is a heating pad in the coop a really bad idea?

Discussion in 'Managing Your Flock' started by courtneyq, Jan 14, 2009.

  1. courtneyq

    courtneyq Out Of The Brooder

    Aug 10, 2008
    Athens, Georgia
    I have just one lone hen right now, and she is molting, and it's going to dip to 15 degrees here tomorrow night and the next. My coop isn't built for such cold weather, since I live in Georgia. I wouldn't worry much except her head is bare and she doesn't have her fully downy coat, and she doesn't have another chicken to warm up with.

    Sooo, I was thinking of putting a heating pad on low under the straw in the coop, just to keep it from getting too cold in there. I'm a little worried about a fire hazard with a light or heater, but I thought maybe a heating pad would be safe. I have one that stays on 24 hours.

    What do you think? Bad idea?
  2. ebhoneybees

    ebhoneybees Out Of The Brooder

    Dec 26, 2008
    she could get burned if she doesn't have feathers. better to put her in a crate and bring her indoors.
  3. miss_jayne

    miss_jayne Lady_Jayne

    Jun 26, 2008
    Columbiaville, MI
    i think you would want to worry more about a fire hazard with a heating pad. you would not want it coming in contact with straw.

    and if, God forbid, something happened, your insurance may not cover using a product like a heating pad for this purpose.

    a heat lamp is the safest choice. there are some made with a shatter proof covering on the bulb.

    do not put a heater in a coop.

    give her lots of bedding to get into and keep her away from drafts. bales of straw made into a little den work nicely.

    hope you find something that works for you! [​IMG]
  4. ranchhand

    ranchhand Rest in Peace 1956-2011

    Aug 25, 2008
    Yes, bad idea, I'm afraid. With a setup like that I'd be up all night worrying! About the hen and the risk of fire, which, though low is still not worth it. Find a crate, cage, box or something, and bring her in if possible.

    If that's not possible, get some bales of wheat straw and make a small pen, with her in the middle, and partially cover it.

    Good luck, I'm dealing with that same cold front tomorrow. Let me know how it goes! [​IMG]

    Last edited: Jan 14, 2009
  5. Chickie Mamma

    Chickie Mamma Farmer at Heart

    Apr 20, 2008
    Sherman, CT
    What about if one of those "outdoor" rabbit heating pads were used. They have a temp that does not go any higher than 102 degrees. Also has a protected cord. I have one out there for my rabbits and she has been laying on it for years now.
  6. chevydmax04

    chevydmax04 Out Of The Brooder

    May 14, 2008
    I have a 500watt Infrared heater in my coop, along with a 100watt heat lamp. On warmer days (relativlely speaking) above 20 I use the heat light, on nights like tonight when it is -8 right now on the way down to -20 I use the IR heater, the IR heater keeps the coop a toasty 40 or so degree's. by the way my is fully insulated. I was in there tonight and I had 4 hens kicking back around the waterdish with Pina Colada's. Seriously the heater works great it is suspended by chains from the rafters and is a minimum of 5' from any combustibles. If you put it in use a little common sense and you will be fine.
  7. Chicken Woman

    Chicken Woman Incredible Egg

    Oct 16, 2008
    I don't know how cold your talking about but If it's above freezing you could hang a 100 watt bulb at her perch height and if she is cold she will get near it. Don't let it come into contact with bedding 1 make sure it is hung securely .
  8. courtneyq

    courtneyq Out Of The Brooder

    Aug 10, 2008
    Athens, Georgia
    Thanks for all the great tips! I'll try some combination of those and avoid the heating pad. I may just bring her in, but I was going out of town Friday night, so I'm not sure how I'll manage that. I have a chicken sitter coming, so perhaps she can let her out the next day. Hope you and your chickens all keep cozy and warm!

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