Negative temps in uninsulated chicken coop

Mellowmalt

Songster
Jan 24, 2021
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hay is one of the best insulation materials which I think is good to know. Since you are planning to insulate which I think is a good idea. Chickens might not need it but you do hear the odd story of the cold causing roosters to get frostbite so it can be a problem even if most breeds are well capable of handling the cold especially if they can huddle together.
I would rather treat my birds than just know they can handle it.
The advice about a dry coop is very valid but too much ventilation is the same as a draft.
The coop should stay dry but not lose all its heat. Some coops are built far better than others just by coincidence.
Some people need heat lamps, or insulation. Some chickens are used to russian winters, others are used to tropical weather. It won't be the same for every person or every chicken.

If you have a heat lamp then by all means use it for the few days, worst scenario is you waste a few cents on electricity (as long as it can't be knocked down so secure it well) but if you don't use it and they get frostbite the effects will be permanent so although I agree that a heat lamp should not be needed it should be a personal decision based on the circumstances. -15 is 10 degrees lower than I would expose my birds to without some added hay at least.
 

aart

Chicken Juggler!
Premium Feather Member
9 Years
Nov 27, 2012
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My Coop
My Coop
20 birds should create enough body heat if there is no drafts.
With adequate ventilation, no coop will/should 'hold heat'.

Hello friends! We have negative temperatures coming, and a couple days next week are going to be -15 with single digits of the high reaching up to 6°. We have recently built a new coop however, it is not insulated yet. Do I need to put a heat lamp or a small heater in there during those nights? The coop is secure with no Holes for wind drafts to come through and we have about 20 birds. I don’t want my little chicken friends to get too cold.
Posting dimensions and some pics of your coop, inside and out, would help immensely here.
 

JacinLarkwell

Crossing the Road
Mar 19, 2020
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Not sure the exact size of the coop, but I allowed at least 4 square/ft per bird. And we have air vents at the top of the coop that we can close off. Should I leave them open during the cold spells?
Bit late with this comment, but mine actually seemed much happier when I did open one of their windows more, even if it let a little snow in.
 
When I started doing chickens in 2014 I spent the first five winters stressing about keeping them warm. I closed the coops, I put a panel heater in the coops. I ended up with FROSTBITE and respiratory illnesses.

Now, I keep a window near the ceiling open, I added vents to both ends of the coops and also added a solar powered roof vent to both coops. insulated both coops, floor and ceiling. I still do put the panel heater in but I keep everything open. No frostbite so far.

Ventilation is about 1000x more important than heat / warmth.
 
When I started doing chickens in 2014 I spent the first five winters stressing about keeping them warm. I closed the coops, I put a panel heater in the coops. I ended up with FROSTBITE and respiratory illnesses.

Now, I keep a window near the ceiling open, I added vents to both ends of the coops and also added a solar powered roof vent to both coops. insulated both coops, floor and ceiling. I still do put the panel heater in but I keep everything open. No frostbite so far.

Ventilation is about 1000x more important than heat / warmth.
Edited to add: I am near Chicago and we have had two solid weeks of below 10F temperatures, going into the below 0F for a few nights. All good here w chickens!
 

Cryss

Eggcentric
Nov 12, 2017
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Northwest New Jersey
As long as you have good ventilation, no drafts, and enough space for 20 birds, they'll be fine.

I agree that an adequate amount of properly- placed ventilation is more important.
Heat lamps are a fire hazard. You’ll read tragic stories every year. We pay a good amount of money for down jackets. Chickens grow them.
 
Agreed. There is however a safe option for the heat lamps, and they don't throw a LOT of heat. https://www.chewy.com/cozy-products...erm=4584688614926622&utm_content=All Products

Funny story about this company. They used to make this panel and market it as a Leg Warmer for people who work in cold offices to put under their desks. Then the Chicken Chick wrote a long article about how great it was for keeping chicken coops warm and the company now packages the same panel as a coop heater. ;-) Smart!!
 

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