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Very small gaps in the wood

post #1 of 9
Thread Starter 

I live in Western Michigan, first time chicken owner! I want to make sure the coop is perfect for winter. Can it have very small gaps between the planks of wood, or should it be very tight? The reason I ask is I am reusing wood that I get from work, that is already somewhat together, in a square shape, and there are very small gaps, and was thinking of just using these pieces as is, instead of trying to take them apart, because doing that will probably break most of them. 

 

Thank you for your help! 

post #2 of 9
Thread Starter 

Or should we put plywood up in the inside?

post #3 of 9

In Michigan I would definitely cover the gaps.  Thin plywood, cardboard (for winter - don't know that I'd use it year round due to moisture wearing at it), even feed sacks tacked up on the inside like wallpaper would work.  Or you could tack thin strips of board along the gaps (google board and batten) from the outside.

 

In mild climates, those gaps can be nice.  But in areas like yours that get cold winters, it would allow icy drafts to hit the roosting birds, which is not good.

Caretaker of a lovely mixed flock including: australorp, plymouth rocks, wyandotte, d'uccles, silkies, EEs, andalusian, and a few seramas, plus a golden retriever, great dane, and three cats.  I always swore that I wouldn't succumb to chicken math.  I lied.
 

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Caretaker of a lovely mixed flock including: australorp, plymouth rocks, wyandotte, d'uccles, silkies, EEs, andalusian, and a few seramas, plus a golden retriever, great dane, and three cats.  I always swore that I wouldn't succumb to chicken math.  I lied.
 

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post #4 of 9
Thread Starter 
Excellent, thank you! So even like a tarp around the outside could work as well?
post #5 of 9
Quote:
Originally Posted by welby1205 View Post

Excellent, thank you! So even like a tarp around the outside could work as well?

 

Yes!  Won't look pretty, but it'll work.  If you have a ventilation opening of some kind up high, do leave that uncovered (although I've put burlap over mine to knock down icy winds blowing in).

Caretaker of a lovely mixed flock including: australorp, plymouth rocks, wyandotte, d'uccles, silkies, EEs, andalusian, and a few seramas, plus a golden retriever, great dane, and three cats.  I always swore that I wouldn't succumb to chicken math.  I lied.
 

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Caretaker of a lovely mixed flock including: australorp, plymouth rocks, wyandotte, d'uccles, silkies, EEs, andalusian, and a few seramas, plus a golden retriever, great dane, and three cats.  I always swore that I wouldn't succumb to chicken math.  I lied.
 

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post #6 of 9
Thread Starter 
Quote:
Originally Posted by teach1rusl View Post

Yes!  Won't look pretty, but it'll work.  If you have a ventilation opening of some kind up high, do leave that uncovered (although I've put burlap over mine to knock down icy winds blowing in).
I think I'm more nervous about the winter than anything else!
post #7 of 9

Yeah...I'm a nervous nellie when it comes to winters too.  But it really is true - healthy adult chickens can handle cold extremes much better than they can handle heat extremes.  Making sure they have (unfrozen) water available will be your biggest challenge.  Here, I just use the plug in dog dishes - make sure it's out of the wind and it should work well with keeping water unfrozen.

Caretaker of a lovely mixed flock including: australorp, plymouth rocks, wyandotte, d'uccles, silkies, EEs, andalusian, and a few seramas, plus a golden retriever, great dane, and three cats.  I always swore that I wouldn't succumb to chicken math.  I lied.
 

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Caretaker of a lovely mixed flock including: australorp, plymouth rocks, wyandotte, d'uccles, silkies, EEs, andalusian, and a few seramas, plus a golden retriever, great dane, and three cats.  I always swore that I wouldn't succumb to chicken math.  I lied.
 

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post #8 of 9
Thread Starter 
Quote:
Originally Posted by teach1rusl View Post

Yeah...I'm a nervous nellie when it comes to winters too.  But it really is true - healthy adult chickens can handle cold extremes much better than they can handle heat extremes.  Making sure they have (unfrozen) water available will be your biggest challenge.  Here, I just use the plug in dog dishes - make sure it's out of the wind and it should work well with keeping water unfrozen.

Yes, I was thinking those as well. What stinks is I'm making a nipple waterer, then I won't even get to use it during the winter. Oh well.
post #9 of 9
Actually, I have a nipple waterer from TSC all year round. In the winter I thread a fishtank heater in through hte hole in the top and use electrical tape to cover up the rest of the hole so no dust gets in. I staple the cord to the wall and run an extension cord out to the coop, making sure the outlet is out of reach and safe from weather. It keeps the water warm and evenon really cold nights, a few pecks on the nipples frees them of any ice on the outside.

"With a good set of power tools, some glue and some nails, all things are possible." Me

 

Dragons are a lot like cats. They sleep with one eye open, tail a-twitch, and will rain fiery death down upon you should you disturb them.

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"With a good set of power tools, some glue and some nails, all things are possible." Me

 

Dragons are a lot like cats. They sleep with one eye open, tail a-twitch, and will rain fiery death down upon you should you disturb them.

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