The first winter with your chickens is always the hardest. You worry about them constantly, and your biggest fear is that they will freeze to death. But you don’t have to worry about that. Let’s look at the 5 top chicken coop heaters.
Do Chickens Need A Heater?
Before talking about chicken coop heaters, let’s talk about how cold is too cold. Most chickens are the most comfortable when they are in 70-75 degree weather, aren’t we all? That doesn’t mean that your chickens can’t tolerate weather above or below this.
Most chickens tolerate weather well into the teens. And if you have chickens designed for cold weather, they can even tolerate temperatures into the negatives. So unless you live in the tundra, your chickens should survive just fine with a little weather-proofing. Chicken coops winter-proofing should include checking ventilation, insulation, and drafts. But there are cases where you would want some source of heat in your coop.
Why You Might Need Heat Sources
While not everyone needs a heated chicken coop, they can make you feel better. And it might surprise you to know that there are other benefits for adding heat to your coop. Here are a few below.
During the winter, you might find that you are racing the weather for fresh eggs. And no doubt, you have found a frozen egg or two by now. Frozen eggs are still edible, but they lose a little bit of texture. But instead of collecting eggs several times a day, why not place a heater in the coop?
Keeps The Eggs Coming
Some chicken breeds slow down or stop laying entirely during the winter. Giving your chickens a little bit of warmth could keep your chickens producing. Doing this might have some harmful side effects on different breeds, so remember to do your research first.
Cozy And Happy Chickens
And, of course, having a heat source will keep your chickens happy. Happy chickens live longer and produce more eggs. And if they are happy, you will be content that they are all ok.
Are There Risks To Heating A Coop?
Heating a coop comes with a few risks. The biggest risk is that it can be a fire hazard. Depending on what heating methods you use, some pose more threats than others. One example is heating lamps. In the past, chicken owners swore that keeping a reptile lamp in the coop kept their chickens toasty. But these lamps often shatter and risk catching bedding on fire.
But there are a few things you can do to avoid fire risks. The biggest preventative is not to heat the entire coop. Having an area where your chickens can go when they are too cold is the best option. These heating sources don’t produce light and don’t have enough power to heat the whole coop. It’s a win-win all around.
Another risk is that you could overheat your hens. Confined hens are at risk of becoming too hot in smaller coops since adjusting the heat is more complicated. If you are only heating a small area, it is easier for your hens to adjust their temperature themselves.
5 Top Chicken Coop Heaters!
Here we are. Below is a list of our 5 top chicken coop heaters. We will talk about why we love it and any downsides to the product. You are sure to find the perfect heater here.
#1 Sweeter Heater
Our first option is the Sweeter Heater. Whether you use this in the coop or brooder, all of your poultry will love it. And we love that these chicken coop heaters are energy efficient. Hanging these heaters above roosts or nesting boxes provide the perfect shelter from the cold. The Sweeter Heater is also safe for everyday use without the risk of fire.
The only drawback to this heater is that they need a power source. So if you don’t have electricity to your coop, this could pose an issue. But don’t give up! Keep reading to see how to remedy this problem.
#2 K&H Thermo-Chicken Heated Pad
Some breeds are at higher risk of getting frostbite on their feet. For these girls, you want the K&H Thermo-Chicken Heated Pad. These pads will warm your chicken’s toes with ease. This pad is safe to use and won’t burn your chickens.
And it’s also multipurpose. You could hang multiple pads on the walls near the roost. Or you could use them in the brooder to keep your chicks snug. Some owners even make “warm spots” in the run for their chickens to gather. The possibilities are endless.
#3 Cozy Coop Heater
Most people use the Cozy Coop Heater for brooder. But did you know you can also use them in your coop with no harmful side effects? Your chickens will snuggle up to these any time they need a little break from the cold. The Cozy Coop Heater is entirely safe to use and lasts for years.
And just like the heating pad above, these chicken coop heaters are versatile. The only downside to this product is that you need electricity to get it powered.
#4 Premier Carbon Fiber Heater
If you have a large coop, you might be interested in the Premier Carbon Fiber Heater. This heater is a safe alternative to the traditional heat lamps. These heaters are strong enough to provide a cozy coop without the fire dangers.
We also love that these chicken coop heaters last forever. A heat lamp needs replacing every month or so. But this Carbon Fiber Heater will last years. The downside is that these heaters need a little cleaning maintenance to keep them safe and functioning.
#5 Poultry Drinker Heater Base
You know that feeling of drinking hot coffee or cocoa, and it warms your soul? Having a chicken water heater can do the same for your flock. Drinking ice-cold water will chill them even more. But if your chicken’s water is on the warmer side, it will keep their bellies warm.
But you don’t want to keep the water too warm. Warmers like the Poultry Drinker Heater Base keeps the water at the perfect temperature. These warmers are safe to use and don’t require anything special.
How To Heat A Chicken Coop Without Electricity
You might have noticed that a lot of these methods require electricity. While there are traditional ways of keeping your chickens warm, there are other options. If you don’t have electricity for your coop, here are the best solutions.
A solar chicken coop heater can get expensive, and they aren’t always the most reliable. But a better option is to install your own solar panels. Once you decide on the best heater for your coop, you can use the measurements to determine what kit is best for you.
Our favorite is the WEIZE 200 Watt 12 Volt Monocrystalline Solar Panel Kit. They also have 100-watt kits for smaller heaters. These kits come with everything you need to get power into your coop. With easy to install instructions and excellent customer service, you will not be sorry.
In emergencies, you might wish for a battery powered chicken coop heater. While you can get a rechargeable battery pack, they can get expensive. Ideally, you would need two charged at all times. But since these packs generate a lot of electricity, they last forever in a low wattage coop heater.
One of the best battery packs you can get is the Jackery Portable Power Station Explorer 160. This battery can either be charged by solar power or by electricity. And they are reasonably affordable as far as battery packs go. Even if you don’t use chicken coop heaters daily, having a few of these charged for emergencies is a great idea.
Traditional Heating Methods
No matter what way you decide to keep your coop warm, there are a few precautions everyone should take. And some of these precautions are enough for mild climates to keep your chickens happy all winter.
Deep Litter Method
Using the deep litter method is beneficial for many reasons. It is the best way to compost your chicken’s bedding. And the composting generates natural heat in the coop.
Every fall, you should check your coop for drafts and cracks. These will naturally happen as your coop settles and might need patching every year.
Your coop should also have sufficient insulation. Pad your walls well with insulation, or find an alternative. This will help keep the wind out and heat in.
The main concern you will have in the winter is humidity. If your coop is too humid, your chickens will be at risk of frostbite and illnesses. Keeping your ventilation up high lets the moisture out without freezing your hens.
How Will You Keep Your Hens Warm?
With a combination of natural and electric heaters, your chickens will be the most spoiled around. And using one of our 5 top chicken coop heaters, you will never worry about your chickens again.
Below is a Pinterest friendly photo…. so you can pin it to your Backyard Chicken Board!!