What too heat my chicken coop with

Discussion in 'Coop & Run - Design, Construction, & Maintenance' started by boomercide, Nov 24, 2015.

  1. boomercide

    boomercide Chillin' With My Peeps

    Nov 2, 2015
    Chatham ny
    My question is not too heat or too heat the coop becouse we all agree that seems too be an opinion question but my question is this I have a coop the is about 8 foot heigh 7 foot wide and 9 foot long there is no insulation in it at all it is not too drafty at all but what should I use too heat it with on those really cold nights would a heat lamp do the trick or is there a better method like those flat panel heaters I found a 400 watt one that says it dose 120 square feet but of course that is in an insulated room now far as heat loss threw ventilation my coop is not sealed tight song don't per say really have vents other then it leaching out in spots along my inside wall witch then has a are too be vented out and along the roof joist there is some gaps for air too flow just want too warm them up some so they don't get frost bite when it is below zero hear witch in up state NY we get quite a lot any help is appreciated
  2. OrganicFarmWife

    OrganicFarmWife Overrun With Chickens

    Oct 21, 2015
    No where Nebraska
    If you insist on heating, I would go with the heat lamp. You really do not need to. It gets quite cold here in Nebraska, at least as cold as you. I do not provide heat in the winter. It does not sound like your coop is truely that drafty, and you would be better served plugging those holes then providing more heat.
    Frost bite is not a problem as long as you provide a roost that is made of wood, not metal, and (I was told) was 2 inches in diameter.
  3. Teila

    Teila Bambrook Bantams Premium Member

  4. bestnestbox

    bestnestbox Out Of The Brooder

    Sep 30, 2015
    My vote is no heat. I know at least 3 people who had a fire due to heating their coop. Our chickens are in a greenhouse all winter in Ohio.
  5. 21hens-incharge

    21hens-incharge Flock Master

    Mar 9, 2014
    Northern Colorado
    Whether to heat or not to heat is a long debated subject on this site.
    A lot depends on how large the space is yes. BUT it also depends on how many birds you have, your climate and what breed(s) of birds you have.

    I do not heat my coop. It is 8x14 and 9 foot at the peak. It has a metal roof and is uninsulated. The birds I have are listed as cold hearty. BO, BA, SS and such. I do have bantam cochins as well. The only time I had an incident in 5 years with frostbite was one of the leghorns in November last year at -16 outside. The frostbite was minor and the hen is still with us.

    Heat lamps are a huge fire hazard. I would avoid them with grown chickens as if they are knocked down the have no safety shut off and can start a fire costing all the chickens as well as the coop.

    If you must heat I recommend a sealed oil heater that has a tip over safety shut off. Here is a link to one. DH put one in my coop last year and the hens avoided the area like it was on fire. Just sayin.
    Last edited: Nov 24, 2015
  6. Hokum Coco

    Hokum Coco Overrun With Chickens

    Dec 6, 2012
    New Brunswick,Canada

    I am subject to -40º weather l live in Canada think North Pole. I have been keeping chickens and birds for decades.

    Your best practice I find is to not be too concerned about winterizing or heating your coop to help your birds combat the cold.

    Predator proofing "ABSOLUTELY".

    Your efforts should be spent in winterizing your birds and letting them acclimatize to their surroundings.
    This is done by feeding them whole corn if available or cracked corn as an added supplement in a separate feeder.

    The extra nourishment is more then adequate to bring them through the
    "COLDEST" winter.

    Do keep an eye open for birds that maybe not be adapting well to the new menu and may be at the lower end of the pecking order they can sometimes run into problems and may need extra TLC.

    That being said in a perfect world the flock will flourish and do just fine .

    I do not add any extra heat or lighting.
    Egg production does slack off but I have more than enough eggs for the table all winter long (24 hens).

    Some people may disagree with my method but it has worked well for me and I am not about to change.

    I look at it in the same light as winterizing your car.

    You really do


    have to winterize your car if you can keep it in a controlled environment at all times otherwise you are in for

    "MAJOR" problems.

    When it comes to lighting if you find you are short on eggs it does apparently help. I personally do not bother in my operation eggs are sold only to neighbours when they are available (if the sign is out I have eggs). Eggs in my operation have a tendency to crack and freeze during the winter months (we do not discard them and are fine but use them in house not for sale) the more eggs you produce during these months the more eggs will fall into this category.

    I have roughly 24 Golden Comet hens the longest I ever been out of eggs can be measured in hours >12<24. You will find that the egg supply in any hen is a finite resource the quicker you milk the eggs out of a hen the faster it will be spent and end up in your stew pot.

    On average one hen produces somewhere between 600 to 700 eggs in its life time. Lighting only effect the speed of delivery of the eggs which at the end of the day would amount to less than a year in the hens life is my guess

    If you do decide extra lighting is necessary have your light on a timer to lengthen the day "MAKE SURE IT IS SECURED BY 2 MEANS OF SUPPORT" one being a "SAFETY CHAIN" in case one fails especially if it is an incandescent bulb or heat lamp.

    I personally raise hens as a hobby; and for their manure to enrich my vegetable garden any thing else the hens provide is merely a bonus.

    Here is one BONUS NOW not many people can enjoy seeing in their back yard on a regular basis.


    Nest boxes
    In my nest boxes I fold a feed bag to fit (nest boxes are 1 ft³). When a bag gets soiled; fold a new one; pop out the soiled; pop in the new. Feed bags are a nylon mesh bag.
    Frozen poop just peels off in below freezing temperatures and just flakes off in summer when left out in the sun to bake and dry.

    I have 65 trips around the sun it is the best method I have stumbled upon.

    Make sure the twine is removed from the open end of the bag it can get tangled around your birds.


  7. boomercide

    boomercide Chillin' With My Peeps

    Nov 2, 2015
    Chatham ny
    Well so far the responses are good thanks a lot guys but in the same mine I'm still on the fence on what too use if any thing at all hear is a pic of the old coop that I got and am working with just re wrapped it 2 weeks ago with new siding aka rolled roofing [​IMG] It was well over due
  8. bluema

    bluema Chillin' With My Peeps

    May 8, 2013
    My Coop
    I personally use a flat heat panel near roost to take the edge off. Heat panel won't be able to heat your larger coop though. Like a few said already, definitely avoid heat lamps as they are fire hazard. Chickens start suffering at negative 20F so you can turn on heat only when temps drop below. other than that, the best you can do is to reduce humidity that can worsen frostbite chance.
    1 person likes this.
  9. Hokum Coco

    Hokum Coco Overrun With Chickens

    Dec 6, 2012
    New Brunswick,Canada
    I will use heat on any individual bird that seem overly stressed. As long as the flock is laying, active, and vocal it is business as usual. Works for me.
    Last edited: Nov 25, 2015
  10. oldhenlikesdogs

    oldhenlikesdogs I Wanna Be A Cowboy Premium Member

    Jul 16, 2015
    central Wisconsin
    Chickens are naturally designed to stay warm, they are better at cold than they are with heat. Chickens will raise their feathers up when cold and flatten them when warm. I live in Wisconsin, we have weeks of well below zero temperatures with -40 and plus wind chills. My large fowl chickens are in a large pole building with an open door to the east. It's not insulated, it can even be drafty in some spots, and my birds are fine. On the most bitter days they will shiver to get warm, I throw out scratch to get them moving, warm fresh water and a south facing window to sun themselves in.

    Why worry about your coop catching fire, or your higher electric bill. Block prevailing winds, Feed them correctly, access to sunshine, proper and multiple roosts, and deep bedding. All the things your chickens need, extra heat isn't one unless you are brooding chicks, and in my opinion can mess up the acclamation process and cause stress.
    1 person likes this.

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