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Warming a coop up slightly

Discussion in 'Coop & Run - Design, Construction, & Maintenance' started by Xtina, Feb 9, 2011.

  1. Xtina

    Xtina Songster

    Jul 1, 2008
    Portland, Oregon
    Hi all,
    Tonight it's supposed to be 31 degrees in my area. Normally, when it gets below freezing, I take my ladies and put them in a dog crate in the greenhouse with their heat lamp shining on them. But for one degree below freezing, I'm feeling a little bit lazy. They hate being moved at night and I hate the way the greenhouse smells like chicken poop in the mornings after they sleep in there! I can't run the light out to the coop and so I'm thinking of creative alternatives to keeping that coop just slightly warmer than it is, knowing that they themselves will warm it up just a bit with their body heat too. Off the top of my head, I could fill some old socks with rice and microwave them and put them in there, but I know that wouldn't last for very long. Any other ideas?

  2. ChickensAreSweet

    ChickensAreSweet Heavenly Grains for Hens

    What I have done is fill milk jugs and apple juice jugs - 1 gallon size- with hot water covered with the lid. I put these in so they can snuggle next to them if they want. It does last a while.
  3. Hillbilly Hen

    Hillbilly Hen Crowing

    Apr 11, 2009
    Newaygo Michigan
    They will be fine. After all they have those feather coats on.
  4. cochicks

    cochicks Chirping

    Jul 25, 2010
    Colorado Springs
    I don't turn a light on in the coop unless it is below ZERO for more that 24 hours. At 31 they will be FINE all night as long as they are in a draft free area. We hit -31 last week and my girls only have a 150W heat lamp. They are all fine, laying eggs, and frost bite free!
  5. Xtina

    Xtina Songster

    Jul 1, 2008
    Portland, Oregon
    Sweet, thanks guys! Just trying not to be a negligent chicken mom, so it's good to hear that I'm being a little over-cautious.
  6. cochicks

    cochicks Chirping

    Jul 25, 2010
    Colorado Springs
    LOL! I thought of this thread this morning when the weather guy said our HIGH today will be 31. [​IMG]
  7. Fred's Hens

    Fred's Hens Crowing Premium Member

    Those who live way up north always smile whenever someone posts that they are worried about 31F and their chickens.[​IMG]
    If we ever get back to 31F, our chickens will be fanning themselves for the heat!![​IMG]
    We've had over 30 nights below zero this year already. No heat. They do just fine. They fluff their feathers and buddy up.

  8. ChooksChick

    ChooksChick BeakHouse's Mad Chicken Scientist

    Aug 17, 2008
    Larry, KS
    My Coop
    ...last night was a wind chill of -24 with real temp -10 F. I finally turned on their oil-filled radiator to keep it in the 20s...it's different than when I first got chickens. I was upset if they were under 40 F.

    Fortunately, they aren't as worried about it as we think.

    I only heat the Banty Shanty, though, where I have a couple of broodies. I have 14 coops without access to electricity. Those birds are fine, and it's not as detrimental as we think.
    Last edited: Feb 10, 2011
  9. Fox&hen

    Fox&hen In the Brooder

    Apr 27, 2010
    Our temp last night was -9, no extra heat and happy to report Everyone was fine and waiting for some BOSS.
  10. rancher hicks

    rancher hicks Crowing

    Feb 28, 2009
    Syracuse, NY
    Surprisingly chickens can deal with the cold fairly well so they say. 30* would be heaven around here. Yesterday it was in the 10's and when I went into the coop it was 40*. I do have two red heat lights on but chickens generate 10 watts each if they are LF.

    Ventilation is number one. If you make sure they have plenty of bedding on the floor they should be fine. You don't say how many you have. I have 30 or so in a 12x8 coop. I let them out during the day into two a covered runs. A couple of my roos suffered frost bite cuz I let them out when it was below 0. Last year they were fine, but I didn't let them out when it was so cold. UGH!

    I suggest you keep them inside when it's very cold and a greenhouse should be fine during the day. Much better than my runs. I also suggest a make shift coop of straw or hay bales inside the greenhouse. Then in the spring use it in the garden. It decomposes pretty quickly, but then you know that I expect.

    Take care and I'm sure your girls will be fine. You'll figure it out, I have faith in you.



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