Winter Chicken Coop Care, Part 4: Heating your chicken coop

Electricity added to coop for lights and heat

This is the last in a four-part series on getting your chickens and coop ready for the winter.

Lighted and heated backyard chicken coop in the snow

Once you’ve done everything else, you may find that you still want to provide extra warmth in your coop. We live in a fairly temperate climate, and even during freezing events we typically do not heat our chicken coops. However, many backyard chicken keepers in steady sub-freezing conditions have need for and success with artificial (electric) heat, through lamps, radiant heaters, and heated waterers.

At what temperature should I consider adding heat to my coop?

If the temps are forecasted to be steadily in the mid-teens Fahrenheit or lower (-10 degrees Celsius or lower) for a few days or more, it’s worth considering helping your flock out a bit. Keep in mind, this assumes your chickens are otherwise in good health and fully feathered. If they are lacking their natural insulation or ability to generate their own body heat, think about supplementing heat when the temps dip below freezing.

How should I heat my chicken coop in the winter?

If you decide to supplement heat in your coop, here are some tips I’ve gathered from those who’ve used our coop plans and have used electric heat effectively. Be sure to read the comments section for more tips, cautions, and advice, particularly if you keep males as well as females. . . .

Read more