Heater in chicken coop?
this is our first winter with chickens, and we have been wondering too. at this point we aren't planning to heat the coop though. we have 8 chickens. 5 all roost up together on a shelf. then we have an injured one who can't get up to roost. we got 2 silkies who keep her company on the ground.
Plenty of fresh dry straw in someplace away from the wind and wet/snow is fine.
We're in WI, and last winter was long and cold...and basically, our chickens didn't want to go out as long as everything was under snow (most of winter). When it occasionally thawed enough for them to get at some of the ground, they were eager to get out.
We don't heat our coop, but it is built with very large south-facing windows and stands free of shadows from anything else. It stays pretty comfortable in winter, and as a PP said, draft-free is key. Good luck!
We get severe cold here in the winter. Usually at least one or two cold weeks of -40 temps in January/February. I will probably turn on the heat lamp, at least at night, when that happens. It snowed about a week ago, and they haven't been going outside much since, but I coax them out in the morning with feed. There's no more grass for them to range on though, so I am going to try sprouts.
I just bought a heated bowl for my dog this week. I will probably get the same for the chickens when I find another on sale!
I haven't been using a heater and the chickens are fine (I live in Alaska). But, when it's colder than the teens, if I don't check several times a day, the eggs freeze (pretty quickly) and crack, which is always a drag. My chickens lay at different times during the day so I have to check a lot if I don't have some heat.