What are all the heating options?


14 Years
Aug 30, 2009
Mt Repose, OH
My Coop
My Coop
I'm looking for something... non-flamable.

The building is pretty well insulated, and small, not very tall but has a lot of floor space.

What's the best type of winter bedding?

What's the best heat source in something that's only about 2 ft tall, but 4Wx6L?

It's for only two Bantams, and the Roo has a single comb, that I don't want to see turn purple. Nor do I want to winter them in the house.
You could layer the bedding. What do you use now? We usually layer straw and pine shavings. Do you have a pic of your coop? Is it up off the ground?
Your best two totally guaranteed-safe heating options, IMHO, are a) the sun and b) the chickens themselves

Nice fluffy nondusty shavings are the best bedding for them to snuggle down in, in my opinion.

That is not an easy coop design to winter large-combed bantams in, but you can probably do it (no guarantees on your roo's comb points, but he might be ok).

Humid air, which is what you get when you shut things up tight in an attempt to keep things warm, probably causes more frostbite than cold per se. So either you need to heat the coop to the point where *relative* humidity is low or the air is above freezing; or you need to keep the air good and dry. (The latter is IMHO much healthier for the chickens in most cases, as well as of course much cheaper and easier)

So either you would need to commit to serious electrical heat input -- one of the sealed oil-filled radiators would be the safest bet from the standpoint of fire and direct burns, but I don't know whether you can find one short enough to fit into your coop -- or make sure to keep enough ventilation open (on the downwind side, at the opposite end from the roosts) to keep the coop air good and DRY, even if that makes the air somewhat less warm.

Good luck, have fun,

I'm buying the bedding this afternoon, I just cleaned out the old bedding... years old straw that went pretty dusty, so I scooped it out and then shop-vac'd the rest.

When I crawled in there, the ceiling was higher than I thought. A little over 3 ft or something, I could sit down without bumping my head.

I installed a roost, and was thinking I may use a heat lamp, clamped to the side of the divider (acts as a wind break) which would position the lamp in the center of the house. It would be aimed towards the back, cold air coming in behind it, so that the back will be much warmer, and the lamp away from the bedding.

Because of the nifty divider wall, food and water would go in front of the warm bedded area.

It's really quite dry, up off the ground on blocks, and it's insulated all the way around. 3/4 plywood, insulation, plastic liner, 3/4 plywood.

I was thinking on cutting a window and putting rabbit wire over it, on the western side so that daybreak doesn't hit it first thing to make the roo crow.

Then there would be the rabbit wire door (firm, 1in total wood framing, rabbit wire between 1/2 in. framing board, designed for dogs, so plenty strong) and a window for the larger back portion. But I wasn't sure how much heat that would let out.

Thinking shavings only in the front, shavings under straw in the back.

Paint drawing, can't find the dang camera...

Personally, I would not risk a heat lamp in a small area. Really, they are a fire hazzard, especially in a small area. With all the wood chips and the wood of the building, I think it would not be a good idea, IMHO. What if they just happen to bump it, or it falls?

It's really quite dry, up off the ground on blocks, and it's insulated all the way around. 3/4 plywood, insulation, plastic liner, 3/4 plywood.

All that should be enough.​
We're a little nervous too about our birds getting too cold, although our coop is high enough and big enough to run a heat lamp, or an oil heater. Pat's page on coops is good reading. We agree that chickens are a hearty breed, and it's going to be them to let US know how they feel. Here in Vt it can and does get very cold. We have a friend, that has like 60 chickens, in a small barn about 16 x 24. She says " people have been raising chickens for hundreds of years, with no such thing as insulation or heat of any kind, and they do well" I believe her. Just like gold prospecting / or fishing, read the brook,,,,,in this case,,,,,,,,read the chickens, and the coop.
I totally and whole-heartedly agree with this line of thinking and it's how I raise my birds. Important to remember though, that if you expect your birds to be more self-sufficient, you need to pick birds that are suitable for your climate.

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