Safest heater?

Discussion in 'Coop & Run - Design, Construction, & Maintenance' started by HaloAmanda, Oct 1, 2016.

  1. HaloAmanda

    HaloAmanda Out Of The Brooder

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    What's the safest affordable heater for use in the coop?

    My coop is a walk in 8x8 with sheet rocked walls. We use pine shavings on the floor.
     
  2. junebuggena

    junebuggena Chicken Obsessed

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    You don't need to heat a coop in Connecticut. Ventilation, and lots of it, is more important.
     
  3. HaloAmanda

    HaloAmanda Out Of The Brooder

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    I know a lot say that but I also have had birds in the past get frost bite and everyone is saying this is going to be a hard winter and my chicks are all currently under 6 weeks they will not be full grown adapted adults and I have a couple lighter breeds.
    The coop has electric hooked up to it so I want to have a heater just running on low to prevent freezing conditions in the coop.

    And the coop has ventilation ports on 2 sides. Also plan on having a carpenter adjust the fixed window to be able to open it on hinges come spring.
     
  4. NateNate20

    NateNate20 Just Hatched

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    I used a red, standard, Sunbeam lamp. If worked great for my chicks. You might need two or three for a coop that big. Try not to use white lamps as it'll possibly cause them to become aggressive and maybe even canibalistic.
     
  5. CluckerCottage

    CluckerCottage Chillin' With My Peeps

    I use old fashioned double-secured caged heat lamps for my central NY winters.
    Also use the cinder block/light bulb method for keeping their water from freezing.
    Good ventilation is key for keeping your birds dry and healthy, I agree w/ junebuggena on that.
     
  6. junebuggena

    junebuggena Chicken Obsessed

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    If you have had frostbite issues, it's more likely due to inadequate ventilation. Coops need a lot of ventilation. A lot more than most people realize.
     
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  7. junebuggena

    junebuggena Chicken Obsessed

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    Also, if you have enough ventilation, having a heater would be pointless. The warm air would just leave the coop via the venting, providing no real benefit to the flock.
    You need to open that coop up more above roosting level.
     
    2 people like this.
  8. Blooie

    Blooie Team Spina Bifida Premium Member

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    My Coop
    x 1000 on every one of @junebuggena 's responses.

    Ventilation,not adding heat, is the key to avoiding frostbite. I have 3 windows, and keep the one on the downside of the wind open all year long. If the wind is coming from the west, the west window gets closed.....from the south, the south window is the one that's closed. I also have vents high up on the north and the west sides, and I can open or close them. I have a mobile home exhaust fan which can be operated either open and running (for summer) or left open but with the fan part turned off for winter. I have a gable vent on the east side. I also have a vent down low to the floor on the west side directly opposite of their pop door into the run, which is open 24/7. I'm up in Northern Wyoming, not too far from Yellowstone Park,and we know some pretty harsh winters here as well. A few years ago our last snowfall was on June 6th.

    Warmer air, added by artificial means, is going to rise and go right out the ventilation you have and doesn't do the chickens much good unless they are standing right in front of it or right under it.. But the mix of the warm air from the heater and the colder ambient air is going to help create humidity from their waste, their water (if you keep it in the coop) and their breathing. That humidity is going to collect and then build up on combs and wattles, similar to when you take a cold can of soda out of the fridge and set it on the counter. Condensation will begin to build immediately on the surface of the can. That humidity on those combs and wattles is what causes them to freeze.

    I do not heat my coop, nor do I have any insulation. I keep my run covered with clear greenhouse plastic during the winter, but even then it doesn't completely cover the run. The south side is set up so that I can roll it up or down, like a window shade except I roll it from the top down. Most of the time that is open - I only close it off completely when snow is blowing in from that direction, and even then it's just for a few hours. Likewise there is a gap between the top of the run and the plastic high up on the north side. On the east and west, the long sides of the run, the plastic does not go all the way to the ground. There is a gap of about 6 inches all the way around. The first year I used greenhouse plastic on the run, I made the mistake of covering the entire run completely. Condensation formed on the inside of the plastic and dripped down on us like raindrops. Um,not good. So we ventilated the run and the problem was solved. The run is still so bright and cozy that I raise chicks out there in the early spring when our temps are still in the teens and twenties, using nothing more than an wire pen and a heating pad cave.

    [​IMG]
    Just on this side of the coop - the side facing east - there are 4 ways that ventilation is achieved....the window, the gable vent, the exhaust fan, and the open pop door.


    [​IMG]
    Bright and sunny enough in there to brood chicks, visible in the pen on the left side of the photo. This particular day, the plastic on the end was rolled completely up, as we were expecting a snow storm with southern winds of 20 to 30 miles per hour later in the day. 4 hours after this was taken, the storm hit. Except for times like those, the plastic is rolled down either a bit or down almost all the way both to ventilate and to let that southern sunshine in. Runs need ventilation too.

    I wish you all the best with your chicks no matter what you decide to do. You are the final decision maker...you are there and I'm not, and I know you want to do the best you can for your flock. All I can do is tell you what I tried and what works well for me here in cold and windy Wyoming!
     
  9. Hokum Coco

    Hokum Coco Overrun With Chickens

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    Last edited: Oct 3, 2016
  10. Weehopper

    Weehopper Chillin' With My Peeps

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    Nice set up. I like the plastic over the run. Very cool.
     

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