Heating the Chicken coop in Winter.. Any suggestions

Discussion in 'Coop & Run - Design, Construction, & Maintenance' started by n2thestorm5032, Jun 29, 2008.

  1. What is the best way to heat the chicken coop with a portable heater, Electric no gas. What is best radiant, Wall.. ext... I don't want propane or gas, Any suggestions on what will keep the chickens warm in the winter? now winter is far a for me but I want to stay on the Bright side!
  2. jjthink

    jjthink Crowing

    Jan 17, 2007
    New Jersey
    I use ceramic heat lamps, ensuring there is no way they can touch anything or be knocked down. Just make sure you have the necessary capacity electrically. They work beautifully.
    I also use a disk furnace to help take the edge off the cold in the building within which the coop resides, a building they have the run of in the daytime (in addition to the outdoors).
    I know others on BYC have found other things that work well too - I'm sure they'll be along at some point.
    Good for you, thinking ahead!
  3. Nugget

    Nugget Songster

    Sep 2, 2007
    our coop is insulated and we have a red heat lamp in there. We have a 'remote thermometer' (hubbey likes gadgets) and we were able to easily see it never dropped below freezing all winter in the coop. Worked great for us in Nova Scotia.
  4. We're in Nova Scotia, coop is in barn, insulated. We have a brooder lamp but don't plan to use it much. We also have remote thermometer in coop and another in main aisleway of barn to compare temps. We will use an electric dog bowl ...oh and roosts made of 2/4's wide side up to keep feet warm plus two platforms which they also like. Pop door is as small as practical. See link below for pics and details...[​IMG]
    Last edited: Dec 19, 2008
  5. angels4

    angels4 Songster

    My coop is insulated, but in the winters here in New Egland I use a "SnuggleSafe". Microwavable disk that keeps the coop at a nice safe, and consistant temp. You can pick them up at most pet stores.
    ChelseaT likes this.
  6. purr

    purr Songster

    Apr 30, 2008
    east freetown, ma
    my guy at the feed store , his family has owned for 50plus years and he's worked in for 40 looked at me like I had 3 heads when I asked him about a heater for the coop.

    And then he told me it would mess up their molt and throw them all off.He said food is heat and to supplement them with corn.
    I live in southern new england and it gets well below freezing for extended periods in the winter .
    1 person likes this.
  7. Mrs MIA

    Mrs MIA Chick Magnet

    Mar 3, 2008
    I think we overdid it (sorry hubby!) our first winter. As long as the coop stays above freezing and is ventilated but draft free, you should be fine. We keep one heat lamp in there for the waterer, which keeps the water from freezing. In Jan/Feb when it's -20, -30°F, we have a second heat lamp above the roosts, and a towel tacked over the door to keep the drafts out, and that's it. The coop is insulated to keep heat in with 2" foam board.
    The 2x4s, like Lynne said, allow them to settle over their feet to keep them warm, and if you keep it above freezing in the coop then the eggs won't freeze. Definitely supplement with a little more corn in the evenings... they should be fine.
    Also, if you have a way to provide them with a covered area outside, free of snow, I think you'll be surprised to find that they do spend a lot of time outdoors in the winter.
    [​IMG] Good on ya for thinking ahead, though! [​IMG]
    3 people like this.
  8. angels4

    angels4 Songster

    Quote:I never thought of that...chickens DO come with their own duvet don't they. I've never seen city pidgeons walking around with a heater [​IMG] This year I'll try it without the snugglesafe.
    Last edited: Jun 29, 2008
  9. MissPrissy

    MissPrissy Crowing

    May 7, 2007
    Forks, Virginia
    Adult chickens do not need extra heat.

    An adult chicken properly fed in a draft free coop can generate upwards of 5 BTU's of heat per hour. Unnaturally heating them will weaken them.

    On the coldest of winter nights a good helping of cracked corn just before roost helps them generate a lot of body heat. Their feathers insulatge them and they huddle on the roost. If you worry about frost bite put a coating of vaseline on their comb and wattles - it won't freeze and protects their skin.

    When I go out in winter my barn is always noticably warmer in the chicken house.
  10. lurky

    lurky Songster

    Jun 4, 2007
    Western MA
    Our coop is well insulated and when it gets real cold, i turn on the brooder lamp for them. A friend of mine tells me i am going to love them to death [​IMG] But i cannot help it. If i am cold......everyone else must put on a sweater [​IMG] I think that the most important thing is to be safe. They are better off cold than over-cooked. I agree with the 'guy at the feed store' ....... i think too much heat messes them up, and it did some crazy stuff to my electric bill too [​IMG]

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