You Just Can't Trust Chickens!

Discussion in 'Chicken Behaviors and Egglaying' started by RAnst4038, Feb 20, 2015.

  1. RAnst4038

    RAnst4038 Chirping

    Apr 23, 2014
    Jacobus, Pa
    It was going to be -3 last night so I stuffed foam in the top air vents & put a cube heater in the coop.
    Set the thermostat low as it would go 40*. Just went out to turn it off and open the door. The darn buggers had the heater turned up to 70* I'll have to tape the thermostat knob.
  2. ChickenCanoe

    ChickenCanoe Free Ranging

    Nov 23, 2010
    St. Louis, MO
    Whatever you do, don't close off ventilation, especially in winter.
  3. Ol Grey Mare

    Ol Grey Mare One egg shy of a full carton. .....

    Mar 9, 2014
    My Coop
    ITA with ChickenCanoe - your chickens will fare worse in those conditions with your attempts to "help" them. Warm air + no ventilation = humid interior of the coop = perfect setup for frost bite if/when the heat is withdrawn or (due to the sort of interference you saw with the knob, weather related power loss, etc) unexpectedly shut off, warm/wet is perfect for illness to set in and there is always the issue of fire, especially when the heat source is so easily accessible to the birds - they can just as easily knock it over, peck at things, kick flammable materiel into it, etc as they can fiddle with the knob.
  4. Ridgerunner

    Ridgerunner Free Ranging

    Feb 2, 2009
    Southeast Louisiana
    I totally agree with OGM. By blocking off all ventilation you also keep them from breathing fresh air. Just like you, they need fresh air to breathe, not stale ammonia or carbon dioxide filled air.
  5. 1muttsfan

    1muttsfan Free Ranging

    Mar 26, 2011
    Upper Peninsula Michigan
    Do you mean that your heater is accessible to the hens? If so that could set up a very dangerous situation, chickens are such terrible pests and they could easily upset a heater, or scratch bedding or feathers into it, leading to fire risk.
  6. Egghead_Jr

    Egghead_Jr Crowing

    Oct 16, 2010
    NEK, VT
    Your chickens will be better off if you don't add heat. Leave the vents open. The idea is to have as much air moving out moisture as you can without having wind blow on the birds. It's the moisture that is the problem not the temperature. High moisture and 30F is harmful, dry and -10F is easily handled by chickens. Heating coops is a needless expense, dangerous and if prolonged will condition the birds to say in the coop instead of going outside.
  7. WNCcluck

    WNCcluck Chirping

    Aug 1, 2014
    Mountains of WNC
    I'll add another vote for leaving the ventilation open and not adding heat. Our winter hasn't been too bad so far (lowest of about -5 actual temp) and our girls act like everything is the same as if it were 40*. They really don't care if it's 40* or 20* or 0*.

    One thing that helps down here is that it can be 5* with the sun shining brightly. The girls keep increasing there laying rate as the days get longer regardless of the temps. We have to be much more careful with heat than cold.
  8. song of joy

    song of joy Crowing

    Apr 22, 2012
    Central Pennsylvania
    Hello from central PA! Your chickens will be fine without heating the coop. Temps at my place have ranged from 0 to -15 overnight during the past week and the pullets and hens in my unheated coop are doing fine. I've got 2 windows open in the coop, along with a vent near the ceiling. As other folks mentioned, be sure to provide adequate ventilation.

    Stay warm, spring is coming soon!

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