off those blocks every day, and every few days I take the cage off the heater and clean around the perimeter where droppings have fallen. It's annoying. So next year I'm thinking about fiddling with the arrangement to make it impossible for chickens to get on top of the cage......
     
  9. Sinfonian

    Sinfonian Chillin' With My Peeps

    193
    0
    101
    Jan 24, 2011
    Seattle area
    Wow Elmo, you really do have extreme temps there. Below freezing in the winter, sweltering heat in the summer. We don't get anything like that. Maybe a week of weather in the 20s and a week in the high 80s and that's about it all year long. Amazing. Great idea with the heater. I don't need anything like that, but as you know, my coop is only going to be 18 SF.
     
  10. elmo

    elmo Chillin' With My Peeps

    4,852
    37
    249
    May 23, 2009
    DFW
    Quote:Yes, it's weird weather. We don't often get freezing temps, but when we do, it's frequently a sudden drop. Last weekend, can you believe it was in the 70's? We sat outside watching the chickens and it was too warm for jackets. Then on Monday, the cold weather came rolling in fast, dropping temps below freezing where they stayed all week. That's unusual. Usually it's yo yo warm and cold. That makes it very hard on the chickens because they have no chance to acclimate to the cold. That's why I provide the supplemental heat, to try to even things out a bit for them.

    Our tiny bantams can handle our hot summers much better than the big chickens, though. We have several months of hot, hot, hot and hotter.
     

BackYard Chickens is proudly sponsored by