1. If this is your first time on BYC, we suggest you start with one of these three options:
    Raising Chickens Chicken Coops Join BYC
    If you're already a member of our community, click here to login & click here to learn what's new!

Heating my nestbox using Seedling heating pad

Discussion in 'Coop & Run - Design, Construction, & Maintenance' started by ezicash, Feb 20, 2015.

  1. ezicash

    ezicash Chillin' With My Peeps

    102
    2
    61
    Jun 25, 2014
    I have a small coop and the regular heat lamp would not fit so i tried the small 75 watt reptilian heat lamp and my birds would not go in the nesting box at night if the red heat lamp (only 75 watt) was on so in 20 below zero weather i had to shut the light off and pray each morning my birds were still alive. I have 20 bales of hay surrounding my coop and run to insulate some, then I have 2 moving blankets on top of the coop itself with tarp on top of that. Then the consistent 20 below zero came back and i read about a farmer using seedling heat mats in his egg box so I thought I would try it in one box. I put the heat pad inside a flat veg can box. I then placed another flat box ontop of the heatpad topped off with hay and the heat pad is folded up in the back of the nestbox along with the wire. I attached the wire to my outdoor extension cord connected to a thermostat controlled plug (on at 35 off at 45) so now i wait to see how warm the box gets and if it will be safe. Will be going out to check each hour today to see how warm it gets. if anyone has any experience with using seedling heat mat please give me some tricks. My birds have dropped from laying 3 eggs a day to 2 eggs to 1 egg every 3 days and it is so freking cold here!! I almost want to bring my 3 RIR inside (ha ha) My RIR are 11 months. You see golf balls in each nesting box. I use them to try to get my hens to lay in both boxes but they push the right side ball over to the left box each day - for some reason they will not lay in the right nesting box. They are both clean no draft so i am puzzled.

    [​IMG][​IMG]

    [​IMG][​IMG]
     
    Last edited: Feb 20, 2015
  2. justplainbatty

    justplainbatty Chillin' With My Peeps

    1,784
    136
    228
    Nov 30, 2007
    emmet MI
    The seedling mats may keep the eggs from freezing but the hens generally will not sleep in a nest. They will cram together on the roost to keep each other warm. If your coop is not drafty and is clean, your birds will be fine. Inside the closed coop, the temp is usually 10* warmer than outside plus, there's no wind. They are wearing feather parkas with extra winter down, they cover their feet and tuck their faces under their wing, I've even caught my roosters doing that this year cuz it's so cold. The girls may lay less right now because of cold but it's not abnormal. Don't worry, spring is coming soon. [​IMG]

    ETA: hens almost always have a preferred nest and every one uses that one if they can. It's a chicken thing!
     
    Last edited: Feb 20, 2015
  3. ezicash

    ezicash Chillin' With My Peeps

    102
    2
    61
    Jun 25, 2014
    Thanks so much - i do feel better. Just came back in from checking on them and covering the run with tarp since we are getting another 5" of snow tonight an more tomorrow. The 1 nest box drives me crazy but i guess you are right.
     
  4. RonP

    RonP Chillin' With My Peeps

    I wrote an article on this subject.

    Click here.

    It is very much a success...
     
  5. ezicash

    ezicash Chillin' With My Peeps

    102
    2
    61
    Jun 25, 2014
    yes, I saw your article. When the weather gets warmer I will do a better job. For now the nesting box is warm

    Thanks
     
  6. RonC

    RonC Chillin' With My Peeps

    1,511
    120
    186
    Feb 28, 2012
    D/FW
    In winter chickens slow down laying because of the shorter days. Putting a light in the coop for a few hours a day may help. Mine stopped completely about 3 months ago and started again about 2 weeks ago. Mine use one out of three nest boxes only. I've heard of people putting the ceramic wall heaters in their coops but have also heard others, some from Alaska say heating the coop is not necessary. Using a wider perch they can cover their feet better. I am glad it doesn't get anywhere near that cold here.
     
  7. ezicash

    ezicash Chillin' With My Peeps

    102
    2
    61
    Jun 25, 2014
    woke up this morning to a wind chill advisory and temps way below zero, so my poor girls will be stuck in the coop again today. Thanks for your reply. Always help to hear from other chicken farmers. I did get 1 egg yesterday which surprised me. I will take what I can get. Yesterday I started another batch of fermented food. I thought with all this cold weather, they need some good food. The only issues I have is the food freezing so fast, I have to keep going out with a new batch and take the frozen batch in the house to thaw.
     

BackYard Chickens is proudly sponsored by