Ways to heat a chicken coop?

Discussion in 'Coop & Run - Design, Construction, & Maintenance' started by Danny188, Oct 19, 2019.

  1. Danny188

    Danny188 Chirping

    Jul 22, 2019
    I just insulated the chicken coop thats inside our barn. Trying to figure out safe and effective ways to heat it in iowa weather it was -20 last year at the coldest. Looking for cheaper ways that will keep it above freezing so the eggs wont freeze (we want them to lay through winter).
    slordaz, webbysmeme and DobieLover like this.
  2. DobieLover

    DobieLover Easily distracted by chickens

    Jul 23, 2018
    Apalachin, NY
    My Coop
    Instead of heating the coop, heat the nest box.
  3. wyoDreamer

    wyoDreamer Crowing

    Nov 10, 2010
    NE Wisconsin
    I am getting a seed heating mat and put it in the nest boxes for this winter. With curtains for the nest boxes, I hope to prevent frozen eggs up here in northern Wisconsin.

    I do not heat the coop at all. In the last 4 years, the worst that happened was some tips of combs got frostbite and fell off (my coop does not have the best ventilation.. Remember, chickens are built with a down insulation layer. As long as your ventilation is good and there are no drafts on the roosts, your chickens will be fine and dandy! They can handle cold weather pretty well.
    ChickenCanoe likes this.
  4. wamtazlady

    wamtazlady Crowing

    Jul 18, 2013
    Kalispell MT
    Remember that a dry chicken is a warm chicken. Rather than insulating and closing up a coop, you should be adding ventilation to get rid of all that moisture chickens add to coops when they breathe and poop. I live in NW Montana and it regularly gets to -22 F or lower. Coop has no insulation or heat. However, the 6' by 8' coop has 10 square feet of vents that are never closed. This does not mean breezes blow on the birds. The vents are up high, way above the roosts. Drafts will ruffle the chickens' feather and let the heat they are holding under those feathers out so the roosts are down low away from the vents. I also have a roof over the run and clear vinyl shower curtains covering 3 sides of the run. The open side is away from any breezes. No matter how cold it is the girls are outside all day doing chicken things like eating, and drinking, and pecking, and dusting.

    A chicken can get frostbite in a humid coop at just below freezing. However, in a well ventilated coop a chicken can deal with temperatures in the minus numbers without damage.

    One of the main problems with insulation is that mice love to spend the winter sleeping in that nice warm insulation. You also have to make sure your chickens can not get to the insulation and eat it. They will eat it if they can get their beaks on it.

    I have heard of others using the seed heating mats to keep the eggs from freezing. Seems to work well.
    Last edited: Oct 19, 2019
    webbysmeme, Peepsi and aart like this.
  5. Alaskan

    Alaskan The Frosted Flake

    I know one lady that made roll put nest boxes... the eggs roll out and bump up against a bit of pipe insulation, she puts heat tape inside the pipe insulation.

    She said she never gets frozen eggs, and I know she sees temps below-20F

    She has been using that set-up for a good number of years with zero issues.

    Also... here is an article that I wrote on keeping coops warm in cold temps.

    Hopefully it is helpful.
    Ridgerunner likes this.
  6. Danny188

    Danny188 Chirping

    Jul 22, 2019
    Ok ill read it thanks!
  7. kellyhubb

    kellyhubb Songster

    Jun 8, 2013
    Greenville, SC
  8. aart

    aart Chicken Juggler!

    Nov 27, 2012
    SW Michigan
    My Coop
    Hmmmm...I would think the pipe insulation would hold the heat inside of it<scratcheshead>
  9. Alaskan

    Alaskan The Frosted Flake

    Supposedly the pipe insulation squishes with the egg against it, so the egg gets the heat that way.
  10. slordaz

    slordaz hatchaholic

    Apr 15, 2015
    don't know what to tell ya there, my chickens come and go as they please, they turned their noses up at well ventilated insulated coop. a lot depends on breed and their cold hardiness, Mine come out even when it's -20 to -30 before the windchill factor during the winter, they have the coop if they want outta the wind and cold, and I add in straw and pine shavings in the bottom on on side of the coop as they have access to both sides, as needed instead of cleaning out the coop floor until spring , this helps keep it warmer naturally without adding another fire danger and keeps the smell down. Draw back is spring cleaning is a bigger chore. but I put rubberized sealant on the walls and once get it cleaned out can just take the power washer to it. With the snow we get here they do want an area of the yard shoveled for them to play in

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