Thinking ahead -- Winter Coop Heat

Discussion in 'Coop & Run - Design, Construction, & Maintenance' started by Newtohens, Jul 9, 2010.

  1. Newtohens

    Newtohens In the Brooder

    Apr 7, 2010
    I have a question about heating my coop in the winter. I live in upstate NY where it gets pretty cold during the winter, but normal temps are 0 - 20 degrees. I have read a lot about how chickens put off a ton of heat and moisture and that their body heat is sometimes sufficient to heat the coop for them to be comfortable. So I guess my question is will 4 hens be enough to heat a 4' wide x 6' long x 3 1/2 ' high coop? I want to get 1 or 2 more hens, but I don't want to over crowd them. I would rather not run electric if I don't have to.
  2. Ridgerunner

    Ridgerunner Free Ranging

    Feb 2, 2009
    Southeast Louisiana
  3. Thomas423

    Thomas423 Songster

    Mar 21, 2009
    Port Deposit, MD
    How well is your coop insulated? We have our coops very insulated with all the cracks sealed up. It did get cold in the winter but not too cold for winter hardy birds. We only closed up the vents when it was snowing and locked them in when the snow was 2 foot deep outside.
    Also, even with 100 degree days in the summer the coop is so much cooler than outside that the girls spend a good part of the day inside.
  4. elmo

    elmo Songster

    May 23, 2009
    Chickens don't have to heat up the whole coop, just the air next to their own bodies That's what the down layer of feathers does. Your job is to make sure the air inside the coop doesn't get too humid, because that's when frostbite can hit. Pat's ventilation page gives an excellent discussion of how to go about this.

    With a coop only 3 1/2 feet high, though, you do have to be a bit careful about your roost being below the level of your vents, because you won't want there to be air blowing in from the vents directly onto your chickens as they roost.

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