Heating the coop for young chickens in winter? Sweeter Heater?

Discussion in 'Coop & Run - Design, Construction, & Maintenance' started by calawson, Oct 16, 2016.

  1. calawson

    calawson Just Hatched

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    We recently adopted 3 BO pullets, currently 3 weeks. We weren’t planning on getting chicks until spring, but the neighbors ended up with too many chicks and needed to get rid of some quick and my kids fell in love so…now we have chicks. I am not really as prepared for this as I would have been in the spring and have so many questions. My main question is: do young chickens need heat in the winter. I have read all the articles about not heating adult chickens in the winter, but nothing about young chickens. We live in the northwest and our winter temperature averages are about 22F, but goes below 0 several times a winter. Heat lamps are not an option for me, so I was thinking about getting a Sweeter Heater. Would that be sufficient for younger birds? If so, what size? We currently have the Brinsea EcoGlow20 in their brooder and love it. Any advice for wintering young birds is welcome. Thanks!
     
  2. redsoxs

    redsoxs Chicken Obsessed

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    If you wait another couple of weeks before taking them out of their brooder they will be full feathered and fine in an unheated coop - provided the coop is draft-free (but has ventilation). In my state we can some cold winter nights. My birds have a metal, uninsulated coop and they are good to go.
     
  3. aart

    aart Chicken Juggler! Premium Member

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    Do you have a coop for them yet?
    What are your night temps now?

    I'd start weaning them off the heat now......
    ......and/or at least cool the room the brooder is in down to outside temps.

    Take them outside for field trips in a day pen to acclimate them to being outdoors.
     
  4. calawson

    calawson Just Hatched

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    The coop isn't quite finished yet, but hopefully this weekend it will be completed, but their brooder is plenty large in the mean time. I was planning on completely removing their supplemental heat on Wednesday and then I will start transitioning their temp down. The temps for the next few weeks seem to be in the high 30s/low 40s and 50's in the day time. How big of temperature shift is too much at once? I have a room that I have turned the heat off and will later open the window.
     
    Last edited: Oct 17, 2016
  5. aart

    aart Chicken Juggler! Premium Member

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    I would open the windows now to start exposing them to cooler temps before completely removing heat.

    Also consider making them a 'huddle box',
    put it in the brooder after turning off the heat(you might have to 'persuade' them to use it) then move it out to the coop with them.
    Cardboard box with a bottom a little bigger than what they need to cuddle next to each other without piling and tall enough for them to stand in.
    Cut an opening on one side a couple inches from bottom and big enough for 2-3 of them to go thru at once.
    Fill the bottom with some pine shavings an inch or so deep.
    This will give them a cozy place to sleep/rest, block any drafts and help hold their body heat in.
     
  6. calawson

    calawson Just Hatched

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    Thanks! Those are great ideas, we will get that set up.
     

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