The great debate: Should I heat my coop!

Discussion in 'Coop & Run - Design, Construction, & Maintenance' started by bigdaddyjts1, Nov 11, 2013.

  1. bigdaddyjts1

    bigdaddyjts1 Out Of The Brooder

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    I live in Locust Grove GA. I have just started my flock with 3 beautiful pullets. I have heard so much info regarding whether to heat your coop or not. I am really paranoid about fire and the thought of a heat lamp in close proximity to straw bedding scares me. The extreme low last year was 20 degrees. The average is low to mid 40's. My babies all huddle together at night and generate warmth. I have some people in the area saying heat and many saying don't worry about it. Help, advice and recommendations appreciated!
     
  2. JackE

    JackE Chillin' With My Peeps

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    No, you don't need to add any heat. 20F is nothing to chickens. See the pic below of my unheated, uninsulated, open air coop, temp is about 10F in the photo. Look at where the birds are, right up front, ready to come out.



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  3. petrel

    petrel Chats with Chickens

    Many folks who are located a whole lot further North than you or me don't bother with heating their coops. I think that so long as your coop isn't drafty and you don't have any breeds that will not tolerate cold, you would be OK without it. With that said, it is really up to you. So long as you do it safely and you understand that in the event of a power outage unacclimated birds may have difficulty, why not?

    Here in Northern Virginia, we've already had two nights in the 20s. My girls are only 11 weeks old, but they don't seem to be too bothered about the temps. They still loiter and put off coming to roost in the evenings and come barreling out of the coop in the morning, ready to face their day, and the cold.
     
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    It is real winter weather here today.
    No snow but down close to 0f or -18 last night, windy and cold, I worked through the night keeping society safe, and spent at least 2-3 hours walking the beat outside.
    right now at my chicken ranch, it is 15f or -9c, windchill 0f. Inside of my insulated coop 6ftX8ftx6ft high, it is 29f, water in the bowl is just starting to skin with ice, window is slightly open as is chicken door.
    Chickens in the covered run with flax straw on the ground, water I poured into a big rubber container at 7:00 AM had a little ice on top but open, added some water, and no problem, it is only 18 f inside of there. And birds are in run, happy and healthy, not hanging out in warmer coop building,they also layed eggs today too....cheers so i don't want to hear any moaning about temps over 15f, it ain't that bad. The wind has dropped, temp is rising quick, the esun is still strong. I will heat when temps are seriously frigid, to kep the edge off. I am not letting temps drop to -20 or -40 in my coop.
     
    Last edited: Nov 11, 2013
  5. blondiebee181

    blondiebee181 Chillin' With My Peeps

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    Average lows in the 40s?!?!? [​IMG] Dear, you will be just fine without heat :) in Boise last winter the nightly lows were mostly below 0F and my girls did just fine. Chickens do quite well in the cold as long as their coop is not too drafty or moist like JackE said. I bed the bottom of mine with a cozy layer of straw in the winter but that's about it. Their little bodies adjust to colder temps just like ours do, and chickens are more likely to die of heat stroke than cold. I also cover my run to keep rain and snow off, cuts down on the moisture and the hens like having a dry place to walk around. They aren't keen on the snow, however my ducks love to eat it. LOL. Good luck this winter, sorry for the sarcasm but I think your babies will be ok :)
     
  6. bigdaddyjts1

    bigdaddyjts1 Out Of The Brooder

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    Thank you all so much! I really appreciate hearing from all of you seasoned chicken folks. You have put my mind at ease about not heating. Absolutely love this site!
     
  7. blondiebee181

    blondiebee181 Chillin' With My Peeps

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    Yeah, this site has saved me a lot of worry with all the great folks who are quick to answer questions.
     
  8. Hokum Coco

    Hokum Coco Overrun With Chickens

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    Last edited: Nov 15, 2013

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