Yet another heating question- in the South

Discussion in 'Coop & Run - Design, Construction, & Maintenance' started by Marcy, Nov 17, 2008.

  1. Marcy

    Marcy Out Of The Brooder

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    Aug 28, 2008
    Atlanta, Ga
    Hey all, I recently built a much bigger coop for my chickens and want to be sure my girls will be warm enough. You guys in Canada and Michigan will be laughing at me, no doubt, but I always worry for them [​IMG]

    Anyway, I live in Atlanta, so the temps are never terribly cold, but it's been pretty chilly lately. The new coop is raised off the ground several feet with a wire mesh floor, and then under that a plywood floor that slides out so we can clean it. Since it's movable, that bottom edge isn't completely closed. And the top front edge is open for ventilation. Their perches are large-diameter dowel rods.

    Is this good enough to keep my girls happy? The coldest it ever, ever gets here is in the twenties, but that's not too common. I use a water heater so their water never freezes, so that's not a problem.
     
  2. TaLani

    TaLani ~ Gemini Chick ~

    Oct 2, 2008
    Bryson City, NC
    I only live 3 hrs from you, but it did get quite cold last night. It's supposed to be in the 20's here tonight & the next several nights. We house our chickens in a 8x10 metal shed that does not have insulation. We did buy a small heater that's to be used under a secretary's desk though (see link below). Most people from up north all say that you don't need to heat the coop but I wanted to give them something. I felt bad not giving them at least a little bit of heat. But, most forum members from up north state that most wild birds do just fine in winter since their feathers help to keep them warm & when they roost, they huddle together & their body heat helps them keep warm too, but I still wanted to give them a little extra heat. Don't think u should have a problem w/ your set up though. I think your chickies will be happy. [​IMG]

    http://www.northerntool.com/webapp/wcs/stores/servlet/product_6970_200310679_200310679
     
  3. ChickenTender63

    ChickenTender63 Chillin' With My Peeps

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    Sep 28, 2008
    Alamance, NC
    sounds to me like the only issue you may have is from drafts. If your bottom is not completely sealed, and you have vents open on the upper front, then it is going to get drafty and that could pose a problem. But, if you have it where it is sealed and I am misreading it, then you should be fine.


    But, other than that, you don't need to heat. They will be just fine and plenty happy even though it can get a little chilly down south here for a few days. Isn't it great to be in the South!

    ETA: I know a lot of the folks here also prefer to use 2x4's layed flat for their roosts instead of larger diameter dowel rods. That maybe something to consider changing, and maybe someone can give more info than I can on why.
     
    Last edited: Nov 17, 2008
  4. Marcy

    Marcy Out Of The Brooder

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    Aug 28, 2008
    Atlanta, Ga
    No, the bottom's not sealed around the edges, but it's only maybe an inch gap all the way around the very edge at the bottom. I guess drafts were really my main concern, because I don't think there's any way to change the design now. I thought of using a heat lamp at night but even the red light makes them start to peck each other. The coop is also is a very sheltered area of the yard, which makes it less warm from sunlight but also a lot less vulnerable to wind.
     
  5. wxdude99

    wxdude99 Chillin' With My Peeps

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    Sep 26, 2008
    Montgomery Area
    Sorry to butt in, but... I'm in the process of building my coop now and I planned on using 2x4s as roosts, but I thought you were supposed to put them up vertically. I guess laying them flat would keep the draft off from below. Hmmmmm.
     
  6. Marcy

    Marcy Out Of The Brooder

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    Aug 28, 2008
    Atlanta, Ga
    I guess it makes sense- they could sit down flat on it and keep their feet warm with their feathers. Maybe I'll switch out to that from my dowel rods.
     
  7. ChickenTender63

    ChickenTender63 Chillin' With My Peeps

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    Sep 28, 2008
    Alamance, NC
    Quote:Well, I think I would try to address the draft issue then. You really are doing no good trying to put a heat lamp in unless you have it draft-free, in which case you won't need the heat lamp in Atlanta which will also fix the pecking problem.

    Could you possibly cut strips of foam to tuck into the edges to seal it? Something that you could take out easily when you need to clean droppings off the board?
     
  8. Marcy

    Marcy Out Of The Brooder

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    Aug 28, 2008
    Atlanta, Ga
    I guess that might be possible... do you think I would need to do that to the top vents as well as that bottom edge?
     
  9. ChickenTender63

    ChickenTender63 Chillin' With My Peeps

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    Sep 28, 2008
    Alamance, NC
    Quote:don't be sorry for butting in, we're all here to learn from each other.

    That is my understanding of laying the 2x4 flat. It gives them more room for their feet which are then kept warmer from the feathers when they lay down.
     
  10. Marcy

    Marcy Out Of The Brooder

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    Aug 28, 2008
    Atlanta, Ga

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