6 Reasons Not To Heat Your Chicken Coop In The Winter

source: Flyte so Fancy

If you’re an animal lover, I’m sure you want all animals to be warm and toasty during the cold winter months. If you own chickens, you may have installed a heater of some sort for this very reason. However, heating your chicken coop in the winter can actually do a lot more harm than good – here’s why.

1. Chickens Are Not The Same As People

source: The Rustic Elk

Unsurprisingly, chickens and human beings are built quite differently. Just because you feel cold in the winter does not mean your chickens feel cold in their coop. Chickens have completely different anatomies than humans, and their body temperature will automatically regulate depending on the temperature they’re living in.

2. Fire Hazard

source: Carolina Coops

If you take nothing else away from this list, let it be this – there is no safe way to heat a chicken coop in the winter. Heat lamps, panels, and pads are all potential fire hazards. With the combination of chicken feathers, bedding, dust, and rodents who like to chew cords, there really is no fail-proof method to heat a coop. For this reason, it’s best to avoid heaters altogether.

3. Trapped Moisture

source: Homestead and Chill | Instagram/magicvalleyhomestead

The worst enemy of a chicken coop? Moisture. Sealing up your coop and adding a heater makes proper ventilation impossible. Without proper ventilation, moisture will accumulate inside the coop which can lead to mold and even frostbite for your chickens.

4. Less Time Outside

source: PR Web | wikimedia

Your chickens can and should go outside in the winter. Like us, they, too, need fresh air, exposure to sunlight, and exercise. If you heat their coop, they will be a lot less likely to go outside, and that’s not a good thing – even in the winter.

5. Power Loss Potential

source: Morning Chores | shutterstock

Say you have a heater in your coop, and your chickens ultimately become accustomed to that specific temperature. What would happen if your power went out (common during high wind and winter storms)? Your chickens would be faced with a sudden drop in temperature which could easily lead to shock and even death. It’s not worth the risk!

6. It’s Simply Unnecessary

source: Mick Telkamp

At the end of the day, chickens just don’t need heaters in their coops. For hundreds of years, chickens have lived and become accustomed to not living with heaters. This alone should speak for the fact that they simply do not require heaters to be happy and healthy during the winter.

If you have chickens or are planning to get chickens in the future, hopefully these winter chicken coop tips will help you (and your chickens) out! Enjoy the winter, everyone – no matter where you may be!