Unheated Coops

Discussion in 'Managing Your Flock' started by shotah, Feb 2, 2012.

  1. shotah

    shotah Chirping

    Sep 28, 2011
    I live in Kansas and have an unheated/semi-open front coop. I'd love to hear some tips and tricks from those of you who don't have electricity out to your henhouses! :)

  2. chicmom

    chicmom Dances with Chickens

    Feb 24, 2009
    Strasburg Ohio
    Hello from Ohio!

    Before I had electricity hooked up, I bought old hay bales from a horse owner, and I stacked that around my little coop and placed it strategically as a wind break. The bales only cost me $1.00 each, since they were old. They worked really well.
  3. ChickenCanoe

    ChickenCanoe Free Ranging 7 Years

    Nov 23, 2010
    St. Louis, MO
    Exactly what is your concern and what kind of chickens do you have?
    If you're concerned about warmth and you aren't raising some tender breed then there isn't a concern. Chickens have been around a long time but electricity only since the turn of the century.
    The open front will give them good air.
    Poor ventilation kills birds not cold.

    If you want light, you can do a simple (relatively) solar setup with led lighting, a battery, timer and charge controller.
  4. Fred's Hens

    Fred's Hens Crowing Premium Member

    For the water, those black rubber bowls are good. The black absorbs the sunlight, if they are in the sunlight and help a lot. They are also supposed to be easier to flex and break out ice. Without electric, one just muddles on. Carrying water, etc. It's what folks did for hundreds of years.

  5. mstricer

    mstricer Crowing

    Feb 12, 2009
    I don't use heat in any of my coops. I have electric waterers. I have some bantams I'm an unisulated coop and they did fine with no heat even when it got real cold they were fine. They don't need heat they like to cuddle.
  6. habadaba

    habadaba Hatching

    Jan 29, 2012
    we ran electricity out to our coops along with a thermostatically controled heat lamp. we tested it, so we know that they work, but the chickens being in the house heats it enough that the lamp never turns on with them in it. we placed the control unit close to the door, and left the door open, and it still usually only turns on when the chickens leave the house at dawn. even our banty chickens seem impervious to cold. frankly, i am more concerned about water freezing than anything else out there.
    i guess you could always put a thermometer out there and see how cold your birds are really getting, compared to outside the coop.
  7. ECBW

    ECBW Songster

    Apr 12, 2011
    Unheated is no problem. However, semi-open sounds like trouble. The cold wind that blows through the semi-open coop can be harmful for the birds.

    I would suggest buttoning up the coop (with good ventilation) and the flock should be fine.

    In winter, I do have electricity via extension cord to the coop for the waterer. The cord is removed in the spring as yard activity starts up. It is a bit of luxury that you will find priceless. Without it, you will have to keep checking for ice and changing out in the dead of winter! It gets old very fast.

    I also have the lighting capability, not for chicken laying egg, but for me doing chores since I don’t get to see my yard in daylight during winter months. It works better than the alternative, flashlights.
    Last edited: Feb 2, 2012

  8. JackE

    JackE Crowing 8 Years

    Apr 26, 2010
    North Eastern Md.
    I have an open front coop, and my birds don't have any problems with it. If the coop is properly designed and sited, an open front is no problem in the winter. I don't have any heater or insulation in the coop either. To the original poster, How far away from the house is the coop? I hook up and run 2 100' extension cords in the winter to power up a cookie tin warmer for the water fount.
    1 person likes this.
  9. Bullitt

    Bullitt Songster

    Jan 16, 2012
    Most chickens are pretty cold hardy. They also roost close to each other to share body heat, so hopefully you have at least a few chickens together.

    How cold does it get where you are in Kansas?

    What kind of chickens do you have?

    I am guessing that you might need to close up the coop if it gets well below freezing. That probably doesn't happen too often in Kansas, right?

  10. mstricer

    mstricer Crowing

    Feb 12, 2009
    Headlamps work better then flashlights. Chickens don't need heat. Michele

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