Is my coop warm enough for chicks overnight?


8 Years
May 16, 2011
Brisbane, Australia
The coop has four walls (double layer with an air pocket in between), the floor is waist high off the ground with a hole in it off to one side for the ramp to come up through, and a wire mesh ceiling with polycarbonate panels 20cm above it. I can put cardboard or plywood temporarily over the mesh at night to keep a bit more warmth in, and will be installing a sliding cover for the ramp opening to reduce drafts coming up from below if needed.

The babies are spending their days in the enclosed run at the moment and in a week or so I'd like to start putting them in the coop at night as well once they've feathered out more but wonder if it will be warm enough. As long as the coop is kept dry and draft free and I have a good layer of litter/shavings in there will 5wk/6wk old babies be OK in there? It is getting quite warm here during the day (mid-summer, temps averaging a 65 - 68 low at night and up to 86 - 90 during the day).

I will get a thermometer to see if I can find out what the temp is inside the coop at night, but any opinions or tips in the meantime would be great.

Do you have a picture of the ceiling? Is there openings in the top for ventilation between the mesh and the roof? WIth temps in the 60's your young chickens will be just fine if not in heaven:). How many chicks are you putting in??
Here's a couple of pics that show the interior and the gap between the mesh and the roof. (These are earlier progress pics - there will of course be roosts and bedding in there for the newbies).

I'd make the plywood a little narrower than the actual area so there would still be ventilation around the edges of it. There will only be 4 chicks going in there initially - I'll move the two hens in once the chicks grow big enough to integrate. At a pinch I could put the nest boxes in there for them to huddle in if it gets too cold, but I'm hoping to leave those out until the bigger girls are able to move in as well so the smaller ones don't get into the habit of sleeping in there.


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That looks like a completely open coop. Ventilation will be no problem at all. I wouldnt put anything like cardboard or plywood over the vents except chicken wire to keep climbing predators out. For the wood enclosed part it looks like theres a window in there which is good if it stays open but again...wire cover it for safety. Chickens can handle very cold temps like 20's-30's no prob so you wont even have to insulate or cover with plastic. I wouldnt worry about drafts either. The chicks could prob go out very soon without heat
I would say as long as the chooks are fully feathered bc you are in summertime there right now I believe with warm enough weather I would go for it. I was insistent that when we started that at 6 to 8 weeks I would be about to start them in the days outside all day and bring them in at night until fully feathered. My girls were feathered out completely by the end of the 7th week and out they went to never have heat put on them again. Goo luck and enjoy the kids.
I have been using a commercial barn type shed for the baby chicks but now that they are feathered, the have been evicted to a cage with all the immenities.
Makes me wonder how the game chicks survive when they free range with no help from humans. Or maybe I wonder knowing that they survive alone.... why do I go to such painstaking lengths to build pens that cost more than did my bedroom to remodel!

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