Official BYC Poll: How do you keep your flock warm in the winter?

How do you keep your flock warm in the winter?

  • I've Insulated Their Coop

    Votes: 67 26.9%
  • I use the Deep Litter Method

    Votes: 70 28.1%
  • I use Heat Lamps

    Votes: 15 6.0%
  • I provide lots of draft-free ventilation

    Votes: 124 49.8%
  • I use Sweeter Heaters

    Votes: 5 2.0%
  • I use Plate Heaters

    Votes: 10 4.0%
  • Nothing, their feathers keep them warm

    Votes: 144 57.8%
  • Other (elaborate in comments section)

    Votes: 28 11.2%

  • Total voters
    249

h2ocutiegirl

Hatching
Jun 19, 2020
3
0
6
I use the producer's pride coop heater. I only have 3 girls and this is their first winter. Also one of my girls is prone to respiratory problems. I live in nevada so it gets pretty cold at night. My girls LOVE it. I love it too because I know they're not getting too cold or too warm as the heater turns off as the coop gets to temp.
 

MykaMom

Songster
Apr 19, 2019
171
445
127
Bishop Hill, Illinois
It's rare, but we can get to -30°. Their coop is a very, VERY old drafty wooden shed. I bought a safety heater made for small spaces at Walmart for $12. It's cool to the touch. There's a safety shut off if it's tipped over, plus it has an overheat shutoff.

I've run one in the coop every winter for the past 8, if for no other reason than preventing the water from freezing up.

I've had to replace them every year as well. The higher dust environment seems to shorten their lifespans. And I feel better knowing the unit is in good working order each Winter so there's just that much less risk.
 

NH-Song

Chirping
Apr 18, 2019
39
71
64
New Hampshire, USA
When we built the coop, we insulated it like a house (R19 between the exterior walls and the interior plywood, and rockwool under the floor), and I use deep litter (mostly for the ease of maintenance). I use a heated water container and have a cozy coop heater on a device which only lets it turn on when the temperature is before freezing fahrenheit.

I live in the seacoast area of New Hampshire. Last winter was (relatively) mild, but the chickens definitely preferred being indoors as the air was bitter. I have no idea what this winter will be like.
 
Apr 10, 2019
58
108
73
I live in New York State, about 90 minutes south of Montreal, Quebec. We get frigid temps here in the heart of winter; -10 to -30F are temps that are common in January and February. My chickens have sufficient room and roosting in the DLM coops, and I’ve layered bales of straw up against the side walls of their pen to fight the frigid winds. They hop around on them all winter, pooping away, then I have excellent, pre-conditioned straw to either have for straw bale growing, or break up the straw and use it for mulch in the gardens. I also bank around the outside of the coop with straw bales to keep drafts from underneath my coops. One is about 3’ off the ground, and the addition is about 20” off the ground. I’ve never seen frostbite and I’m afraid if I put in heaters, they won’t do their Mother Nature response to the cold and then have real problems if a blizzard hits and the electricity goes. Their bodies need to learn to respond properly to the weather conditions. I see them snuggling together sometimes, so they know what to do. Every morning, they’re up and moving around, so they’re fine without the fire-risky additional heat. I give lots of high-protein treats when it’s really frigid, and bring them warm oatmeal with chili pepper in it. They love it! Their water is slightly warm from the heater that keeps it from freezing, so that helps too. Birds are smart. They know what to do when it’s really cold. I try to let them have natural lives.
 

dct10

In the Brooder
Aug 24, 2020
25
36
39
deep litter, draft-free coop w good top ventilation and 2 flat panel heaters afixed to walls for very cold nights. I only turn the heaters on when it's frigid- <10 degrees. I try to keep th coop at about 35 degrees on these nights.
 

KyCarolyn

In the Brooder
Oct 23, 2020
2
15
18
I do not heat or insulate in winter. I only worry about keeping the flock out of direct direct cold air.
Due to an increase in flock: This year i went from a great 2 story wood coop that had run on ground level and roosts & boxes on 2nd floor. With a larger roofed exterior run. Poop and food mess in coop was never a major issue because they only laid eggs and slept in there. Now I have a large covered hoop coop with unroofed exterior run. Wow has my work load increased!
Now I fight coop heat/cold, humidity and ammonia, and preditors in outside run! I found proper ventilation is vital now! In the summer the coop cover sides will be rolled up and this first winter sides down with bottom half of large front and back doors uncovered for airflow. The roosts are set high & back away from doors.
I built the new coop over part of the deep bed large run. That proved to create too much ammonia. So i leveled the floor, lined it with chicken wire, then added sand. Every morning I let the flock out, collect eggs, food & water, then scoop poop ( i wear a mask). This is working ok so far, but is way more work. I may have to go back to a smaller flock and reopen the wood coop :(

I would love to hear safer, cheaper better ways to keep a flock in a hoop coop, if there is any.
I also have a hoop coop, 8 x10. We put wheels on it and move it every few days. We pulled it by hand but now use the tractor. I don't know if this is an option for you. We can handle about 17 chickens. They free range an hour or so each day. Sorry that I don't have a picture at this time.
 

Duckee

Crowing
6 Years
Jun 11, 2014
839
1,027
251
Southern Illinois
I also have a hoop coop, 8 x10. We put wheels on it and move it every few days. We pulled it by hand but now use the tractor. I don't know if this is an option for you. We can handle about 17 chickens. They free range an hour or so each day. Sorry that I don't have a picture at this time.
Thanks for sharing.
I wish I could move mine, but that is not an option :(
 

writerskramp

Chirping
Oct 20, 2020
141
243
93
Cut down on direct wind but not ventilation, dry litter and unfrozen water and food.. ever wear a down vest.. They don't have to shop at the mall for one.. and look better.
 

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