To heat or not to heat.....that is the question

Discussion in 'Chicken Behaviors and Egglaying' started by dansdeals3489, Nov 10, 2008.

  1. dansdeals3489

    dansdeals3489 Out Of The Brooder

    Mar 17, 2008
    Mogadore, Ohio
    I live in north eastern Ohio and we get pretty cold winters here. I have 4 buff orpingtons and 4 black austerlorpes that are laying now. My coop is built into my garage and is insulated. Should I worry about heating the coop? They have a door to go out to their 10x10 run, should I shut that door or leave it open during the winter?
  2. annmarie

    annmarie Chillin' With My Peeps

    Nov 20, 2007
    I'm in a very cold mountain valley in Vermont and do not heat my coop, it's insulated fairly well, draft free, and I make sure there's a good thick layer of pine shavings on the floor at all times. I do close the door to the run every night. So far I've never had a problem with the cold. (On particularly frigid nights I do coat their combs with bag balm to prevent frost-bite because my hens have rather large single combs.)
  3. BayCityBabe

    BayCityBabe Chillin' With My Peeps

    May 1, 2008
    How big is that door? We have one big, big door in our coop & are working at giving the chooks their own little door.
  4. Katy

    Katy Flock Mistress

    Mine are free to go in and out as they choose in the winter.

    I wouldn't worry about heating the coop. The only ones of mine who have heat in the winter are the very young chicks.
  5. dansdeals3489

    dansdeals3489 Out Of The Brooder

    Mar 17, 2008
    Mogadore, Ohio
    Thats good to know, my door is small, here is a pic of it:
    Would it be ok to keep it open? Everywhere else it is pretty much draft free.
  6. SussexInSeattle

    SussexInSeattle Chillin' With My Peeps

    Oct 6, 2008
    I shut my door every night since we have racoon and possum all around. I don't always get it shut right at sundown but I do shut it as soon as I get home and they have food and water in with them so if they wake up before me, they can help themselves to breakfast. The food is a hanging feeder so the rats/mice don't clean me out.
  7. gritsar

    gritsar Cows, Chooks & Impys - OH MY!

    Nov 9, 2007
    SW Arkansas
    I think it's a bad idea to heat the chicken coop in the wintertime. Get the chickens acclimated to being all nice and warm and have the power go out. What are you gonna do then? Bring em all in the house?
    Best to let them get used to the cold naturally.
    ETA: My coop is locked up tight at night. That's to prevent predator loss.
    Last edited: Nov 10, 2008
  8. bulldog-girl

    bulldog-girl Chillin' With My Peeps

    May 16, 2008
    Estacada, OR
    This is my first winter with our chickies. I also do not heat the coop. Granted we live in Oregon and usually have mild winters. We have an old coop but it is draft free and lots of pine on the floor. They go out during the day to free range and we lock em up at night. I always take a head count at night and we call it "putting the chickens to bed". They don't seem to like to go out when it is pouring rain so I want to put a porch on the coop so they can stand outside without getting soaked.

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