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Heating Our Coops

Discussion in 'Coop & Run - Design, Construction, & Maintenance' started by Spartagon, Oct 27, 2016.

  1. Spartagon

    Spartagon Out Of The Brooder

    I don't want my chickens to suffer in the frigid weather if I can help it. We lost a dear chicken last winter. The poor thing was too skinny due to her position in the pecking order.

    Soon after her death we added a few heating lamps to our hen coop and one to our rooster coop. The lamp we had in the rooster coop fell causing a smoldering fire that killed three of our boys. One survived but barely. He is great now. Then with the constant light from the lamps our girls were over laying, and one became egg-bound. She's okay now too.

    ALRIGHTY THEN...., so far I heard of these electric Hound Heaters that are used for dogs and work well in coops and are safe. I also read that electric oil radiators are the safest. Oil, gas, and propane allow for condensation which is terrible. We do not want moisture.

    Please send me your ideas and experience on the heating issue. Thank you.

    ****TO STAFF****
    I do not appreciate being edited. I SPECIFICALLY made this thread to keep those people that tell me my chickens don't need heat out of my thread. NOW I have to weed through the nonsense to get the answers I need.


    Edited by Staff
     
    Last edited: Oct 28, 2016
  2. chickens really

    chickens really Overrun With Chickens

    I heat my Coop all Winter...I do use a Ceramic hanging Heater..250 watt red Brooder bulb....My floor of my Coop is sand...The problem with other types of heaters is they cost a lot to run...My Coop is never that warm, it is only warm enough so my water does not freeze...I am in North Central Alberta...It gets really Cold...-28 with a windchill of -35 Celsius...Two years ago the Airport was the coldest place on earth at -50 Celsius...Brrr....I keep my Birds comfy....



    Cheers!



    Edited by Staff
     
    Last edited by a moderator: Oct 27, 2016
    1 person likes this.
  3. Howard E

    Howard E Chillin' With My Peeps

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    There is a problem with the wild bird analogy. Wild birds are free to make their own choices and fend for themselves and nature has set it up so they are able to adapt to local conditions and stick around, or pack up and move (migrate). On the other hand, our birds are confined to the fate we set up for them, which can range from excellent all the way down to filthy and cruel. So ideally, the goal is to select birds that can adapt to the local conditions, and setup the coop in such a way that they have no trouble doing so.

    To the OP, if you are going to set up your coop so that your birds are dependent upon an electrical outlet to survive, your logical next step is to make sure the outlet is always hot. Virtually all commercial sized livestock barns are 100% dependent on electrical power for the animals to survive, and that means virtually all of them have and maintain a backup generator that kicks in when (not if, but when) the power goes out and they do so automatically. In short, if you set your coop up such that the birds are dependent upon technology to survive, then they are.
     
    1 person likes this.
  4. tmarsh83

    tmarsh83 Chillin' With My Peeps

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    NEIN
    Turkeys don't migrate.

    It's a perfectly apt analogy. The anatomy is indistinguishable.



    Edited by Staff
     
    Last edited by a moderator: Oct 27, 2016
  5. Molpet

    Molpet Chillin' With My Peeps

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    as a kid lost all 20+ birds when the power went out in a blizzard for a week...-20F temps in the coop that had been 36F
    a generator is a must!
    never lost one when it wasn't heated
     
    1 person likes this.
  6. JackE

    JackE Chillin' With My Peeps

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    Unless you have some kind of thinly feathered, or exotic breed of chicken, you DO NOT need to add any heat period. Your skinny bird died last winter, because it was in poor health to begin with. The cold did not kill it. I've had birds go through a molt, with the temps approaching zero, and they made it just fine. And that's with the whole front wall open (See pic below). No heat, and no insulation, besides what the chickens already come with. (And that's more than enough, for our winters. Forget about adding heat. Sounds like it caused your flock enough trouble, last winter.

    [​IMG]
     
    1 person likes this.
  7. Hokum Coco

    Hokum Coco Overrun With Chickens

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    [​IMG]






    I am subject to -40º weather l live in Canada think North Pole. I have been keeping chickens and birds for decades.

    Your best practice I find is to not be too concerned about winterizing or heating your coop to help your birds combat the cold.

    Predator proofing "ABSOLUTELY".

    Your efforts should be spent in winterizing your birds and letting them acclimatize to their surroundings.
    This is done by feeding them whole corn as an added supplement in a separate feeder.

    The extra nourishment is more then adequate to bring them through the
    "COLDEST" winter.

    Do keep an eye open for birds that maybe not be adapting well to the new menu and may be at the lower end of the pecking order they can sometimes run into problems and may need extra TLC.

    That being said in a perfect world the flock will flourish and do just fine .

    I do not add any extra heat or lighting.
    Egg production does slack off but I have more than enough eggs for the table all winter long (24 hens).

    Some people may disagree with my method but it has worked well for me and I am not about to change.

    I look at it in the same light as winterizing your car.

    You really do

    "NOT"


    have to winterize your car if you can keep it in a controlled environment at all times otherwise you are in for

    "MAJOR" problems.

    When it comes to lighting if you find you are short on eggs it does apparently help. I personally do not bother in my operation eggs are sold only to neighbours when they are available (if the sign is out I have eggs). Eggs in my operation have a tendency to crack and freeze during the winter months (we do not discard them and are fine but use them in house not for sale) the more eggs you produce during these months the more eggs will fall into this category.

    I have roughly 24 Golden Comet hens the longest I ever been out of eggs can be measured in hours >12<24. You will find that the egg supply in any hen is a finite resource the quicker you milk the eggs out of a hen the faster it will be spent and end up in your stew pot.

    On average one hen produces somewhere between 600 to 700 eggs in its life time. Lighting only effect the speed of delivery of the eggs which at the end of the day would amount to less than a year in the hens life is my guess

    If you do decide extra lighting is necessary have your light on a timer to lengthen the day "MAKE SURE IT IS SECURED BY 2 MEANS OF SUPPORT" one being a "SAFETY CHAIN" in case one fails especially if it is an incandescent bulb or heat lamp.

    I personally raise hens as a hobby; and for their manure to enrich my vegetable garden any thing else the hens provide is merely a bonus.

    Here is one BONUS NOW not many people can enjoy seeing in their back yard on a regular basis.

    [​IMG]

    Nest boxes
    In my nest boxes I fold a feed bag to fit (nest boxes are 1 ft³). When a bag gets soiled; fold a new one; pop out the soiled; pop in the new. Feed bags are a nylon mesh bag.
    Frozen poop just peels off in below freezing temperatures and just flakes off in summer when left out in the sun to bake and dry.

    I have 65 trips around the sun it is the best method I have stumbled upon.

    Make sure the twine is removed from the open end of the bag it can get tangled around your birds.

    [​IMG]


    [​IMG]
     
  8. chickens really

    chickens really Overrun With Chickens

    Birds with compromised Respiratory problems like mine.....Need a warmer Coop....Not all people have the best ways to care for flocks...We all do what is needed and what we feel is in the best interest of our Birds....I for one do not freeze my Birds as I sit in the house nice and warm on a cold Blizzard day with Windchills at -35 Celsius....

    Do as you see fit...Best answer I can give....Mine do fine as yours will regardless of the replies you have gotten so far...

    Cheers!
     
  9. Spartagon

    Spartagon Out Of The Brooder

    There is a problem with the wild bird analogy. Wild birds are free to make their own choices and fend for themselves and nature has set it up so they are able to adapt to local conditions and stick around, or pack up and move (migrate). On the other hand, our birds are confined to the fate we set up for them, which can range from excellent all the way down to filthy and cruel. So ideally, the goal is to select birds that can adapt to the local conditions, and setup the coop in such a way that they have no trouble doing so.

    To the OP, if you are going to set up your coop so that your birds are dependent upon an electrical outlet to survive, your logical next step is to make sure the outlet is always hot. Virtually all commercial sized livestock barns are 100% dependent on electrical power for the animals to survive, and that means virtually all of them have and maintain a backup generator that kicks in when (not if, but when) the power goes out and they do so automatically.  In short, if you set your coop up such that the birds are dependent upon technology to survive, then they are.

    My chickens are products of school projects so not much thought was/is put into whether they are fit to withstand local conditions. They want them cute and cuddly. I just want the coop to be about 45 to 50 degrees F. to keep them cozy and free from frost bite. Thank you for the advice!
     
  10. Spartagon

    Spartagon Out Of The Brooder

    I heat my Coop all Winter...I do use a Ceramic hanging Heater..250 watt red Brooder bulb....My floor of my Coop is sand...The problem with other types of heaters is they cost a lot to run...My Coop is never that warm, it is only warm enough so my water does not freeze...I am in North Central Alberta...It gets really Cold...-28 with a windchill of -35 Celsius...Two years ago the Airport was the coldest place on earth at -50 Celsius...Brrr....I keep my Birds comfy....



    Cheers!

    Thank you for the advice. Chickens are the least protected animals in the USA. I like your style... Comfy chickens is the wave of the future! I'll stay away from your local airport sheesh!
     
    Last edited: Oct 28, 2016

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