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

austrianalps13

Songster
6 Years
Sep 20, 2014
62
137
136
Harpers Ferry WV
I seem to have the same conversation with my husband every year. He is not used to livestock keeping and wants to put heat lamps with the chickens. To me, they present a fire hazard and also make the hens more sensitive to the cold once they leave the lamp area. I have a small coop without a draft, but good ventilation and clean out their coop once a week. I replace shavings and straw shreds also once a week. I provide a dry area for sand/dust baths in the chicken run. Unless the water bucket freezes solid I don't worry about the cold. I have a heated waterer for that time.
 

Barbs Brood

In the Brooder
Apr 11, 2020
8
46
37
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.

If you don't mind, could you please post a picture of your "coop cover sides will be rolled up and this first winter sides down"? Our coop is hardware cloth on 3 sides and we were looking for something that rolls up/down to block the winter winds. Thanks!
 

ajackalope

Chirping
Nov 9, 2016
50
46
89
Mercer county, NJ
We just put up some barriers to block the drafts on the wall that gets the most wind. I have heated waterers and a double door. The top half of the door gets shut about November, depending on the temperature. The bottom door gets closed only for blizzards. I bed them in sand so moisture isn't a problem. If it gets to negative temps( that hasn't happened in the last few years) I'll put one of the broader lights on and the girls will dust bathe in the warm sand. They also get a warm breakfast in the really bad weather. Just their feed mixed with some warm water and vegetable scraps. They suck it up before it has time to get cold.
 

Granitestater

Songster
Jul 19, 2019
116
171
108

Granitestater

Songster
Jul 19, 2019
116
171
108
This is my first winter with chickens. So far the cold nights we did have worried my husband more (he wanted to put a ceramic heater in) I say just wait and see how they do without.
Insulate, put plenty od hay out, use sweeter heater; they may tolerate the cold but their faces look miserable! (NH)
 

kubotafoot

Songster
6 Years
Apr 12, 2014
232
174
156
Burlington, Connecticut
I am in NW connecticut and many days it is really cold. (but not today) I have good ventilation in the barn and use the deep litter method (hay, pine shavings and DRY fall leaves). I do have 2 heated pig mats under the roosts and sleeping boxes for the senior citizens, for frigid days, and they love it on those cold winter days/nights. Days I open the doors but have a rectangular cloth curtain hanging down with a fold back for the birds to go in and out at opposite ends of the barn to cut down on severe drafts. I have Christmas popcorn tins (you know the kind they sell w/ 3 flavors of popcorn in them.....) outfitted with a bulb socket holder on the bottom and a normal old fashioned light bulb wired into them. It gives off enough heat to keep their water from freezing when set on top of them and if it gets real cold, some of the hens will snuggle up to them for a bit of warmth. Right now I have 3 month old chicks in a separate stall and they do have a plant/seed starting mat under the box where they sleep, only because they are still young, but it will be removed as they age.
 

Granitestater

Songster
Jul 19, 2019
116
171
108
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.
Is it a radiant heater? Could you tell me about it? Fire concerns?
 

Granitestater

Songster
Jul 19, 2019
116
171
108
I am in NW connecticut and many days it is really cold. (but not today) I have good ventilation in the barn and use the deep litter method (hay, pine shavings and DRY fall leaves). I do have 2 heated pig mats under the roosts and sleeping boxes for the senior citizens, for frigid days, and they love it on those cold winter days/nights. Days I open the doors but have a rectangular cloth curtain hanging down with a fold back for the birds to go in and out at opposite ends of the barn to cut down on severe drafts. I have Christmas popcorn tins (you know the kind they sell w/ 3 flavors of popcorn in them.....) outfitted with a bulb socket holder on the bottom and a normal old fashioned light bulb wired into them. It gives off enough heat to keep their water from freezing when set on top of them and if it gets real cold, some of the hens will snuggle up to them for a bit of warmth. Right now I have 3 month old chicks in a separate stall and they do have a plant/seed starting mat under the box where they sleep, only because they are still young, but it will be removed as they age.
I like how you're concerned for their comfort. ❤
 

chickencoop57

Songster
Aug 24, 2019
183
344
134
Pipe Creek, Tx
Here in San Antonio, Tx area it doesnt get as cold as up north, however I still use 2 heat lamps on timers, securely braced to the ceiling of my 4'x8' enclosed Coop and I do have good ventilation in it, as well.
 

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