Heating small coop via house

Discussion in 'Coop & Run - Design, Construction, & Maintenance' started by chris607, Oct 23, 2013.

  1. chris607

    chris607 New Egg

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    Oct 23, 2013
    Was wondering if anyone has tried this.

    I have had my chickens since April, I bought them as chicks. They started laying 2 weeks ago. They are Australorps.

    I live in the north easy (New York State) and we do get some brutal temperatures in the winter. I am looking to keep the coop around 40 degrees, as I have read time and time again that the chickens do not need heat, and that this bread is decently cold hardy. The coop is about 4'x4'.

    In the summer on unusually hot days (95+ this year with no rain and nothing but sun.) The coop wouldnt stay under 90 degrees even with the window open and 120cfm fan. I opted for a week to pipe cold air from my air conditioned basement via dryer duct (new, of course) to the coop via a fan running around 50cfm. (not a direct connection from the furnace) This kept the coop around 75 degrees, and the chickens seemed to love every minute of it.

    I was wondering if I could do this for heat as well, on days/weeks were it will be colder than 25 degrees outside. I should be able to keep the at at least 40 degrees. Has anyone used heat/ac from their home to climate control their coop? Am I insane?

    My other though is to install a reptile heating pad underneath the nesting box, under the laminate flooring, and put it on a thermostat to not kick on unless its 30 or lower outside. (My coop has laminate flooring that was leftover, it cleans up real easy) This way they could at least lay in the nesting boxes together if it gets too cold, and not loose their feet?
     
  2. Judy

    Judy Moderator Staff Member

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  3. Bear Foot Farm

    Bear Foot Farm Overrun With Chickens

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    Quote: Sure , you "could" do it.

    It would add to you heating bill, and not really benefit the chickens at all, but you COULD do it.

    I wouldn't
    Quote: But you're going to do it anyway, aren't you?
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  4. Hokum Coco

    Hokum Coco Overrun With Chickens

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    My Coop is a salvaged 4x8 metal shed here are a few tips and a quick look at my set up.
    My floor are planks with a layer of tin for rodent proofing. On top of the tin I have a piece of vinyl flooring cut one foot longer than the length and width of my coop (roughly). Six inches squares are cut out of the 4 corners of the vinyl flooring. This allows the friction fitted flooring to travel up the walls six inches around the perimeter of my 4x8 salvaged metal coop. Shovel out the heavy stuff into a wheel barrow. Pop out the vinyl flooring hose it off pop it back in.
    Easy Peasy!

    I have been around the sun 63 times.

    It is not my first "Rodeo!"

    Nobody "I know" heats a chicken coop.

    Healthy "cold hearty" chickens die from heat not cold.

    I live in Canada last year was subject to -40º (C or F take your pick) no light or heat in coop NO PROBLEMS. You have to feed heavier during cold snaps with extra corn I find.

    Chickens have been raised on this continent for over a hundred years without heat.

    If you feel you must supply heat to your chickens I suggest keeping your chickens in the house that way you can huddle with your birds when the hydro goes out.

    Chickens will die from cold if not given the chance to acclimatize. Hydro is more apt to go out in an ice storm or blizzard when subject to below 0º temperatures in my opinion.

    How would you supply heat then to your un-acclimatized birds ???

    Diary of last winter cold snap check out the link:

    https://www.backyardchickens.com/t/738994/chickens-arctic-conditions-prolonged-period

    Watering
    For along time I used heater tape around a bucket with chicken watering nipples. It worked excellent. However me being me I neglected to change the water as often as I should.

    Last year I switched to white rubber contains the wife found somewhere. The freeze solid every night but the ice just pops out of them in the morning and I replenish them with fresh warm water. They have black ones at the feed store that are similar but large than mine.

    The chickens congregate around them like people having their morning coffee. The only draw back is my yard is pepper with small ice bergs the size of the buckets.

    April looks after that however..

    [​IMG]
    I have used all types of litter for coops.

    I have not tried sand (sand gets good reviews on this site).

    Of all the things I tried to date wood pellets have been the best. (I tried wood pellets as a last resort when pine shavings were not available.) They are super absorbent and swell up and eventually turn to saw dust. The droppings just seem to vanish and turn to dust when it comes in contact with wood pellets .

    Replace my litter and clean my coop every October after I harvest my garden.


    Works for me in my deep litter method.

    I do add to pellets from time to time.

    I have anywhere from 10 to 15 birds housed in my 4x8 coop.

    Through the winter months the pellets froze harder than concrete with -40º temperatures. The poop froze before it could be absorbed by the pellets and there was like a crusty layer of poop in certain areas where they collectively took aim (no smell, messy feet or flies @ -40º). Come April things started to look after themselves.

    POOP BOARDS are the "BEST" addition yet. Handles well over ½ of the poop in my set up keeps ammonia smell in check 3½" below roost excellent for catching eggs laid through the night. I recently friction fit a piece of vinyl flooring over my poop board.it makes clean up even easier; Pop out; Scrap; Hose; Pop in.

    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.

    Easy peasy!.

    Chicken coop is salvaged 4x8 metal shed.

    [​IMG]



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    I house an assortment of birds in this baby barn (¼ inch veneer plywood between birds and elements) no heat no light no problems.
     
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  5. chris607

    chris607 New Egg

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    If they truly dont need heat, they dont need heat. :)

    My concern was manly their feet, as I read a few horror stories about frostbite. Also, air flow as the coop is pretty small. My coop is also raised off the ground 4 feet, so I dont get the benefits of the ground.

    I am going to pick up some 2" foam board for under the coop, and seal it off good. I am also going to pull my wood siding off and do 1" board in the walls, as well as caulk up the wood.
    (The entire coop is 2" wide planks)

    I'll post some pictures of my current setup tomorrow, or saturday.
     
  6. Primo

    Primo Chillin' With My Peeps

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    Drop the AC in the summer (fan would be ok if your really worried) There are members here from AZ and Texas (like myself) and other southern states. I'll be dammed if I am ever going to run AC to them. Had several days of 105 heat plus humidity here and my big buff orps did just fine. I also grew up in the cold (Mass) My grandfathers chickens were subjected to Mass winters with no heating or special treatment and did just fine. They were also smaller less feathered game birds. They are tougher and more adapted than you think.
     
  7. Bear Foot Farm

    Bear Foot Farm Overrun With Chickens

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  8. hosspak

    hosspak Chillin' With My Peeps

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    running a duct in the winter as you did during the summer would be fine. If you're worried about your chickens. Since the heat/ac is thermostat controlled inside your house not inside the coop this will not affect your bill at all. But your birds do need to get used to the cold so they will develop their winter coats. A reptile heating pad could work but don't put it between two surfaces without some ventilation. That's just looking for trouble and a higher electric bill.
     
  9. Bear Foot Farm

    Bear Foot Farm Overrun With Chickens

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    Quote: All those BTU's would have been in the house

    Every cubic foot of AIR being pumped out of the house will be replaced by OUTSIDE (cold) air coming into the house.

    I dont see how it could NOT affect the bill
     
    Last edited: Oct 25, 2013
  10. hosspak

    hosspak Chillin' With My Peeps

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    All those BTU's from the ambient room temperature from the "basement", not coming straight from the AC/Heater. Thermostat would still only control the main house. Nothing from the coop would affect the thermostat setting or cause the AC/Heater to run any differently. The fan pumping air into the coop through the duct is very small. Now if the thermostat was in the coop and a duct ran straight from the unit, that would affect the bill one way or the other...
     

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