Someone talk me out of it. - Heating

Discussion in 'Managing Your Flock' started by Marrrum, Dec 27, 2016.

  1. Marrrum

    Marrrum Out Of The Brooder

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    May 15, 2016
    Salt Lake City, Utah
    Friends,

    Thanks for reading!

    I am writing to see if anyone can talk me out of heating my coop. This is admittedly my first winter with hens. They are about 2 and a half years old - 3 years old. Due to age and breed, they have stopped laying this winter. I am fine with them not laying right now and it is not the reason I want to heat the coop. However, it is **** cold outside. I am sitting at 14 F or -10 C and boy, I just feel so bad. I go out and pour boiling water in their water feeder in the morning and in the afternoon. It freezes within the hour. I don't mind doing the water, ill keep doing it but the girls are just so cold. I have the whole coop closed from major winds. It vents quite well and its 100% dry inside the coop enclosure.

    I understand there are some reasons not to heat the coop. Such as surprise molts being triggered in the cold, fire hazards, birds cycles being messed up. But what else can I do? If one of my girls freezes ill never forgive myself.
     
  2. snow5164

    snow5164 Chillin' With My Peeps

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    May 16, 2015
    Canada
    Hi,
    I live in Manitoba and today it's -22!! We heat til it's just above 0 with a milking heater from peavy mart. We blow the fan out when it sounds slow , it hangs from the ceiling . I feel that they need a decent temp in there, we still get eggs and when it goes to -30 ( which it has this year) we add a heat lamp over nesting boxes( gasp ! Can't believe it!!!)
    We are in there many times a day and are happy and comfortable with our choices and so are our 22 girls and one rooster !!
     
    black_dove2 likes this.
  3. chickens really

    chickens really Overrun With Chickens

    Sorry, I will not talk you out of it.....I use a heat lamp all winter.....It gets cold here in Alberta......



    Cheers!
     
  4. snow5164

    snow5164 Chillin' With My Peeps

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    May 16, 2015
    Canada
    We made cookie tin heaters for under our metal water towers, works so good we unplug during the day ( yes in -30'C)so they don't have warm " tea water"[​IMG]
     
    Last edited: Dec 27, 2016
  5. duluthralphie

    duluthralphie Chicken Wrangler Premium Member

    I use heated founts for water, I do not heat even in 30 below temps. They do fine. If one does die it was most likely weak and circling the drain anyways and you just did not notice it.

    Chickens are nice and cozy in their feathered coats. Just keep them dry.
     
    black_dove2 likes this.
  6. Marrrum

    Marrrum Out Of The Brooder

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    May 15, 2016
    Salt Lake City, Utah
    Friends,

    Thanks for posting. So it sounds like some of you do heat. I have been extensively told not to heat. That it may sound completely counter intuitive but that if the power goes out or if I forget to start/Stop the light, it could kill all of them due to unregulated temp and dependency. Take a look at my coop below please. Now, I only have four hens and this coop. They are allowed daily out side time if they wish. ( They dont in this cold. ) Looking at the coop, where would you hang a heat lamp OR at least a 40 watt artificial light bulb for laying purposes at least. I dont feel comfortable placing it in the coop interior itself due to potential burns or fire hazards. [​IMG]

    [​IMG]

    [​IMG]
     
  7. Egghead_Jr

    Egghead_Jr Overrun With Chickens

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    Oct 16, 2010
    NEK, VT
    First off they wont freeze without heat. Look outside your window at all the birds flying around then ask yourself what makes your chickens any different other than they can't fly.

    Secondly I wish people would declare the temp scale they are using. -30 sounds darn cold but if you compare that Canadian Celcius system to my antiquated Farhenheit of -30 you'll see when my birds are in -30 F it's colder than -30 C. I don't heat.

    There are pages and pages here about heating. It comes down the the person not the birds. Last week there was another post on coop fire taking out everything. If your coop is not large enough to become the run for entire winter than you'll have behaviour problems. With heat birds are not going to leave the coop and will litteraly be cooped up all winter. Look at space available. With proper ventilation only the roosters will get tips of combs frostbit, hens are not effected unless Mediteranean breed with rooster size combs.

    Bottom line is it's your choice. I don't heat and have healthy birds, get eggs all winter and have no heating bill or risk of fire and have birds that go out into their run everyday. Run has three sides protected from wind.
     
    black_dove2, aart and donrae like this.
  8. snow5164

    snow5164 Chillin' With My Peeps

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    May 16, 2015
    Canada
    Heating coops is like " free ranging" it's like a religion to those who do it and most can't understand any other way . You're going to have to research and decide, for me when both experienced breeders I deal with say don't let it drip below 0... I listen , I want them comfortable not just have them " be fine "
    This is My opinion
     
    black_dove2 likes this.
  9. Marrrum

    Marrrum Out Of The Brooder

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    May 15, 2016
    Salt Lake City, Utah
    Also, please note. The coop is not nearly as open as the pics imply. I have since installed wood slabs and thick stapled tarp/plastic for a pond liner in all open areas.
     
    Last edited: Dec 27, 2016
  10. chickens really

    chickens really Overrun With Chickens

    To imply that Birds with heat lamps do not leave the Coop is not true....My Birds go out in the run and free range daily.....[​IMG]

    Healthy, happy Birds.....It is a personal choice....My Coop is not hot or warm by no means...My water does ice up on occasion...

    Cheers!
     
    black_dove2 likes this.

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