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Grantos

Heating the coop

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Hi all. 

We're still really new to keeping chickens, this being our 1st winter of having them, we're a little worried about the freezing cold nights now, we have a Silkie which we believe could struggle to keep warm at night in cold temperatures so I'm wondering what that best way/best products might be to warm the coop a little? 

Thanks in advance.

Grant

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If you close the coop, they should be perfectly able to keep each other warm. They’ll snuggle with each other. If you are experiencing really low temperatures, you could invest in a cold temperature jacket. But I really wouldn’t go about heating a coop.

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20 minutes ago, Cat tails said:

If you close the coop, they should be perfectly able to keep each other warm. They’ll snuggle with each other. If you are experiencing really low temperatures, you could invest in a cold temperature jacket. But I really wouldn’t go about heating a coop.

Our Silkie has taken to sleeping on the floor of the coop. We spoke to the breeder that we got them from and she said maybe the she is finding it too cold on the roost and so sleeping on the floor. We have put some hay on the floor where she sleeps to help keep her warm. 

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7 hours ago, Grantos said:

Our Silkie has taken to sleeping on the floor of the coop. We spoke to the breeder that we got them from and she said maybe the she is finding it too cold on the roost and so sleeping on the floor. We have put some hay on the floor where she sleeps to help keep her warm. 

I gather you don’t have an Omlet coop then? Those have double wall to help with insulation.

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We've given this some thought recently. We have some very old hens in large coops and are considering ceramic emitter bulbs, also called black or dull emitters, fitted into an E27 screw heat lamp. Problem is the output must be very low indeed, the emitter must be well away from the chickens so that needs a tall coop. Ideally there should be a thermostat, but a thermometer check should be OK. Another alternative is a small electric hen suspended from the ceiling to give gentle warmth. Even in our big coops (6' x4' x 4' high) I think 50 Watts will be sufficient and a smaller coop perhaps 25W. We have two electric hens and plenty of heat lamps but our smallest bulb at the moment is 75W. They use these bulbs for heating pets, so perhaps that's a place to start? We're OK for cabling as we have camping connector extensions, which are damp (but not water) proof, so they can be left on the floor under a cover.

We had a big freeze down here in France 9 years ago. For two weeks the daytime temperature was -12C and the night time -18C; the plumbers made a fortune mending burst pipes. It's an event like that we are planning for, because we haven't enough space inside for all of them. Anything down to -5C and we won't worry.

I think in your case Grantos, the hay on the floor will be sufficient and if not you could bring her in at night.

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I agree with Cat tails. Keep the coop door shut at night and window if you have one. Chickens should be ok with the cold down to -10degrees. But if there are any cold draughts through the coop then the chickens will take hurt from it and may die. If you are still concerned then there is a cheep remedy. I made a heater out of a sweat tin and some bits and pieces in the workshop. I made it to go under their water and works very well.I have a thermostat on the one I made but you could just switch it on and off on cold night. By having the light inside the tin , it will keep it dark in the coop. (if you think I am a genus, I am quite happy to tell me). Peter

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Wow. Pete thats defo Dragons Den stuff. I'm into a bit of DIY myself so wont take too much to knock up your solution with a thermostat. I guess the warmth from the bulb keeps the water from freezing too. 

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On 11/24/2020 at 10:23 AM, Beantree said:

We've given this some thought recently. We have some very old hens in large coops and are considering ceramic emitter bulbs, also called black or dull emitters, fitted into an E27 screw heat lamp. Problem is the output must be very low indeed, the emitter must be well away from the chickens so that needs a tall coop. Ideally there should be a thermostat, but a thermometer check should be OK. Another alternative is a small electric hen suspended from the ceiling to give gentle warmth. Even in our big coops (6' x4' x 4' high) I think 50 Watts will be sufficient and a smaller coop perhaps 25W. We have two electric hens and plenty of heat lamps but our smallest bulb at the moment is 75W. They use these bulbs for heating pets, so perhaps that's a place to start? We're OK for cabling as we have camping connector extensions, which are damp (but not water) proof, so they can be left on the floor under a cover.

We had a big freeze down here in France 9 years ago. For two weeks the daytime temperature was -12C and the night time -18C; the plumbers made a fortune mending burst pipes. It's an event like that we are planning for, because we haven't enough space inside for all of them. Anything down to -5C and we won't worry.

I think in your case Grantos, the hay on the floor will be sufficient and if not you could bring her in at night.

Thank you very much for your advice. You have openned up a few options to me now, it might be that I use a ceramic bulb and mount it in a tin like Pete has done below. 

Many thanks again.

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Pleased you like it, and don't hesitate to ask me any questions. (The photo of  the thermostat which I first used did not work correctly. I replaced it with a Frost thermostat) Peter 

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