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Discussion in 'Coop & Run - Design, Construction, & Maintenance' started by nenders, Jan 30, 2014.
How do you keep your coop warm in the winter?
I don't. Because bad things happen when you add heat.
You want to keep your coop dry and draft free, while providing proper ventilation (this ensures that humidity the chickens produce from breathing and the poop escapes the coop). Humidity and Chicken manure is 75% water and is very high in nitrogen. As the nitrogen decomposes, it gives off ammonia gas. If that gas can not escape through proper ventilation, your chickens can develop respiratory problems.
Heat lamps cause MORE humidity in the coop rather than less.
Also, fire risk...
I have had a fire and lost over 200 animals. Someone the other day lost 24 calves to a barn fire from heat lamps.
For the most part, chickens don't need supplemental heat. They are covered in this fabulous down comforter. They need a place with plenty of ventilation, but free of drafts. The heat of summer is the danger for chickens.
I have an oil-filled radiator. At 600 watts, it can keep my coop 15-20F above outside temps. It only kicks in when sub-freezing. Also, at 600 watts, the heating element is cool enough to touch.
Next winter, I don't think I'll add any heat. We had a couple young chicks in there when the cold season started this year, so we added some heat.