There is a huge range of chicken coop heaters available on the market, but not all of them are created equally
While your budget is a large factor for the best chicken coop heater for your flock, the quality and wattage of the unit are both just as important.
To make sure you find the best chicken coop heater for your chickens, I’ve reviewed a variety of different products and looked at their pros and cons.
After considering all the options our top picks were…
Top Considerations To Make When Buying Coop Heaters
When shopping for a heating device for your coop, there are a few factors you need to keep in mind to ensure you select the right product for your birds.
Chicken coop heaters are made by many different manufacturers, some you might recognize, some you might not.
Brands that are well-respected by chicken owners are a good place to start as this shows a level of reliability and quality.
Take a look at forums or user reviews of the heater you’re thinking of using to help you figure out whether it’s a trustworthy and high-quality product.
Chicken coop heaters aren’t the cheapest piece of equipment around, but it’s still possible to find one of a decent standard for a relatively low price.
For most heaters designed for chicken coops, price has a direct correlation in terms of their quality.
Cheaper heaters often break quickly, which means you’ll need to replace them frequently.
Additionally, units made with inferior materials or components could increase the risk of fires.
So, if you can afford to spend a little more on a heater, it’s definitely worth the extra money.
The wattage or energy rating of a chicken coop heater is the final aspect you need to consider when selecting the right unit for your birds.
As a general rule of thumb, you should opt for a heater with a wattage between 100 watts and 150 watts for a small coop.
However, the size of your coop and the amount of chickens also comes into play.
If you own a particularly large coop, then you might need a more powerful heater to keep your chickens warm.
What Are Chicken Coop Heaters?
A chicken coop heater is a heating device you place inside your coop to keep your chickens at a comfortable temperature
If you’re brooding chicks or live in a particularly cold climate, a heater can be a good addition to your coop.
Importance of Using Chicken Coop Heaters
Chickens don’t always need heat in their coop. For example, during summer months when it is very hot, using a heating unit can be a fire hazard or cause heat stress.
However, in cold weather, adding some extra heat to your chicken coop can be beneficial to ensure their core body temperature doesn’t drop too low.
Chicks, in particular, need to be kept at an appropriate temperature during winter or cool months to prevent them from becoming sick or worse.
Types of Chicken Coop Heaters
Heaters come in an assortment of designs, each with their highlights and drawbacks.
Let’s take a look at some of the most common types of heaters you’ll come across.
Flat Panel Heater
Flat panel heaters resemble a flatscreen TV and can be affixed to a wall or left free standing.
They are typically inexpensive, but they only heat a small area of your coop rather than the whole space.
For this reason, flat panel heaters are best placed near your chickens’ roosting perches to ensure your flock stays warm.
An infrared heater can either be fitted on side mounts or hung overhead.
As this type of heater can only heat a small area, it’s best placed near your chickens’ roosting perches.
Oil Filled Radiator
Another safe chicken coop heater worth considering is an oil filled radiator.
It’s essentially a small radiator filled with oil that is electrically heated.
In small and large coops, this type of heating unit is ideal for keeping your chickens warm.
However, they can be a little fiddly to clean and can be a fire hazard if knocked over.
A brooder heating plate is necessary for brooding chicks during cold weather.
Brooder plates come in many different shapes and designs, but they’re all designed to keep your chicks warm.
Even with a chick heat lamp, you need to make sure your chicks’ brooding area is free from drafts to prevent them from getting too cold.
Brooder plates normally turn on at 35 °F and off at 45 °F to keep your chicks at an appropriate temperature.
When Should You Use a Coop Heater?
During cold months, using a heater can be a good idea to ensure your chickens don’t get too cold.
You should also use a heater if you’re brooding chicks.
To see if your chickens need a heating unit, monitor their behavior.
If your chickens seem normal and active, then you might not need a heater.
However, if you notice your birds go off their food/water or appear lethargic, then you might want to consider adding some heat.
How Cold Can Chickens Tolerate?
Chickens can survive in temperatures down into the teens, but this isn’t optimal.
Keeping your chickens at overly cool temperatures can slow their egg production and cause hypothermia, lethargy, poor appetite, and other undesirable side effects.
At What Temperature Should You Heat a Chicken Coop?
The best temperature to keep your chicken coop at is open to interpretation, but a lot of owners keep their coop at temperatures between 40 °F and 50 °F.
Dangers of Heating the Coop
Fire hazard is the main risk of using heaters in your coop, but there are a few other dangers associated with heating your coop that you need to be aware of.
If you experience a power outage or your heater fails, a drastic drop in temperature can be deadly to your chickens as they will be unable to cope with the sudden change. Alternatively, if you heat your coop too quickly, this can also be fatal.
Increasing the heat in your coop will also increase its humidity, which can cause frostbite in birds with large wattles and combs.
The temperature in your coop doesn’t need to be tropical, so make sure you keep it within your chickens’ comfort zone.
I Don’t Want to Use a Heater, What Else Can I Do?
Heaters don’t work for everyone, so if you’d rather not use one in your coop, there are other things you can do to keep your flock warm when it’s cold.
Adding insulation to your coop such as foam board, feed sacks, shredded newspaper, insulating mats, or cardboard can help heat your chickens’ housing.
Just make sure you cover any insulation with wooden boards or types of peck-proof materials to prevent your birds from eating it.
Putting more bedding on the floor in your coop can also help with insulation.
Straw and hay contain a lot of air pockets that can help keep your chickens toasty.
The amount of space in your coop can affect the overall temperature.
For example, if you have a big coop with only 4 chickens, then there’s a lot of space that isn’t being used.
If this is the case, it might be worthwhile reducing the size of the area or moving your chickens to a small room to help them retain heat.
Blocking off a section of your coop can decrease the amount of space that needs to be heated.
You could partition off a part of your coop with plastic sheeting or another type of barricade.
It’s important to note that you should not store straw bales inside your coop as they can become moldy.
Placing them outside your coop for insulation is fine, but they can attract vermin.
FAQs About Heating a Coop
Here’s some important information you should keep in mind before using a heater in your chicken coop.
Do Chickens Need Heat During Winter?
This depends on where you live and the outside temperature. Some chickens don’t need additional heat during the winter, but if you notice your chickens acting more lethargic or inactive than usual, then you might want to consider using a heater.
My Hens Are Sleepy and Aren’t Eating, What’s Wrong?
There are a couple of reasons why your hens might be sleepy and have a poor appetite.
The first possible explanation is hypothermia and the second is low body temperature.
Either way, move your hens into a warm room so they can become more comfortable and active.
My Hens Have Frostbitten Combs, Should I Raise the Heat?
Heat has nothing to do with frostbitten combs. The issue is moisture.
If your hens have frostbitten combs, you should improve the ventilation in your coop.
Best Chicken Coop Heater Reviews
Best Flat Panel Heater
Provides gentle radiant heat to cold areas in your coop to make sure your birds acclimate properly to the increased temperature. It also offers more uniform heat than a heat lamp for chickens, which enhances its overall effectiveness.
This heater from Cozy Products is a fantastic option for keeping your coop nice and toasty during cool conditions.
It doesn’t have any bulbs or lamps that you need to replace, unlike some other heating units or heat lamps for chickens.
It provides gentle radiant heat to cold areas in your coop to make sure your birds acclimate properly to the increased temperature.
It also offers more uniform heat than a heat lamp for chickens, which enhances its overall effectiveness.
The unit is energy efficient and has a large on/off switch on the power cord.
It has an LED display and built-in thermostat so you always know the amount of heat the unit is producing, which is a handy feature.
The design of this heating device is both refined and sleek.
Suitable for Small or Large Coops
It sports a razor-thin shape, so it can be used in both small and large coops.
For convenience, you can mount the unit to the sides of your coop.
Some oil filled radiators can be a fire hazard, so using a heater like this one from Cozy Products is an ideal option for eliminating that risk.
However, this heating device can deteriorate in efficiency over time. The on/off switch can also stop working or break prematurely.
- Dimensions: 18.98” x 0.63” x 12.01”
- Weight: 5 lbs
- Material: Plastic
- Wattage: 200 Watts
- Provides gentle radiant heat
- Sleek and compact design
- Can be mounted to sides of coop
- Energy efficient
- Can become less effective over time
- On/off switch can break prematurely
Best Infrared Heater
It produces a uniform heat pattern to prevent any hot spots in your coop. It also has an internal thermostat that automatically switches off if heat is unable to escape
Another solid choice for a comfortable and cozy coop is the SWEETER HEATER infrared heating unit.
It produces a uniform heat pattern to prevent any hot spots in your coop.
The device has an internal thermostat that automatically switches off if heat is unable to escape.
It comes with an overhead mount, chains, and hooks so you can suspend it overhead.
You can adjust the hotness of the unit to make sure your birds stay at a comfortable temperature.
It’s a great option for brooding chicks as it’s designed to add warmth to your animals rather than the environment.
The device is energy efficient, which makes it relatively low in price to run.
It comes in a sleek white color and can accommodate up to 75 chicks.
However, the device can occasionally stop working after a short period of use.
- Dimensions: 40" x 1" x 2"
- Weight: 7 lbs
- Wattage: 150 Watts
- Ideal for brooding chicks
- Includes a built-in thermostat that switches off when heat can’t escape
- Adjustable temperature settings
- Energy efficient
- Can occasionally break after a short time
Best Oil Filled Radiator
It provides multiple heating settings and 5 temperature settings to help you keep your coop nice and toasty during cold weather.
If you’re looking for a good-quality oil filled radiator for your coop, then this one from PELONIS is worth considering.
It provides multiple heating settings (900 watts, 1500 watts, and mode) and 5 temperature settings.
You can set the unit to 65 °F, 70 °F, 75 °F, 80 °F, and 85 °F to help you keep your coop nice and toasty during cold weather.
It features an LCD screen, remote control, and a 10-hour timer, which are all great additions.
The radiator is highly portable as it comes with 4-swivel caster wheels that are capable of 360° rotation.
This allows you to easily move the radiator around.
A range of safety features are implemented into the device, such as a power indicator that notifies you when the unit is actively turned on. There’s also an overheat protection and tip-over safety switch.
The switch automatically turns off the radiator if it is knocked over to help prevent the risk of fire.
The radiator warms up gradually, which is ideal for chickens as it allows them to gradually become accustomed to the heat. Another great aspect of this heating device is its relatively quiet operation. This lets your chickens rest in peace and quiet.
However, the radiator can emit quite a strong smell when it’s turned on. There’s also no option to set the unit to a lower temperature than 65°F.
- Dimensions: 13.78” x 11.02” x 25.19”
- Weight: 16.09 lbs
- Material: Metal
- Wattage: 1500 Watts
- Adjustable heat and temperature settings
- LCD display and remote control
- Lots of safety features to prevent risk of fire
- Very portable
- Can emit a strong smell
- Can’t set the temperature below 65°F.
Best Brooding Plates
Produces radiant and uniform heat while also minimizing power consumption.
If you’re brooding chicks, then BrinSea’s brooder plate is a fantastic choice for ensuring your baby birds stay at the perfect temperature.
The plate produces radiant and uniform heat while also minimizing power consumption.
The brooder plate can accommodate up to 20 chicks, but larger models are available for bigger broods.
Its height can also be adjusted for various chick sizes.
The legs are adjustable so that one end is raised more than the other.
If you are brooding a large number of chicks, you can use up to 4 EcoGlow brooder plates side by side to ensure all of your birds maintain a suitable temperature.
The brooder plate uses a metal warming plate to even out any hot and cold plates.
The flared skirt design also retains more heat to make sure your chicks don’t catch a chill.
Unfortunately, this heat lamp can be a little flimsy, which can cause some of the plastic parts to snap off. Its design also makes it a bit difficult and fiddly to clean.
- Dimensions: 12” x 8” x 8”
- Weight: 1.65 lbs
- Material: Plastic
- Creates radiant and uniform warmth for chicks
- Adjustable height settings
- Can be used with other EcoGlow brooders
- Can be a bit flimsy
- Difficult to clean
It can be used for chickens but it’s especially beneficial for chicks to ensure their body temperature doesn’t drop too low.
The last heater I recommend for a cozy coop is the K&H Pet Products heated pad.
Indoor and Outdoor Use
You can use it both indoors or outdoors and can mount it vertically or horizontally.
While it can be used for chickens, it’s especially beneficial for chicks to ensure their body temperature doesn’t drop too low.
The pad doesn’t consume a lot of power as it’s only 25 watts, which is a bonus.
You don’t need to adjust the temperature of the device as it’s already preset to the perfect level of warmth for chicks.
The cord entrance and the first 18 inches of the power cord are capped with steel to prevent pecking for added safety.
There are holes in each corner of the pad which allow for screws so you can anchor the device to wood surfaces or wire it in place in chicken coops.
However, the pad can sometimes struggle to heat up over time.
Also, it might not provide enough warmth for a particularly large coop or brood.
- Dimensions: 9” x 0.5” x 12”
- Weight: 1.6 oz
- Wattage: 25 Watts
- Can be used indoors and outdoors
- Energy efficient
- Can sometimes struggle to heat up
- Might not provide enough warmth for large broods or coops
Here’s a quick recap of all our top picks…
Best Flat Panel Heater
After looking at a range of chicken heaters for coops, I think the best one to use is the Cozy Products CL Safe Chicken Heater 200 Watts.
It offers gentle radiant heat to help your chickens acclimate to the increased warmth in their habitat.
It sports a large on/off switch, as well as an LED display and built-in thermostat.
You can mount it to the sides of your coop for convenience, too.
I really like the design of this heater as it’s compact and thin, which means it doesn’t take up a huge amount of space.
My only gripe with the unit is its durability. The heating element can become less effective over time and the on/off switch can occasionally break.
Both devices are great choices for brooding chicks.
Best Infrared Heater
The former produces uniform heat to prevent hot spots from occurring in your coop. It includes an overhead mount, as well as chains and hooks so you can suspend it up high.
When heat is unable to escape the device, it automatically turns itself off to protect your birds, which is a really helpful feature.
It’s also energy efficient and has adjustable heating settings.
However, the unit can sometimes stop working prematurely.
Best Brooding Plates
The BrimSea EcoGlow brooder also outputs a steady and gentle level of heat without using too much power. It’s suitable for up to 20 chicks, but it can be used with other EcoGlow brooders for bigger broods.
You can adjust the height of the brooder plate to suit chicks of varying sizes, too.
Despite its positives, the device can be a bit flimsy, which can cause some of the plastic parts to break off.
Its design can also make it a little fiddly to clean.