What is the best chicken coop heater?
If you live in a climate where there is a lot of snow and ice in the winter, a chicken coop heater will go a long way to keeping your birds healthy and happy.
Chickens can freeze to death, especially if they are not well to start off with, so a good coop heater might be necessary.
For those in especially cold climates, you might need a heater just to keep their water from freezing!
Chicken Coop Heater Review
PETNF Coop Heater
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Cozy Panel Coop Heater
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Heated Chicken Perch
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Heated Chicken Pad
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Solar Coop Heater
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Before we make some recommendations, let’s first answer, ‘who should use a coop heater?’
Chickens can live in very cold climates and will adapt to living in snowy and icy conditions.
Sometimes it can be detrimental to chicken health for them to have a heater in the coop because it prevents them from acclimatizing as well.
The feathers on a chicken will thicken up so they can fluff up in cold conditions.
As long as their coop is well ventilated they will be fine.
However, there are some instances when a heater might be necessary.
If you have chicks hatched in the late fall or winter months, a heater will be necessary to keep them from being knocked around by the cold.
A benefit of keeping the coop warm for mature chickens is that you will likely see an increased rate of egg-laying.
Also, the cold can be hard on them – how long the chicken lives could be affected by severe weather.
1. PETNF Chicken Coop Heater
This is one of the best-selling chicken coop heaters and it’s really well-reviewed.
It is said to have a radiant heating range of 16 inches so many chickens can be near the warmth.
It has an energy-efficient design that will help keep the power costs down.
The PETNF Coop Heater comes with legs so that it can stand in the middle of the coop, or it can be mounted to a wall.
- 122 – 167 degree temperature range
- Two ways to use it
- Not super high powered
- Complaints it doesn’t get warm enough
2. Safe Heater For Chicken Coop
This flat panel coop heater is an excellent option when it comes to heating your coop.
It’s a safe 200w unit that doesn’t require bulbs or lights and has been well-reviewed by verified purchasers.
It does not have a thermostat, but one can be purchased separately to monitor the temperature.
This unit has feet that can be removed in order for it to be mounted onto a wall for a permanently fixed position.
There is no fan, but radiant heat is enough to warm small areas.
- Good for small spaces
- Buy 2 and save
- Modern look for the sophisticated chicken
- High powered and uses more electricity
3. Heated Chicken Perch
From the creators of one of the most popular heated cat beds, comes the K&H heated chicken perch.
This heated perch comes in two sizes: 26 or 36 inches long.
This thaws out and keeps warm your chicken’s feet, but will help their entire body and coop to be heated.
Because it’s so important to keep your coop ventilated to prevent humidity build-up and frostbite, or ammonia overdoes from droppings, a heated perch might be just what you need.
It’s thermostatically controlled and comes in different wattages.
- Good for keeping feet warm
- Very low powered so cheaper to run
- Chickens love it
- Can get very dirty and be difficult to clean well
4. Heated Chicken Pad
The K&H Heated Chicken Pad can be used both indoors and outdoors and is especially good for keeping younger chickens warm.
This unit can be installed flat or vertically on its side.
It’s only a 40-watt heater, so it’s totally fine for your chicks or chickens to sit on top of it.
It has chew-resistant features such as a steel-encased cord, pre-drilled Screw holes, and rounded edges.
- Very cheap to run
- Good for warming feet
- Good for chicks
- Also prone to getting covered in poo if used horizontally
5. Solar Chicken Coop Heater
A solar-powered chicken coop heater may not always be the best idea because, presumably, you are using the heater in the winter.
More often than not, solar yields drop dramatically in the winter so generating enough energy is not feasible.
However, any small electric device like these coop heaters can be made to work with solar panels.
Just find a cheap panel that can support the wattage draw of your heater, along with an inverter and batteries, and set it up.
You would likely end up spending more on the panel than on the heater, though if getting power out to the coop is an issue this might be your best bet.
- No need to run cords from home or garage
- May save money on power in the long run
- Self-sufficient chickens
- Extra expense for panel and heater
Cold Weather Chicken Breeds
If you live somewhere in the mountains where the climate regularly drops below freezing or in one of the US’s coldest places, you may need to provide heating.
Alternatively, ensure you only raise and keep chicken breeds that are good with the cold.
Some breeds are not good in the cold, and others will be totally fine.
Personally, I don’t live in a climate that is all that cold so I don’t need to worry about having a chicken coop heater.
We have a variety of breeds in our flock including the silkies and brown shavers pictured in this post.
Good in the cold:
- Plymouth Rock
- Rhode Island Reds
Not so good in the cold:
- Breeds with large combs
- Feather footed breeds
Chicken breeds with large combs can be frostbitten in freezing temperatures.
Feather-footed breeds have difficulty getting their feet dry, and snow and ice are more frequently trapped in them, causing problems.
Having these breeds in the cold may require a coop heater
Coop Heater FAQs
Can chickens freeze to death?
Yes, chickens can freeze to death.
Sick or unhealthy chickens will be most susceptible to frosts, snow, and extremely low temperatures.
Ensuring they have a well-insulated chicken coop is the best way to keep them warm during cold winter nights.
What temperature is too cold for chickens?
Chicken breeds that are suitable for cold weather can withstand 10 – 20 degrees below freezing (so long as they are healthy).
However, they will need a warmer coop during the nights, and should not be out in harsh winds and rains in these temperatures.
Also, if you have 3 or more chickens they will more than likely huddle up together and keep one another warm.
What is the best type of heat for a chicken?
The heat from another chicken roosting next to it is the best heat for a chicken.
However, if you’re meaning what type of heater, then a radiant heater is better than a far heater.
In fact, a fan heater in a chicken coop would be downright dangerous and should not be used.
At what temperature do chickens need a heater?
You would need to start thinking about getting a heater when temperatures consistently drop below zero.
However, if you have a smallish coop with a number of chickens, I wouldn’t worry.
Also, if you have a well-insulated chicken coop and the temperature inside is above zero, it’s unlikely necessary.
How can I heat my chicken coop without a heater?
Here are some ideas for keeping a chicken coop warm without using power:
- Make sure it’s well insulated
- Provide ventilation but stop it from being drafty
- Locate your coop in the sun, not in the shadows
- Prevent snow and water from seeping in anywhere
- Provide hay and other bedding material
And make sure your chooks are getting out and about during the day to keep the blood flowing through their veins.
Are solar chicken coop heaters effective?
It really depends on the type you choose as some are better than others.
Extremely cheap solar heaters are probably not worth the trouble, but the more sophisticated can be really helpful.
Some people also hook up good solar panels to open their chicken coop doors on a timer.
Are chickens OK when they’re wet?
Chickens don’t mind a little bit of rain, but it’s best for them not to be soaked for too long or they will suffer.
This is especially the case in the winter and lower temperatures.
Best Heater For Chicken Coop
We hope this has helped you to decide on a heater for your coop so that your chooks are kept toasty through the winter.
The PETNF Chicken Coop Heater is a good model to test.
Just remember it’s not going to heat the entire coop, but will warm chickens standing nearby with radiant heat.
I also really like the hen house heaters for sale on Tractor Supply – they have all the different types of coop heaters.
There is a price to pay for a good chicken heater, but I think the benefits of having happy chickens and more fresh eggs are worth the small expense.
For more fun chicken content, find out how chicken eggs are fertilized!