Heating the coop?

Discussion in 'Coop & Run - Design, Construction, & Maintenance' started by IcarusSomnio, Oct 27, 2010.

  1. IcarusSomnio

    IcarusSomnio Chillin' With My Peeps

    Apr 27, 2010
    Vernon County, MO
    My dad build me a really nice insulated coop (well, we're BUILDING it...it's not put together yet!) for the winter. You can completely take it apart for transportation, which is awesome considering it be a pain to get into the backyard otherwise. Plus is has a small run attached, for when I won't be home and don't want them wandering the yard like they usually do.

    But, my dad being the utter worry wart he is keeps insisting that I look into some kind of heating system for the coop. I think the body heat of my flock will be enough to keep them comfortable (not to mention the fact they have FEATHERS....for warmth, ya know!). It'll be draft free as well, so thats not a problem.

    I suppose he's really worried about frost bite or frozen chickens. [​IMG] We live in Missouri so we're not talking -40 at night like it was in North Dakota. Figures.

    Anyways...any suggestions for coop heating? He's really not letting it go. I also have to find something to heat my rabbit house. On that one I'm just going to agree with him...I'd like NOT to freeze my butt off cleaning my bunnies cages in the dead of winter! [​IMG]
  2. swimmer

    swimmer Chillin' With My Peeps

    Aug 17, 2010
    You won't need it where you live, and it's safer that you don't. Where I live it get's to down to zero and we don't heat. They will be fine.
  3. Beth G.

    Beth G. Gaetano Family Farm

    Depending on what kind of chickens you have most do not require heat in your climate. The only birds I've seen have problems are Big thin combed birds like Leghorns etc.. They are the only birds I've had frostbite problems with in Connecticut. The rest of my birds do just fine in an insulated coop No heat.
  4. oldchickenlady

    oldchickenlady Chillin' With My Peeps

    May 9, 2010
    Cabot, AR
    You dont need heat in the coop. As long as you have adequate ventilation but no drafts blowing on the chickens, they will be fine! Really! Too much moisture in the coop can cause problems in the extreme cold, but with good ventilation up high above the birds, they will be fine. It is best if their roost is wide enough for their feet to be covered by feathers while roosting (like a 2x4 board that they can stand flat footed on, not a round roost they have to curl their toes around to stay on). Get him to read on here how many people in colder places than Missouri do not heat their coops! Tell him about Fire hazards! Good luck getting him to change his mind...I don't have a lot of luck getting any of the men in my life (husband, sons, father) to listen to me or change their minds!
  5. 4 the Birds

    4 the Birds Chillin' With My Peeps

    Oct 15, 2010
    Westfield, Indiana
    Yes I agree with all the above that heat is not necessary. We use Hound Heaters in our dog houses and goat house. I will add one to the coup as well. Not really needed since I fully insulate all housing but we go the extra mile to moderate housing temps during the Winter (our area gets sub zero temps). If you must heat then take a look at a Hound Heater or similar. It is a heating element design (150 watt) in a large metal enclosure with a thermostat. You can dial in the heat output that you want! Not cheap at 90 bucks each but it is a safe way to go if you ultimately decide on heat. We have been using them for years and would not be without them. [​IMG] John
  6. IcarusSomnio

    IcarusSomnio Chillin' With My Peeps

    Apr 27, 2010
    Vernon County, MO
    Quote:I think we'll be putting in both flat 2x4 roosts and round roosts so they can pick which one they like the most [​IMG]

    What kind of ventilation would you recommend? Thats another problem we're having. How to ventilate without letting cold air back in? [​IMG]
  7. kathyinmo

    kathyinmo Nothing In Moderation

  8. patandchickens

    patandchickens Flock Mistress

    Apr 20, 2007
    Ontario, Canada
    Quote:Since this is not something in your control (b/c it's your dad's issue) I can certainly sympathize with your frustration [​IMG]

    What about showing him my 'cold coop' page, link in .sig below, that talks about the issue. Possibly he will believe some random stranger on the internet rather than his own kid [​IMG] -- sad but true, that is how parents are sometimes, and I *am* a parent LOL

    If that is insufficient, my suggestion would be this. In Missouri, there is pretty much zero chance that you would need *coop* heating per se... the MOST you could possibly need is a little 'pool of warmth' for particular chickens who might, for whatever reason, be on the cusp of frostbit combs, to sit under and warm their lil noggins. So, rig up a heat lamp fixture (but put only a 100w regular lightbulb in it) above part of the roost, with the fixture's guard in place and the fixture very securely attached to the coop in TWO DIFFERENT points of attachment to the coop going to TWO DIFFERENT attachment points on the lamp, not using the build-in clamp as an attachment at all. Make sure the wiring is safe. Then, leave it unplugged [​IMG] If some circumstance should arise where you have to use it -- and if you do, you may want to rethink your coop management and/or breed selection -- then it will be there, ready for you to dust the bulb off and plug the lamp in. Most likely though you will NOT use it for anything other than getting some peace from your dad. Which may be worth it <g>

    I can't speak directly to the issue of the rabbit building because all I really know about rabbits is that cool humidity is a killer to them -- but you may well find some suggestions on my cold coop page for that too, in terms of ways to help the bldg hold heat better. A greenhouse/popcan-style heater can also be very useful as long as it is coupled with enough thermal mass to let the heat stick around reasonably overnight.

    Good luck, have fun,

  9. Chook-A-Holic

    Chook-A-Holic Chillin' With My Peeps

    Oct 5, 2009
    Central, N.C.
    It sounds like your dad is a very caring person. You are soooo fortunate to have someone who takes animal husbandry so serious these days and wants to be involved with helping you. If it makes him feel better to have a little heat source in the coop, let him have at it. Spend time together researching safe ways of doing it. Don't let something like this discourage either one of you causing you to lose interest simply because you may see things a little different. We all do things different, it doesn't mean either way is right or wrong. Before you know it you will be a grownup yourself and you can do it anyway you feel like. [​IMG]

    NOW... Go hug dad and thank him for the help....Post some pics, we wanna see this coop.
    Last edited: Oct 28, 2010
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