Keeping the Coop Warm in the Winter

rosemarythyme

Free Ranging
Jul 3, 2016
5,981
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642
Pac NW
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My hubby was worried about his girls so he ended up putting in a ceramic barrel heater at night we close the door and it keeps it at 40 deg f and the temp outside this morning was 7 f .
I'd be a little concerned about this... it's a temperature shock if it's 40 inside and 7 outside, as they're going in and out. They don't really need the heat, it mostly just makes us as humans feel better, but a big enough temperature drop can sicken or kill a bird.

You can put leaves in the run however keep in mind that leaves will start breaking down and can get slimy. Ideally you'd mix them with other litter, such as chunky aged wood chips, which would help provide drainage and aeration to the leaf mix as it breaks down.

I've already tossed in several inches of leaves into my run and will be adding more soon. I also have some 18 bags more in storage for use in the run and for composting throughout next year, so I do make sure to put my leaves to good use!
 

aart

Chicken Juggler!
Premium member
7 Years
Nov 27, 2012
71,328
72,632
1,557
SW Michigan
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My hubby was worried about his girls so he ended up putting in a ceramic barrel heater at night we close the door and it keeps it at 40 deg f and the temp outside this morning was 7 f .
I'd be a little concerned about this... it's a temperature shock if it's 40 inside and 7 outside, as they're going in and out. They don't really need the heat, it mostly just makes us as humans feel better, but a big enough temperature drop can sicken or kill a bird.
Plus if it can keep the coop 40 when it's 7 outside,
there's likely not enough ventilation....
...or your electric bill is sky high.
 

trumpeting_angel

Free Ranging
Feb 6, 2019
1,595
5,831
567
Vermont
If you like, post some photos of your coop and run, including inside. If you can handle a lot more suggestions: people will offer all sorts of advice. The opinions will differ. Folks with years of experience will sometimes differ, but in general won’t steer you wrong.

Have you been welcomed to BYC? I haven’t kept up with the new member intro thread, but if not,

:welcome !
 

NHMountainMan

Crowing
Premium member
Feb 25, 2019
898
3,348
492
New Hampshire
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As @trumpeting_angel said, the note info you provide, the more advice you’ll get- sometimes conflicting but always well intended to help.
I live to your east in the granite state. My issues are elevation and exposure to wind in addition to cold. I got a lot of great advice, and I’m monitoring temp inside the coop vs outside, without heating. I am providing heated water in a closed container to prevent humidity increase leading to moisture and condensation.

Two things I haven’t seen addressed in this thread is the type and number of chickens. Are they cold hardy breeds (smaller combs, fully feathered?). The number is relevant in relation to their body heat adding to the coops temp, and their droppings and respiration adding heat and moisture.

I own cold hardy dual purpose breeds and was planning on reducing flock size to 6 chickens through the winter. After listening to advice on here, much of it conflicting, I opted to carry over 10 chickens. I could always send more to the freezer if my ventilation can’t handle the number of chickens.

I learn something every day with my flock. We’ve had some single digit nights and teens during the day with wind chills well below 0. And so far my ladies are wandering outside almost ignoring the weather. And when they need to warm up- the go into the run or coop. Their instinct for self preservation is strong!
 

parrotlady66

Chirping
Apr 8, 2019
70
186
71
Plus if it can keep the coop 40 when it's 7 outside,
there's likely not enough ventilation....
...or your electric bill is sky high.
so far so good on the electric bill but we are just getting started on colder weather, i think we are good for ventilation as there is no condensation in the coop or on the windows
we left an opening at the top of the run ,didn't completely seal it it plastic, and in the coop there is to vents one at either end, i think it's a matter of regulating every thing I have told hubby the girls will be fine around 32 deg right at freezing point, but he is a worry wart
thanks for your input
 

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