Heating with in floor radiant heat?

Discussion in 'Coop & Run - Design, Construction, & Maintenance' started by Hauntedyards, May 12, 2011.

  1. Hauntedyards

    Hauntedyards Out Of The Brooder

    May 12, 2011
    I have some extra left form a bathroom job. I was thinking of constructing a small 2 chicken coop with the floor being self levelling cement (any other surface on top) with electric thermostat controlled heating in the slab. If I built the coop with structural insulated panels (sips) the floor heating (like in your bathroom) should keep the coop subtly warm in the -40 winters we get here...

    Any thoughts on this?


    CO-OP_COOP Out Of The Brooder

    Apr 28, 2011
    WOW! that sounds awesome...A coop with heated floors....if the walls are insulated as well it may just work...keeps us posted and pics are always a plus...
  3. ChooksinChoppers

    ChooksinChoppers Chillin' With My Peeps

    Mar 24, 2011
    Ocala, Florida.
    Oh YEAH! heated floors! I once went to a lodge in idaho they ran hot hot spring water under the sidewalks so the snow would melt on them...and around the base boards in the lodge and then into the jacusie (sp?) and then into the swimming pool...NICE! What lucky Chickens you have.
    and I get to say my first [​IMG]
    Last edited: May 12, 2011
  4. ralleia

    ralleia Chillin' With My Peeps

    Mar 22, 2011
    Omaha, NE
    Sounds great, but if I were going through that much effort I might build it to house a few more chickens than two. Or are you legally limited to two?
  5. Hauntedyards

    Hauntedyards Out Of The Brooder

    May 12, 2011
    I'm legally limited to none... lol but I live in an area of town that people get away with this stuff... it'll hold more that 2 I think... but my daughters grade 1 class is hatching them so I figured we'd give a couple a shot... legislation is in the works up here... we have a bit of a backwards council...
  6. JoePa

    JoePa Chillin' With My Peeps

    Apr 18, 2011
    Lehigh County Pa.
    I don't know- it sounds good but you'll be heating all the poop on the floor and it might cause it to smell - fried poop -
  7. ChooksinChoppers

    ChooksinChoppers Chillin' With My Peeps

    Mar 24, 2011
    Ocala, Florida.
    Hmmm fried poop.....[​IMG]
  8. patandchickens

    patandchickens Flock Mistress

    Apr 20, 2007
    Ontario, Canada
    I have never tried radiant heating in a coop, so the following is purely speculative but I strongly suspect it is also correct [​IMG] --

    The difficulty you face is that radiant heating requires a bare or nearly-bare floor. Whereas chickens more-or-less require a decently bedded floor, for ease of cleaning (poo immediately gets stomped *real hard* onto hard surfaces and is hard to get off thoroughly) and for foot/leg health, also because scratching around in <something> is such a huge part of their natural behavior.

    If you put even just 1-2" of shavings over your radiant heat floor, you would probably be losing a large fraction of whatever heating capacity it has. Even in houses, radiant floor heat doesn't work very well if you have much of the floor covered by great big furniture or by carpets (esp. non-thin carpets). They're really meant to be BARE to work effectively.

    If you could figure out a reasonable resolution to this, you might be able to do it -- but I can't offhand think of any "reasonable resolution" that would not be a major step down in quality of living for the chickens, as weighed against the really minimal-if-any benefits of radiant floor heat.

    So I am highly, highly skeptical that it'd be desirable. JMHO though, good luck, have fun,

  9. SteveK

    SteveK New Egg

    May 13, 2011
    There's a lot in your post that you don't say. Is this an electric radiant heat system, or hydronic (hot water)? It sounds like it's an electric system.

    Assuming it's an electric system, how did you end up with "extra"? Is this an extra spool or mat that is complete as if it was from the manufacturer? Or was this excess trimmed from a complete unit? If trimmed, you've got a potential problem, both in the house and in the chicken coop if you try to use the excess there. Most electric systems cannot be trimmed. Doing so can actually INCREASE the heat output beyond the design tolerances of the system and should never be done. This can be a safety hazard. Hopefully that's not the case here, and what you have is a complete system as supplied by the manufacturer.

    If you have a complete system, then it's probably safe to use in another area. Whether it is suitable for a coop, I have my concerns. As mentioned by other posters, the direct application of heat at the floor level may not be the right thing to do. Partly because of the "floor coverings" and partly because of the chickens themselves. No I'm no expert on chickens and I certainly don't know much about their physiology, but I do know about radiant heating. I have applied radiant heat in many similar types of applications - dog and (kitty) cat houses [​IMG], piggeries, horse barns, etc. I have always opted to heat these facilities by other means than floor heat - either ceiling radiant heat or Earth Storage.

    By the way, I found this post through Google and signed up here only because I was concerned that you MIGHT have a safety issue.

  10. Bossroo

    Bossroo Chillin' With My Peeps

    Jun 15, 2008
    What Pat and Steve said, plus I would be concerned that sooner or later the ammonia fumes from the chicken manure corroding the wire connections and may possibly cause a fire. Also heat, nitrates and nitrites and ammonia from the manure may form a toxic gas and bye bye chickens and/or, heaven forbid, the kids or even an adult. Too, if there is chlorinated water for the chickens and it should come in contact with the hot ammonia gas from the manure, it will form a toxic gas, again bye bye. (Think how many have died in the trenches during World Wars). Take one whiff of houshold ammonia and you will immediately see what I mean. Excellent ventilation is necessary in all electrical applications for livestock housing.

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