Ideas for self heating coops

Discussion in 'Coop & Run - Design, Construction, & Maintenance' started by Cassidy Love, Oct 16, 2013.

  1. Cassidy Love

    Cassidy Love Chillin' With My Peeps

    Jan 4, 2013
    Georgetown Indiana
    I was thinking of using straw bales to make a warm coop so I don't have to heat waters and can heat chicks and Bantams without individual heat lamps. Anyone else have any idea of how to achieve this.
  2. Alaskan

    Alaskan The Frosted Flake

    Where are you located, or I guess the better question is how cold does it get?

    I don't like heating in coops, I think it makes more problems than it solves.

    But, blocking the wind is great.

    How much snow do you get?
  3. Alaskan

    Alaskan The Frosted Flake

  4. Cassidy Love

    Cassidy Love Chillin' With My Peeps

    Jan 4, 2013
    Georgetown Indiana
    Well this is for seramas and if it gets below 40 in the winter they will freeze to death so we have to keep heat lamps on them at all times in the winter and I am trying to avoid having to use any of them. We do not usually get a lot of snow but here in Indiana or the Ohio River valley weather can change drastically.
  5. Bear Foot Farm

    Bear Foot Farm Overrun With Chickens

    Mar 31, 2008
    Grifton NC
    Straw bales won't add any heat, and do a poor job of retaining what heat there is.
    If you want to keep it "warm', you will simply have to use a heat source
  6. Alaskan

    Alaskan The Frosted Flake

    Wow, are Seramas really that delicate?

    Actually, I wonder if the big temperature swings are harder for them than the cold.
  7. JLaw

    JLaw Chillin' With My Peeps

    Mar 18, 2013
    Forestville NY
    They don't do well in cold from what i'm reading. I googled them and that's what i'm comeing up with. Remember chickens make they're own heat they hold it in with they're down and feathers. You need air flow to get rid of moister so it don't collect on them and give the frost bite. Now from what i'm reading seramas are the smallest chickens wich mean they will probably put off the least heat being so small. Also depends on the down and feathers of chicken as to how well they hold the heat in.
  8. AlienChick

    AlienChick Chillin' With My Peeps

    Apr 9, 2010
    Glasgow, KY
    You 'can' raise Seramas with no heat.
    They are tropical birds by geography, but very few of us actually live and raise our birds in the tropics.
    I keep my Seramas outside in the coop with my egg layers.
    They do fine in the winter and in the snow.
    Temps can get in the teens here.
    I watch them, tho, just to make sure they're moving about with the others.
    If they (or any of my birds) stay inside the coop huddled up and not foraging with the rest, I'll remove it and keep it inside a shed (still no artificial heat).
    Keep them out of drafts.
  9. Hokum Coco

    Hokum Coco Overrun With Chickens

    Dec 6, 2012
    New Brunswick,Canada
    My Coop is a salvaged 4x8 metal shed here are a few tips and a quick look at my set up.
    My floor are planks with a layer of tin for rodent proofing. On top of the tin I have a piece of vinyl flooring cut one foot longer than the length and width of my coop (roughly). Six inches squares are cut out of the 4 corners of the vinyl flooring. This allows the friction fitted flooring to travel up the walls six inches around the perimeter of my 4x8 salvaged metal coop. Shovel out the heavy stuff into a wheel barrow. Pop out the vinyl flooring hose it off pop it back in.
    Easy Peasy!

    I have been around the sun 63 times.

    It is not my first "Rodeo!"

    Nobody "I know" heats a chicken coop.

    Healthy "cold hearty" chickens die from heat not cold.

    I live in Canada last year was subject to -40º (C or F take your pick) no light or heat in coop NO PROBLEMS. You have to feed heavier during cold snaps with extra corn I find.

    Chickens have been raised on this continent for over a hundred years without heat.

    If you feel you must supply heat to your chickens I suggest keeping your chickens in the house that way you can huddle with your birds when the hydro goes out.

    Chickens will die from cold if not given the chance to acclimatize. Hydro is more apt to go out in an ice storm or blizzard when subject to below 0º temperatures in my opinion.

    How would you supply heat then to your un-acclimatized birds ???

    Diary of last winter cold snap check out the link:

    For along time I used heater tape around a bucket with chicken watering nipples. It worked excellent. However me being me I neglected to change the water as often as I should.

    Last year I switched to white rubber contains the wife found somewhere. The freeze solid every night but the ice just pops out of them in the morning and I replenish them with fresh warm water. They have black ones at the feed store that are similar but large than mine.

    The chickens congregate around them like people having their morning coffee. The only draw back is my yard is pepper with small ice bergs the size of the buckets.

    April looks after that however..

    I have used all types of litter for coops.

    I have not tried sand (sand gets good reviews on this site).

    Of all the things I tried to date wood pellets have been the best. (I tried wood pellets as a last resort when pine shavings were not available.) They are super absorbent and swell up and eventually turn to saw dust. The droppings just seem to vanish and turn to dust when it comes in contact with wood pellets .

    Replace my litter and clean my coop every October after I harvest my garden.

    Works for me in my deep litter method.

    I do add to pellets from time to time.

    I have anywhere from 10 to 15 birds housed in my 4x8 coop.

    Through the winter months the pellets froze harder than concrete with -40º temperatures. The poop froze before it could be absorbed by the pellets and there was like a crusty layer of poop in certain areas where they collectively took aim (no smell, messy feet or flies @ -40º). Come April things started to look after themselves.

    POOP BOARDS are the "BEST" addition yet. Handles well over ½ of the poop in my set up keeps ammonia smell in check 3½" below roost excellent for catching eggs laid through the night (roost are in cups for easier removal and cleaning). I recently friction fit a piece of vinyl flooring over my poop makes clean up even easier; Pop out; Scrap; Hose; Pop in.

    In my nest boxes I fold a feed bag to fit (nest boxes are 1 ft³). When a bag gets soiled; fold a new one; pop out the soiled; pop in the new.

    Easy peasy!.

    Chicken coop is salvaged 4x8 metal shed.




    I house an assortment of birds in this baby barn (¼ inch veneer plywood between birds and elements) no heat no light no problems.
  10. Going Quackers

    Going Quackers Overrun With Chickens

    May 24, 2011
    On, Canada
    This sounds like good advice. Heat lamps worry me, why? well obvious fire risk but more if you loose the ability for them to work(hydro outage, lamp breaks/dies) that sudden drop for birds accustomed to a warmer temp could prove deadly.

    You could try insulating the coop, windows i find let tons of light in and warm sun.
    Last edited: Oct 29, 2013

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