How warm do I need to make my coop ???

mykidsdaddy

In the Brooder
10 Years
Jun 7, 2009
33
1
22
This will be my birds first winter...I am wondering just how warm do I need to make it for them. They are fully grown (Not laying yet
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) so they do have their own little "down jackets". I was thinking I would put a heat lamp on and then they could move as close to it as they needed to!
Any input???
 

gritsar

Cows, Chooks & Impys - OH MY!
13 Years
Nov 9, 2007
28,906
345
661
SW Arkansas
Where are you located and what breed(s) of chickens are we talking about?
I live in SW Arkansas. Winters are wet and temps. are in the teens, rarely lower.
I have LF brahmas and have to do absolutely nothing for them as far as winter goes. Their coop has 1/2" insulation board between the outer and inner walls. It's ventilated, but not drafty.
 

gkeesling

Songster
11 Years
Nov 24, 2008
398
2
129
Hagerstown, IN
If your chickens are fully feathered they will be able to handle fairly low temperatures if the coop is draft free. I live in Indiana and don't plan on doing anythning with the coop unless it gets to below zero for a few days in a row.
 

patandchickens

Flock Mistress
12 Years
Apr 20, 2007
12,520
349
341
Ontario, Canada
See my Cold Coop page (link in .sig below) for extensive discussion of exactly that question
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Most breeds (not unduly tiny nor huge-combed) are good well towards 0 F in a well-managed coop, i.e. one with enough ventilation to keep the air DRY and un-humid without drafts on the chickens. Many chickens are fine down to -20 F or even lower.

Good luck, have fun,

Pat
 

mykidsdaddy

In the Brooder
10 Years
Jun 7, 2009
33
1
22
Quote:
Hi!
To answer a couple of earlier questions...I have 3 Silver Wyandotts and 9 Americaunas.
I live in a very remote part of northern Nevada (about 120 miles north of Reno).

And I just read EVERY word of the Cold Coop Page! Thank You!!!

I was looking at my birds today at lunch and trying to decide just how would be the best way to heat the coop! Now I think I just need to design my walls with the right amount of insulation and the roof with some proper vents and maybe I will put the oilfilled radiator out there for the REALLY cold nights! It DOES get really cold AND windy here. But at least I know now that I DON'T need to keep them at 70* or thereabouts!!!

Thanks again!
 

Big C

J & C Farms
11 Years
Dec 15, 2008
561
3
139
Vernon Texas
Best bet is to keep it at minimum to what your breeds can handle. If you try and "pamper" them you can very easily introduce disease, etc...
 

briteday

Crowing
12 Years
Dec 16, 2008
1,223
137
266
Northern Nevada USA
I live a bit south of Reno, in an open rural area. Our birds do just fine without any additional heat source. As long as the coop is not drafty or damp...all is well. We had some nights around 0 last year and everything was fine, even with the Rhode Island reds...large combs...still no frostbite. We have good southern and western exposure, and protected northern exposure. The coop also gets good morning sun.

Last night was around 28 in our area and our coop stayed around 45. Currently we have 18 birds in an 8 x 10 shed.

Quote:
Hi!
To answer a couple of earlier questions...I have 3 Silver Wyandotts and 9 Americaunas.
I live in a very remote part of northern Nevada (about 120 miles north of Reno).

And I just read EVERY word of the Cold Coop Page! Thank You!!!

I was looking at my birds today at lunch and trying to decide just how would be the best way to heat the coop! Now I think I just need to design my walls with the right amount of insulation and the roof with some proper vents and maybe I will put the oilfilled radiator out there for the REALLY cold nights! It DOES get really cold AND windy here. But at least I know now that I DON'T need to keep them at 70* or thereabouts!!!

Thanks again!
 

Wildsky

Wild Egg!
12 Years
Oct 13, 2007
11,967
46
336
California
Chickens are tough little things.

I'm in Nebraska, we get pretty darn cold out here - I was super worried about my chickens the first winter, I kept thinking i'd open up one morning and find them all frozen to the roost!
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Never happened. (our lowest temp last year was close to -40. We did hit -40 with windchill)

I don't heat the coop with anything either - I did try a ceramic heater (for a reptile) but it wasn't putting out much heat at all, it was a waste of time really.
My coop is about 20X7 with another little coop attached which is 7X7 right now we have 14 chickens, 6 ducks and 6 guineas in that space.

My coop isn't perfect either, I have a leak on one side, found snow in the coop last year. One side is insulated, two sides have another coop or the horse barn attached and the front or south side is just plain wood, with two big windows, one window broke our first year - we put up wire, and leave it totally open all summer, we board it up over winter. Seems to work for us.
 

adoptedbyachicken

Crowing
Premium Feather Member
13 Years
Jan 11, 2007
7,704
90
314
British Columbia, Canada
Depending on the size of the coop and the number of birds don't forget they do some heating themselves! I keep a layer flock of 100 to 130 ISA browns and have my heritage breeds as well and even to -10 C the coop stays frost free inside. Lower than that outside I have to protect the water from freezing inside the coop, but that's all that gets heat here, and we can get to -35 C, which I figured out one night is about -26 C in the coop by 10 pm.

Protect them from the wind and draft yet make sure they have enough ventilation that they don't feel damp, they put out lots of water vapor. I double the depth of bedding for the cold too, and pile some in corners for those that choose to nestle rather than perch in the cold.

As stated having the right breed for your area is important, and full combs are susceptible to damage from frostbite.
 

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