Prepping

Chicken Coop Heat – Safe For Inside Use As A Heater

image: radiant heater for chicken coop

I did my research for chicken coop heat that’s safe. I first installed just one of these heaters. Awhile later I purchased a second heater for more distribution across the roost since my birds take up nearly the entire length at night. It is a radiant heat and is reportedly safe for applications such as this.

While I researched for a chicken coop heater, I had read numerous horror stories about the coop catching on fire (different heaters). When you think about it, you’ve got a perfect combustion setup just waiting for a flame… lots of dust, shavings, etc…

That’s what led me to this one. It doesn’t get hot enough to combust. It’s radiant heat. My chickens love it. It does look like a flat screen TV. I think they’ve been waiting for me to hook up the satellite 🙂

Chicken Coop Heat

>> view heater on amzn

It has two heat settings. 100 watts / 200 watts. The switch has three positions: 100W – OFF – 200W.

There is no temperature control. So I purchased a temperature controller and repurposed it as a chicken coop heater temperature controller.

>> WILLHI WH1436A
(view on amzn)

You can adjust it to turn on and turn off at any temperature. I currently have it set to come on at 25 and off at 32. Although in reality chickens are going to be fine at those temperatures (but Mrs.J wants them to be warm and cozy). If it were me, I’d probably have it come on only when it got a bit colder than that. But that’s not a battle worth having just to save ~20-cents in electricity overnight 😉

WH1436A temperature controller

During the day we shut off the little toggle switch for each heater so it doesn’t run all day (on cold days) and waste electricity while they’re outside in the pen or wherever. Before sunset we turn them back on and let the temperature controller do its thing.

When I built my chicken coop, I told you how I insulated it:

[ Read: Chicken Coop Insulation | How I Am Insulating And What I’m Using ]

Well, it’s working out pretty good! We have had some fairly cold nights so far this early winter (around zero degrees). I’ve noticed that the heaters will generally add at least 20 degrees inside the coop – as long as their little coop door is closed. And that’s with vents up at the top too…not bad!

Oh, by the way, I generally leave the heaters on 100 watts (saves some electricity). But if it’s forecast to get real cold, I’ll switch it to 200 watts.

Note: Never close the chicken coop vents all the way – to keep it warmer inside – even when it’s cold. They NEED ventilation. They could actually get frost bit from excess moisture inside if you don’t vent. I do partially block the vents during winter (compared with summer), but you still need to be careful to leave enough ventilation.

As you would expect, the cold air readily comes in when their door is opened in the morning – although it still remains about 5 – 10 degrees warmer inside, depending.

We always get periods during the winter when we hit the 20’s below zero. Sometimes 30 below! We’ll see what happens when we get there…

One more thing… They say if you feed chickens cracked corn, they will stay warmer at night. Something about digestion. So that’s what we do:

One more tip: When it’s really cold in the morning, you better get those eggs promptly – or they’ll freeze and crack! Ask me how I know…

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