My chickens, Guinea fowl, peacocks and peahens are ready for the cold season.
Here at my Bedford, New York farm, I like to offer supplemental heat for my peafowl and chickens during the winter months. I use Sweeter Heaters in all the coops – they’re safe, reliable and easy to install. We got them from our friends at My Pet Chicken, a company I’ve used for many years. These Sweeter Heaters stay at or below a safer heat level, and use far less electricity – and, they’re also designed and assembled right here in the United States.
Here are some photos.
It is important to me that my chickens get the very best care. In return, they provide good companionship and the most delicious eggs. This is my chicken yard. It has four coops and is completely fenced in to keep the birds safe. Now that it is fall, it’s time to set up the heaters in the coops so they’re ready when the temperatures dip.
Chickens are actually very hardy, and covered in fluffy feathers, so the temperatures have to be very low to require such supplemental heat. Some chicken experts recommend a temperature around 40-degrees Fahrenheit as ideal for hens.
I started raising chickens many years ago, and vowed to always have my own coops where I could keep happy, healthy and beautiful birds. I am so proud of the flocks I have raised – they have always thrived here at the farm. They spend most of their days outside in the yard – always with clean, fresh water…
… and food. Twice a day, early morning and late afternoon, the birds are given cracked corn. They also eat plenty of vegetable and fruit matter.
Since all my chickens come here as baby chicks, they are very accustomed to the sounds made by the crew. In fact, these birds are filled with curiosity and friendliness and love to greet and follow visitors when they arrive.
Sweeter Heaters are safe, energy-efficient, and reliable heaters for chicken coops and other animal enclosures. I have enough heaters to install two in every coop.
Each unit hangs down from the rafters with chains. The Sweeter Heater comes with chains and “S” hooks, but spools of chain are also easy to get at the hardware store.
These chains are light and can be cut to fit any length needed.
Here are the chains suspended from the wooden supports. Each heater will be located just inside one of two doors to each chicken coop.
These heaters are not heavy – just a few pounds. And, because it swings, birds will be less apt to perch on it.
For my coops, I use the largest size Sweet Heater, which measures 11-inches by 40-inches. They also come in smaller sizes for smaller flocks. The unit is designed to be suspended, so the electrical cord is at the top and away from any birds.
Chickens prefer to roost on high levels – this Guinea hen and the chicken hens below are perched in front of the nesting boxes.
From this doorway, one can see the Sweeter Heater on the other side of the coop. The Sweeter Heater’s infrared rays are spread over the entire surface area of the unit’s panel and are evenly projected straight down, with no hot or cold spots in the pattern.
This coop is used for my Silkie Chickens. It is also now equipped with adequate Sweeter Heater units. The weather here at my Bedford, New York farm has been quite mild so far, but the nights are getting cooler, so I am glad our heaters are all in place to keep the birds warm.
In the Silkie coop, the heaters are positioned lower. The Sweeter Heater’s infrared radiant lens temperature doesn’t exceed 160 to 180 degrees Fahrenheit. The surface will be warm, but it won’t burn the animals or any of the bedding – it is very gentle.
There is another one standing by on this side, ready to use. These are also tilted to warm a greater surface area. The wires are carefully secured to the wall, so they are not in any way of the birds.
If you’re unfamiliar with Silkie chickens, they were originally bred in China. They are best known for their characteristically fluffy plumage said to feel silk- or satin-like to the touch. Underneath all that feathering, they also have black skin and bones and five toes instead of the typical four on each foot.
There are eight Silkie color varieties accepted by the American Poultry Association. They include black, blue, buff, gray, partridge, splash, and this crisp white.
This breed grows a bit slower than other chicken breeds. Silkies are adaptable and playful. And, they are naturally more calm than other chickens.
Because peafowl originated from southeast Asia, they are not as tolerant of the cold, so they require heated shelters in northern states. My peacocks and peahens share a large coop just outside my stable near the Silkies and the geese. Here is one perched inside the coop watching all the activity from above.
In the peafowl coop, the heaters are also secured closer to the ground where it will be coldest in winter.
While the temperatures are still pleasant during the day, these peafowl love to perch outside. Over the summer, I fenced the entire top of this yard, so they would be more safe from predators. I am so glad all my birds are doing so well at the farm. They’ll also be very warm and safe this winter with their Sweeter Heaters from My Pet Chicken.