Use of flat panel heater in the coop

Discussion in 'Managing Your Flock' started by crazychick26201, Dec 12, 2013.

  1. crazychick26201

    crazychick26201 Chillin' With My Peeps

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    This is my first winter with chickens. I live in the mountains of central WV and temps so far have been in the teens at night. I have a garden coop design with an open hardware cloth covered roof over their nesting roost in the coop. It is predator proof and certainly well ventilated, but when nights are cold like tonight with temps around 10 degrees, I worry that the chickens are too cold. So far they have been fine. I am considering getting a flat panel radiant heater to install on the wall of their coop. It is about 150 watts and considered safer than a heat lamp. Some people suggest using a plain 40- 100watt bulb to give extra heat, but I don't want the extra light in the winter. I don't care if egg production drops.

    I would like input about the wisdom of installing a flat panel heater. I can find very little about it on the forum. What are your thoughts? Thanks!
     
  2. sumi

    sumi Égalité Staff Member

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    Chickens can withstand quite cold temperatures and will be fine as long as the coop is ventilated and dry. With the risk of coop fires, I'm hesitant to recommend extra heat, unless it's absolutely essential, or for sick birds/chicks. But that's just my feelings on the topic :) There are some threads on chickens in winter that may interest you:

    https://www.backyardchickens.com/t/97134/how-cold-is-too-cold-for-a-chicken/0_30

    https://www.backyardchickens.com/t/822765/winter-is-coming-checklists-tips-advice-for-a-newbie/0_30
     
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  3. Judy

    Judy Moderator Staff Member

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    I agree. People in Alaska keep chickens without heat. Another problem with heat is they can get acclimated to it. Then when there is a power outage on a cold night, they are less well equipped to handle it than if they had had no heat. What they need is ventilation and no draft on the roost area. Of course, in summer, that draft on the roost area becaomes a cooling breeze and can be just what they need!
     
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  4. Bogtown Chick

    Bogtown Chick Overrun With Chickens

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    I bought one from Target....and I turned it on for the first time last night for a night of -17 with -29 windchill last night. Tonight we're going to be -25 with -40 F Windchill. Today my coop maintained at the 10 to 15 degree mark with snow bunked up on the outside of the coop on the north and west sides for natural insulation. I'm tickled about it. I'm okay with my birds at 0 when it goes below zero I see them roosting and not scratching or doing their 'normal' chicken behaviors. They do just fine at 10 degrees without heat.

    I understand your wanting to do something a bit more for them when it's colder than what YOU are used to...but those chickens will be just fine at 10 degrees F.

    If you absolutely feel like you need to purchase one you will find it a very "mild" heater. The front of it gets warm...but you can touch it. The back is cool and I mounted it right to the wood wall in my coop. I love that it is flat and takes no space --is out of fluttering wings way and that it does not light up messing with my chickens' little ovulation cycles. [​IMG]
     
  5. aart

    aart Chicken Juggler! Premium Member

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    My Coop
    How big is your coop...got pics inside and out?
     
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  6. crazychick26201

    crazychick26201 Chillin' With My Peeps

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    My coop is 10 by 6 total for coop/run. The hen house/roost area is 4 by 6. Thank you for your informative reply. We have no Target near us, but I think I can get one from Amazon. What size heater did you get?

    I have four hens. They are 8 months old. Today we put some styrofoam panels over part of the hardware e cloth roof of their henhouse. It is 17 and the wind is blowing as it almost always does up here. It is the wind chill that concerns me. But the coop is dry draft free, though well ventilated.

    Thanks for the picture too. I hope you and your chicks survive this cold and have a Merry Christmas!
     
  7. Bogtown Chick

    Bogtown Chick Overrun With Chickens

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    My coop is 7 feet by 6 feet... and 6 foot tall. I think that makes a difference too.... The roosts are at about the 3 foot mark . Along the west side I have nest boxes well lined with straw...pretty thick...and I've bunked up the outside with snow. I also do have insulating foam panels on the roof areas.

    I need to get a photo of the heater on the inside of the coop yet though. We actually had -29 with -40+ windchills that last morning. Now the weather has switched to a nice 15 degrees or so. Christmas blessing, to be sure.

    Here is a photo of my coop bunked up from last year. I'll get one of the inside today with that heater. It was $39 from Target. I got the 150 watt. The South and East sides of my coop are not insulated in any way. And my building skills...well...left for a gap here and there...LOL. WE're about 1/2 inch off center.

    [​IMG]
     
  8. Bogtown Chick

    Bogtown Chick Overrun With Chickens

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    Oh...I did read some reviews on this particular model I bought (after the fact) and it said it can "crack" So I'm thinking at the low end of the price spectrum...you get a little bit of what you pay for. I'm not sure what caused the cracking...but may if it was it's own heat...maybe being in a cold coop will help temper that. IDK....There is also a 250 watt for $75 in this brand. I couldn't find it in the Target store near me so did just order on-line. From this model they go up in price $150 or so in price for different models. I'm hoping that I won't need to use this more than a handful of times and keep the cracking issue at bay.... [​IMG]
     
  9. crazychick26201

    crazychick26201 Chillin' With My Peeps

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    Jun 1, 2013
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    What I am looking at is a Cozy Legs panel heater 150 watt which can be wall mounted. I am not sure how to do this or where to mount it so pictures from your efforts will definitely be helpful. We got down to 9 last night, but chickens were ok this morning. Though not as talkative. It is supposed to warm up this week then drop down into single digits the first week of jan. Your coop set up looks very nice.
     
  10. Bogtown Chick

    Bogtown Chick Overrun With Chickens

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    Mar 31, 2012
    Northern Minnesota
    My Coop
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    I can't believe that 6 days have zoomed by since I said I was going to get pictures. I'm sorry that these were delayed. I will blame it on the holidays! LOL

    So anyways...mounting the flat radiant heater against a wall: It comes with adhesive Velcro strips to place on the heater and the wall it's to be mounted to. This did not set well with me as I trust that adhesive in a dusty coop next to zero. Then when I tried to adhere it to raw boards in the coop and in the cold the adhesive worked like mud. Not well at all. So what I decided to do is set the heater to rest on two longer torque screws...having it lean back against the wall. Then I took one screw and put it above the heater and closer to it so the head of the screw would catch the top edge of the heater if it should lean forward and then a screw on each of the sides so it couldn't "slide" side to side. When I remove the heater in the spring I'll just back out the screws and lift the heater off of the two longer screws it is setting on. It's crude on how it is setting up there...but I just didn't trust that Velcro...and this seems to work really really well.

    Last night it was -30 F and the coop maintained at 0 F. Happy New Year to you!
     
    Crazychickenlady97 likes this.

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