Winter With Chickens: To Heat or Not Heat the Coop

Discussion in 'Coop & Run - Design, Construction, & Maintenance' started by MoonShadows, Nov 8, 2013.

  1. MoonShadows

    MoonShadows The Jam Man

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    Jan 23, 2013
    Pocono Mtns
    My Coop
    Last edited: Nov 8, 2013
  2. The great debate, heating or no heating, heat lamps or no heat lamps. Insulation no insulation.
    I believe for the most part healthy chickens can certainly handle a lot of cold, require adequate fresh air exchange, accoring to ambient teps, bird load, building size and construction etc.
    Chickens with pea or rose combs versus large combs and delicate breeds.
    At any rate, all chicken keepers need to evaluate their own situations and act accordingly, in most circumstances, a good building, that allows fresh air exchange while not driectly chilling birds, and providing ice free water, and good nutrition and space per bird is essential.
    In my case insulated coop, good air exchange, and supplementary heat when needed. This area can and will see -30 to -40 nights for a good part of January and February, ask North Dakotans and Norhtern Minnesota folks, and our weather is slightly harsher. I am not going to let my coop drop to -20 inside, but will add some heat to take the edge off, but not enough to disturb feather and down retention and growth.
    I do support what works for any individual, but also believe as many others can testify, chickens are tough little creatures, much tougher than us marshmallow humans.
    Heat lamps have the potential to be friggin dangerous, so caution and more caution is absolutely necessary while using these items. I would suggest never use the spring clamps, S hooks, double chaining, solid mounting hardware and much common sense. I have seen many many pig barns with heat lamps sued in farrowing barns, without disaster.
    I personally use those tiny little oil filled totally sealed electric rad heaters, and enclosed in a wire cage, kept clean and allowing no chickens to come in contact with them.
    Always a good topic.........
     
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  3. Hokum Coco

    Hokum Coco Overrun With Chickens

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    Dec 6, 2012
    New Brunswick,Canada
    -40º Canada NO heat.
     
    Last edited: Nov 8, 2013
  4. -40 in New Brunswick, while I agree your Atlantic region humidity is no doubt high, how often do you really get -40 in New Brunswick, without the windchill factor.
    I don't think you are as cold as Manitoba or Saskatchewan, but heck you might be.
    Really folks, a lot of areas in the lower 48 , do not experience much colder than 0f, except for the extreme north edge of the country.
    While 0f or even 10 above f when it is humid and windy is bone chilling, trust me it ain't nothing like 30 or 40 below, where the hair on your face freezes with icicles, and frostbite can happen in less than 2 minutes, I have personally experienced -45f, with a -53f windchill up here, and it can be 90 above here in summer too. that particular night your breath would be fog, winter clothing crinkling and freezing, ice crystals in the air, and downright dangerous to be stranded or outdoors.
    Really -40 or even -30 weather is far different than 10 above or 10 below.
    I know all my relatives in the past had no electricity or heat on the farm and the flocks survived, but with severe cold, I am not making the birds endure and survive, so choose to take some of the edge off with responsible supplementary heat. I will leave it up to all of you to decide.
    Tonight, it is 30f, sleet and flurries falling, very humid, no heat, coop window is open, birds are dry and fine and fast asleep, got some nice eggs today too....good luck
     
  5. Hokum Coco

    Hokum Coco Overrun With Chickens

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    New Brunswick,Canada
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    Last edited: Nov 9, 2013
  6. Wow, that is some serious cold, my area in and around Winnipeg, my coldest temp last winter was -34 or -29 f, but at least 10 days of near this temp overnight. I have seen the -40 stuff, and then it might be only -30 during the day. The school buses do not run at temps of -41 or colder, that includes the windchill, so it it could be -25 but with a windchill below -41, school bus does not run, and i book off sick from work.....LOL
    Right now it's 36f or 2 c, some flurries and mist, snow that feel is melting into the grass, ground is still warm. The water in my tarped and covered run had no ice either, coop is around 7c or 45f, with window and pop door open, but nice and dry in there..birds want to be in the run, even though its colder and damp
     
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  7. Hokum Coco

    Hokum Coco Overrun With Chickens

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    Dec 6, 2012
    New Brunswick,Canada
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    Last edited: Nov 9, 2013
  8. Yes no real cold yet. My biggest concern is for some of my bantams, the OEG rooster, and some of the others. The black rosecomb and the cochin crosses can handle a fair bit of cold, they really are feather balls...
     
  9. Hokum Coco

    Hokum Coco Overrun With Chickens

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    Dec 6, 2012
    New Brunswick,Canada
    I worked with CN Rail in another life out in Saskatoon. I do not know exactly what the temperature was one night. All I remember was I had to Light a fusee to soften the rubber on the air line while building a train. That was a first for this Maritimer! I also know the Winnipeg (or Winter-peg) is famous for it winters. My son in law's mother lives there.
     
  10. Winnipeg, yup, some winters are worse than others. But it is nice and hot here in summer, hotter but more humid than any other city on the prairie, courtesy of Lake Winnipeg, and the moist warm air from the Gulf Of Mexico. This city is amous for cold winters, and nasty blizzards, but tornado and thunderstorms are on the menu every summer too. At least it is still green here, and no snow on the ground.
     

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