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Managing Coop Temperatures

Chicken HealthJeremy SmithComment

Managing the temperature of your chicken coop is a vital and crucial task to do. Too hot and the chickens will over heat, too cold and they could freeze, too open to elements and your chicken can become ill. How can you manage this in such a way that it will not have to monitored constantly? There are a few different steps you can take.

How can you manage this in such a way that it will not have to monitored constantly? There are a few different steps you can take.

  1. Make sure you coop is well insulated in the warm climate but can be a comfortable temperature when weather is at its worst.

  2. Many chicken care takers have found an easy way to manage it is to install a copula. This allows the rising heat to slowly escape through the top of the coop and replenish it with cool fresh air.

  3. Another method is to install windows that would be reinforced with one inch chicken wire to allow air flow but also to prevent unexpected guests from entering. “Air flow is extremely important and very necessary, without it the chicken’s fecal matter can produce a gas/ammonia that with no air flow could kill the chicken overnight.”

  4. Many other chicken people have installed small vent covers towards the top of their coop to slowly allow heat to escape but not too large that it lets all the heat out and freezing the chicken. “If you use larger sized vent cover be sure that it is reinforced to keep predators out.”

  5. If you battle with harsh cool nights but it is too hot during the day to have a heater running the whole time, the best suggestion would be a heat lamp/heater controlled by a timer. “Baby chicks need the heat no matter what but larger chicken might not need it through the entire day.”

  6. Some people think of sett in fan in the coop when its too hot but this does nothing for the birds. Unlike us chickens do not have sweat glands. So unless its blowing cool fresh outside air on them the fan would just be cycling the air and mixing with the heat from up higher making the coop and it uncomfortable for the chickens. “When it gets too hot they will get off of the perches and go lower to the cooler air.” (this is why ventilation is so important)

Chicks should be kept in a 95 degree Fahrenheit temperature controlled space but adult chickens generally are very hardy and could be in 0 degree Fahrenheit weather. When its this cold its important to have some ventilation but limit it so the coop is not drafty. I personally set a heat lamp up in my coop to turn on when the coop is under 50 degrees Fahrenheit and a small space heater that turns on when the coop is lower than 40 degrees Fahrenheit.. Also in the winter weather up in North West Indiana we have an issue with limited sunlight for weeks at a time. To counter this and keep egg production boosted we have a regular 100watt light bulb that turn on with a timer from 6am-5pm. This tricks the chickens into laying throughout the year and Im sure my warm coop helps with this as well.

Want some coop ideas? Here is a video tour of our coop.

Jeremy Smith