Heating Coops in the winter

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Heating Coops in the winter

Post by phillipam » 19 Oct 2015, 08:43

We are approaching our very first winter as owners of 4 beautiful layers – 3 Rhode Island reds, and a white one (Breed unknown). Their chicken coop is an ex cattery house but they have free reign of the garden during the day. Do I need to provide heating in the coop for them? And if so how would I go about doing so? There are electrical connections in the coop, so a heating bulb would be possible, but I have no idea what wattage/m2 is appropriate – don’t want to toast the poor girls.
Any advice for this newbie??

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Re: Heating Coops in the winter

Post by drfish » 19 Oct 2015, 11:59

Welcome to the forum.

Short answer, no need. Chickens are like duvets, and believe it or not most will do perfectly fine in the UK climate without a coop at all. Even on the darkest frostiest of nights. A coop is a luxury item we afford to protect the chickens from overnight predators, and to offer some shelter from the elements. A lot of people who don't get problems with foxy (our Scottish islands for example) don't bother with a coop, or don't especially exercise getting them in at night. They're happy to roost up a tree regardless of elements. As long as they aren't sat in a howling draught, and have a roof, they'll be spot on.
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Re: Heating Coops in the winter

Post by Henwife » 21 Oct 2015, 07:44

Over heated chicken get sick and weaken. Its the main reason I would never have anything to do with ex battery birds. However, since you already have a power supply to their house, you might want to lengthen their day slightly with additional light to encourage laying in the winter. Not too much, they need some 'time off'.
Guinea fowl & a lot of surplus poultry equipment.

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