Winter warmth? Coop is in barn with no electric service

Discussion in 'Coop & Run - Design, Construction, & Maintenance' started by sdsmowen, Sep 19, 2012.

  1. sdsmowen

    sdsmowen Chillin' With My Peeps

    Apr 28, 2012
    Greencastle, IN

    I am looking for ideas on keeping the chickens comfortable and the water un frozen this winter. We are in west central Indiana so it can get quite cold. Our coop is in a barn that has no electric service.
    I know that they wont freeze and the coop is draft protected i am just looking for other ideas we may not have thought of.
  2. Bear Foot Farm

    Bear Foot Farm Overrun With Chickens

    Mar 31, 2008
    Grifton NC
    The chickens will be fine with no heat at all.

    Keeping water thawed with no electricity isn't going to happen unless you use some sort of fuel burning heat source, which could be a fire hazard

    It also depends a lot on how much you're willing to both money and effort.
  3. sdsmowen

    sdsmowen Chillin' With My Peeps

    Apr 28, 2012
    Greencastle, IN
    Yeah i have a feeling there will be a great deal of ice breaking going on this winter.. longterm we will be adding electricity to the barn but that is a few years out i'm afraid.We are actually looking at possibly going solar for the barn but again that won't happen before winter this year. I figure if there are any ideas out there for keeping water from freezing and making the birds as comfortable as possible this was the place to ask. [​IMG]
  4. Fred's Hens

    Fred's Hens Chicken Obsessed Premium Member

    It is going to get tiresome, but the easiest way through this is to carry water. I would suggest a series of small, shallow buckets, similar to what one gallon of ice cream comes in. I'd have 2 or 3 of them and swap them out every morning, or morning and afternoon. Not much sense doing it at night, as darkness falls, they won't be drinking anyhow.

    Hydration in winter is important. You'll be carrying water this year. Sometimes it is easier to just carry out a gallon milk jug of water, or two, and top off the buckets, if you're in a hurry. Best wishes.
  5. Ridgerunner

    Ridgerunner True BYC Addict

    Feb 2, 2009
    Northwest Arkansas
    I agree that carrying water is going to happen. I suggest you use those black rubber tubs for the water. I got mine at Tractor Supply and use them for the dogs' water as well as the chickens. When they get frozen, just turn them over and stomp the ice out or bang them against something solid. They won't chip or break.

    On sunny days, if you set those black rubber tubs out where the sun can hit them, they will stay thawed at pretty cool temperatures. That's the cheapest way to use solar I'm aware of and it's surprisingly effective.
  6. Mehjr10

    Mehjr10 Chillin' With My Peeps

    May 17, 2012
    Moscow, TN
    Research making a solar heater out of black plastic pipe, Youtube as it warms in the sun it will recirculate the water and may keep it warm enough to keep it from all freezing.
  7. new chick 203

    new chick 203 Chillin' With My Peeps

    Feb 8, 2010
    Ridgefield CT
    Do they have a smaller structure inside the barn? If so they should be able to keep the smaller space warm. If it's too large then they don't accumulate the body heat. I've seen people make a sort of canvas tent roof a couple of feet above the roosts to catch the heat from going up into the rafters.
    1 person likes this.

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