As a chicken owner, one pressing matter that may be on your mind as the temperatures start to drop is chicken coop heating. Although chickens are very resilient creatures and able to survive some pretty harsh conditions, you need to understand that it’s in your best interest to keep them comfortable throughout the season. The happier and more comfortable your chickens are, the more eggs they’ll lay. Here are some suggestions for you to use to increase the warmth inside of your chicken coop.
Your Comfort Level Is Not the Same as a Chicken’s
First, you need to remember that chickens don’t require the same level of comfort that you do. What is cold to you may not be cold to them and vice versa. As long as you keep this in mind while you are arranging your chicken coop for the winter, your chickens will be fine.
Use Something Other Than Heat Lamps
Avoid the use of heat lamps inside of the coop. They pose a fire risk because there is no way for you to use them safely. The conditions and materials inside of the coop in addition to your chickens’ movements are all factors that can increase the risk of fire occurring from heat lamp use.
Instead, consider solar and natural lights. Depending on the setup of your chicken coop, you may be able to strategically incorporate them into its design. Keep in mind that any electrical light source you do decide to use needs to be connected to a generator. That way if an outage happens, you won’t have to worry about your chickens freezing to death from the extreme cold.
Hay and Bale Equal Toxic Insulation
Try to limit or not use bale and hay inside of the coop for insulation. Although this may seem like it is a practical idea, these materials can harbor mold and bacteria and create a very toxic and unsafe environment for your chickens.
Fresh Air Should Circulate Freely
In your effort to minimize drafts, you need to understand that sealing the coop up so that it is air-tight can be catastrophic for your chickens. Your chickens need lots of fresh air to circulate and prevent moisture buildup and mold growth. There are ways to seal the coop so you can maintain circulation without having to deal with the drafts.
Another issue that you’ll need to consider in regards to maintaining your coop during the winter is the water supply. It’s not always possible for you to prevent water from freezing in the winter time, and your chickens need around-the-clock access to it. A heated bucket that warms up just enough to keep your chickens water from freezing overnight may be something you’ll want to consider so you don’t have to get up several times a night to replace it.
There are plenty of ways for you to see to your chickens’ comfort during the winter. Consider their needs and goals and invest in the right processes and materials that allow you to meet both in the middle.