Heating the doghouse chicken coop

Discussion in 'Coop & Run - Design, Construction, & Maintenance' started by Percysmom, Sep 15, 2011.

  1. Percysmom

    Percysmom Chillin' With My Peeps

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    Aug 21, 2011
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    My Coop
    Do I need to provide heat in the doghouse that I am keeping Percy and Petunia in? It usually is in the 20s and 30s here in the winter but sometimes gets down to alittle below zero
     
  2. ChickensAreSweet

    ChickensAreSweet Heavenly Grains for Hens

    I put a 60 watt bulb in my tiny hutches and a 100 watt bulb in the shed just to keep them comfy but not too warm. (So it won't shock their systems as they come out in the morning.)

    I want my pets to be comfortable. But if the power goes out and it's 10 degrees out, having been used to the heat, I will take them hot water in milk jugs to keep them going (these work well in the smaller hutches but not so well in the shed except for the silkies on the ground in the shed).

    My area is VERY windy and damp all winter since they are on a hill. And all my coops are uninsulated.
     
  3. Percysmom

    Percysmom Chillin' With My Peeps

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    Aug 21, 2011
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    My Coop
    My coop is up against a shed so is protected from the North winds. My run is also against the shed and is covered. We don't have electric back there but my husband could run and extension cord but I don't know where to put the bulb cause I am putting straw inside and wouldn't want it to catch fire.
     
  4. ChickensAreSweet

    ChickensAreSweet Heavenly Grains for Hens

    Quote:If you don't have a safe place to put the bulb then I have to ask which breeds you have. There are some breeds that are definitely not cold hardy and some that are just balls of feathers.

    Also, it is hard to tell in your avatar, but if the doghouse has no front door on it the wind will come in. They need to be out of the wind entirely, or the breeze will steal their warmth from the fluff of their feathers. Maybe you can make a little door but leave some ventilation?

    Also, I just wanted to mention that a lot of BYC members offer no heat in the winter, but a lot of them also have insulated coops- not like mine that have lots of gaps in them - actually drafty a bit. That is why I feel obligated to keep them warm by a bulb.

    My suggestion is to put a huddle box inside the coop for them if it will fit, with the closed end of it facing the door of the coop. They will be able to get entirely out of the wind and huddle together tightly to stay warm. You can use a covered kitty litter pan or cardboard box, etc.

    Don't risk a fire IMO if you don't have good feelings about it. But if you have the breeds that will freeze to death then something must be done (like seramas- but the one in your avatar looks nice and big, lol).
     
    Last edited: Sep 15, 2011
  5. Percysmom

    Percysmom Chillin' With My Peeps

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    Aug 21, 2011
    Pennsylvania
    My Coop
    I have Rhode Island Reds. I do have a little plastic bin that the one chicken loved to sleep in when they were seperated for awhile. It would fit in there facing toward the back. Only 1 chicken would fit in it though. I do plan on putting a door on for the winter months.
     
  6. Ozark Lady

    Ozark Lady New Egg

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    Sep 13, 2011
    How old are these chicks? Once they feather out, I have never provided heat! I do put plastic on the henhouse to keep wind out.

    I have lost many more chickens from heat than cold.

    I even store water in the henhouse, sealed, to be sure that I have liquid water for the animals... my chickens are the heaters! [​IMG]

    That sounds mean, I don't mean it that way, I remember the first bunch and how I worried over them! [​IMG]

    My chickens are free range and have choices of where to roost, hang out, or forage.

    It was below freezing for weeks last year, and a hen hatched new chicks for Christmas, quite a surprise! Those I had to use a light on and cage till spring.

    I have many breeds, I like to order a mixture, get a 100 or so and figure them out. My last order was 200, I won't do that again, or will I?

    And yes, I do name some of them and get attached to them.
     
  7. ChickensAreSweet

    ChickensAreSweet Heavenly Grains for Hens

    Quote:What I have done in the past is place a canvas tarp over a hutch to keep the wind out and to offer a little insulation (the air space forms a barrier of insulation) and it helps a lot. If you draped a canvas tarp (they don't blow around like the plastic ones too much) over the doghouse being careful to leave a hole for air to come through (draped over most of it, for example) it might help.

    The door will help them a lot, too.
     
  8. Percysmom

    Percysmom Chillin' With My Peeps

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    Aug 21, 2011
    Pennsylvania
    My Coop
    Thanks, I think I am going to put some straw bales around the outside and lots of deep pine chips inside and we are making a door too. There are vents at the top back of the coup for ventilation. I might also leave a small space at the door.
     

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