Heater in chicken coop? - Mothering Forums

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#1 of 18 Old 11-13-2008, 11:31 AM - Thread Starter
 
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I guess the title says it all. I apologize if this has been covered in one of the longer chicken threads-I just can't search right now. I wonder if you do, why or why not, and when is it needed? Mine seem OK so far without, but I'm looking for advice. TIA.
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#2 of 18 Old 11-13-2008, 11:35 AM
 
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nak

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.

Chrissy, lucky mama to Noah (9), Lilah (6), Rowan (3) and Laney (1).
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#3 of 18 Old 11-13-2008, 03:12 PM
 
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We don't heat the coop.


IMO, as long as they can stay dry, sheltered, and out of the wind there's no reason to heat their coop. They were designed to live outside
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#4 of 18 Old 11-13-2008, 03:21 PM
 
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We've never heated a chicken coop. If you want them to lay more, maybe consider putting a light out in there with a timer - so that theres more hours of 'daylight' (12 hours on/12 hours off). But I don't see why on earth you would heat the coop itself.
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#5 of 18 Old 11-13-2008, 03:42 PM
 
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I grew up with the more brutal cold that the midwest had before icestorms replaced the snow..... Anyway, we never heated our chicken coop, but we would have a heated water dish for them. It was something that my dad did with wrapping a heating wire around the water dish. I'm don't remember now what that kind of wire is called, but it's electric and used to keep outdoor plumbing from freezing. I asked DP and he says it's electric wire.

Plenty of fresh dry straw in someplace away from the wind and wet/snow is fine.
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#6 of 18 Old 11-13-2008, 04:21 PM - Thread Starter
 
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Thanks everyone-I guess this reinforces what we were thinking. I don't know how this will go, but we're thinking we might like to move the ladies into the small barn closer to our house for the winter-it's a little bit more sheltered than where we put the coop, and easier for us to get to in the winter months. We were so not thinking ahead when we put the coop down by the garden this summer and it's really tough to move. OK-one las ??? Do your chickens free range during the winter? (maybe this is another thread?).
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#7 of 18 Old 11-13-2008, 10:32 PM
 
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Mine free-range all year. I just close them up snug every night in their mostly draft-free henhouse (unheated). If it is going to be really wet and mucky for a few days I'll just leave them in the henhouse for that time since they don't seem to have the sense to come in out of the cold and wet.
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#8 of 18 Old 11-13-2008, 11:01 PM - Thread Starter
 
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Crud. It's been a super long day, feeling so yucky, and I forgot to close the henhouse! It's pitch black, I am feverish, DH is away. I hope my ladies will be ok.
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#9 of 18 Old 11-13-2008, 11:02 PM
 
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We've talked about letting ours free-range this winter (and from now on)... but then we would have to remember to lock them up at night. And, to be completely honest, we're lazy, forgetful people... so I'm not sure if we'll actually do so, or just keep rotating te fencing around the coop (we have that, totally, absolutely, fantastic portable electric netting).
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#10 of 18 Old 11-14-2008, 12:22 PM - Thread Starter
 
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Quote:
Originally Posted by karne View Post
Crud. It's been a super long day, feeling so yucky, and I forgot to close the henhouse! It's pitch black, I am feverish, DH is away. I hope my ladies will be ok.
Phew, there they were, standing at my mudroom door this morning!
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#11 of 18 Old 11-16-2008, 08:45 PM
 
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I have left ours open, and most of the time, nothing happens. I hope you're feeling better.

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!
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#12 of 18 Old 11-18-2008, 12:46 AM
 
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I wouldn't totally dismiss the idea of heating the coop, or hanging a heat lamp on the coldest nights. I've heard that sometimes chickens and roosters can freeze their combs, especially the ones with the large combs, and this can be bad for their health.

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!
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#13 of 18 Old 11-18-2008, 03:21 PM
 
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We have a heater in our coop. It isn't insulated so we thought it would be a good idea. That being said, it has been snowing and in the high 20's all day and the chickens have been out in it : . Everyone has told us they will go in iff they get to cold. Is this true?
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#14 of 18 Old 11-21-2008, 06:30 PM
 
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They dont need a heat lamp However if you want them to lay more they need the light hours to do so. BUT WARNING!!!!!! MAke sure you put a wire protecter around it. we had a nice shed I had a beautiful Flock of chickens. I had a heat lamp hanging securly and at some point it fell the chickens must of flew up knocking it down I lost all of them including half of my barn. PLEASE PLEASE use percaution.

Much love
amy
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#15 of 18 Old 11-22-2008, 06:56 PM
 
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we put a heat lamp out and they have been pretty happy.

on another note, we just lost two chickens today because they got out of our privacy fence and 2 stray dogs killed them.

we are so sad.

considering not letting them out to free range due to this problem.
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#16 of 18 Old 12-01-2013, 08:44 PM
 
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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.

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#17 of 18 Old 12-02-2013, 12:45 PM
 
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Here ya go:

http://blog.mypetchicken.com/2012/11/16/cold-weather-chickens-8-things-not-to-do/


Mama of 3 amazingly sweet kids jumpers.gif, living the dream on our urban farm chicken3.gif

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#18 of 18 Old 12-12-2013, 12:02 AM
 
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I had such a bad problem with dogs I instituted a one warning for the owner policy. If they're at my house after that, they meet my old sixteen guage. My birds stay only in my yard.
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