Heating Coops in the winter

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Heating Coops in the winter

Postby 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

Postby 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

Postby 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'.
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