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Another Molting Question and Cold Weather Concerns - Page 4

post #31 of 46
Thread Starter 
Quote:
Originally Posted by oldhenlikesdogs View Post

They certainly are getting right to work at it.ūüėÄ


didn't take them five minutes, :gig. I am so proud of them!

 

Might be doing some creative haybale mazes in their area all winter, now that I think about it!


Edited by mobius - 12/12/16 at 11:37am
post #32 of 46





Not the best of photos, but here's the inside of my bantam coop. I use a bale inside there to block winds and they sit on it and peck pieces out. I also put slabs on the floor in bad weather to keep them occupied.

I don't know how people keep chickens without hay as I use it all winter for food and for wind blocks and for stuff for them to stand on.
Edited by oldhenlikesdogs - 12/12/16 at 12:51pm
Chickens, muscovy ducks, turkeys, donkeys , goats, dogs, bunnies, fish, parakeets, a parrot, and a cat.

Chickens and dogs are healing to the soul.

Why can't my days always be Sunnyside up?

I brake for squirrels.

Some of my birds.
http://www.backyardchickens.com/a/my-wisconsin-flock
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Chickens, muscovy ducks, turkeys, donkeys , goats, dogs, bunnies, fish, parakeets, a parrot, and a cat.

Chickens and dogs are healing to the soul.

Why can't my days always be Sunnyside up?

I brake for squirrels.

Some of my birds.
http://www.backyardchickens.com/a/my-wisconsin-flock
Reply
post #33 of 46


Wouldn't that water softener salt be dangerous?

post #34 of 46
Thread Starter 
Quote:
Originally Posted by oldhenlikesdogs View Post






Not the best of photos, but here's the inside of my bantam coop. I use a bale inside there to block winds and they sit on it and peck pieces out. I also put slabs on the floor in bad weather to keep them occupied.

I don't know how people keep chickens without hay as I use it all winter for food and for wind blocks and for stuff for them to stand on.


Awww look at the little babies! Love the idea of the hay to block wind! Even inside coming in through the pop door! And giving them something to do, this hits on all eight cylinders for me! They are darling, @oldhenlikesdogs! :love They look highly contented! (Originally I really wanted cochins, and frizzles and sizzles but I couldn't source them properly. And it is probably for the best given my noobieness and the proclivity of the weather around here). And a nice (huge) coop! I have been reading about Woods coops and may retrofit mine a bit come spring. With a reciprocating saw!

 

As I am still learning, I am finding that what you said about chickens and winter and hay bales SO makes sense, and it will help in spring too with any muddy ground! Mine are loving their bale! And there is another one I will place strategically as a wind block. Lots of ideas yet, like covering some of the run hardware cloth with see-through mulch bags stapled up, as they are left over from this fall and I had a strong feeling I could find a use for them (I like to repurpose where I can!).

 

I got the outdoor humidity meter today! and it is in the coop, so i am keeping an eye on it. Pop door open...I think between 50 and 70 percent is acceptable? Is that correct?

 

It is reading 63 percent right now with the girls inside for about an hour now...and 28F in the coop and 18 outside. Tonight supposed to be getting down to 1F, and tomorrow's overnight low may be -4F. I do have a small window I can open, fortunately.

 

I am feeling much better overall about how everything is going, just my first winter with chickens and their first winter period! You have seen this before in new chicken parents, I am sure :P 


Edited by mobius - 12/12/16 at 5:17pm
post #35 of 46
Thread Starter 

good question! but it is in a bucket hanging from a nail where they for sure cannot get to it (at roost height or thereabouts)

Quote:
Originally Posted by Little Fuzzy View Post
 


Wouldn't that water softener salt be dangerous?


Also I dont think it is really doing anything at this point, possibly too cold, not sure, but there is no water in the bucket. Will check again tomorrow!

post #36 of 46
I don't know exactly what humidity would be best as I have never tracked it. My bantam coop has the pop hole and the crack around the door for ventilation. There's also a window facing into the barn that I use to control air movement by opening and closing. My bantam roosters have never gotten frostbite where my large breeds in the larger more ventilated coop have so I'm not sure how much humidity plays into frostbite as you would think I would see more in my smaller coop if that was the case.

Some of my cochins are locally sourced, some are hatchery and some are home grown mixes. They all are hardy here and do fine in temperatures down to -20, but my coop stays a bit warmer but not much.

I use deep litter in their run too. Hay, leaves, grass clippings and weeds pulled out of garden beds to keep the run from smelling or having poor drainage. They do free range too so they aren't always in the run but do spend a lot of time in it.

I'm not a newby but enjoy learning new stuff too. Chickens are lots of fun.
Chickens, muscovy ducks, turkeys, donkeys , goats, dogs, bunnies, fish, parakeets, a parrot, and a cat.

Chickens and dogs are healing to the soul.

Why can't my days always be Sunnyside up?

I brake for squirrels.

Some of my birds.
http://www.backyardchickens.com/a/my-wisconsin-flock
Reply
Chickens, muscovy ducks, turkeys, donkeys , goats, dogs, bunnies, fish, parakeets, a parrot, and a cat.

Chickens and dogs are healing to the soul.

Why can't my days always be Sunnyside up?

I brake for squirrels.

Some of my birds.
http://www.backyardchickens.com/a/my-wisconsin-flock
Reply
post #37 of 46
Thread Starter 

Yay! After a fair amount of searching, I found some definitive input about humidity, hope it is ok to post like this here cause I want to save it (and share it): :P

 

 

From @patandchickens :

 

Yes, you CAN get indoor humidity lower than outdoors, if your indoor is warmer (I am not advocating electric heating necessarily -- there are LOTS of things that can act to make your coop warmer than the outdoors, esp. at night.  See 'cold coop' page in .sig below for that subject).  What matters in terms of frostbite is relative humidity. For a given amount of water vapor in the air, relative humidity is lower at warmer temperatures.

Also, in terms of temporary weather 'blips', it sure seems to me like having your coop start out pretty dry -- dry wood, dry shavings, nonpooey, nonhumid -- seems to create a sort of 'humidity sponge' that can even out temporary swings in the weather.

Commercial chicken barns seem to aim for around 50-70% humidity.  IMO for backyard flock purposes it's when you get to 75-80% that you start getting a bit iffy, and I'd say above 85-90% humidity is really courting trouble.

HYGROMETERS ARE NOT USUALLY ACCURATE right out of the package; you need to use something like the salt method (see 'incubating and brooding eggs' section of BYC forum for instructions) to figure out how wrong yours is so you know how much to add or subtract to its reading. I would not suggest believing a hygrometer reading otherwise wink

Cracking the doors is probably not enough ventilation, and is not a good location for it in wintertime. See my ventilation page (link in .sig below -- sorry to keep doing that, but the whole reason I did those pages was so I don't have to type all this stuff over and over and over tongue) for details as to construction, location, size, and management of vents.

Good luck, have fun,

Pat

 

From @aart :

 

Humidity can't be lower in coop than it is outside, I try to measure both.

Hygrometer is easily tested:

Hygrometers can be tested by putting 1/2 cup salt and 1/4 cup water in a dish or jar and mixing it to a slurry.

Put the salt slurry jar and the hygrometer next to each other in a large sealed plastic bag.

After 8-12 hours the hygrometer should read 75%... note any differences and you're set.

 

From me: I am "calibrating" hygrometer now.


Edited by mobius - 12/13/16 at 9:46am
post #38 of 46

Well, you're actually only 'testing' it...;)...calibration requires an adjustment which is not possible on most household hygrometers.

Sorry....used to work with a lot of engineering measurement devices...calibration was crucial, only lab can do it, and it had to be documented.

Old accuracy habits die hard.

It is nice to be able to easily test the accuracy tho...and adjust your readings accordingly...probably more important for hatching than ambient coop %.

 

 

Do you have a link to that thread from pat?

It has a link in the sig to tell how to lower humidity?

I'd love to read it about the "LOTS of things".

Great article on VENTILATION, one of THE MOST IMPORTANT aspects of coop design.

Fantastic treatise to help decide how much SPACE your chickens need.

 

Chicken math is not just 'addition'...but also should include Division, Multiplication and especially Subtraction!!!

 

Quoting centrarchid:

"Make every effort to understand your chicken's biology and the environment that supports it."

Reply

Great article on VENTILATION, one of THE MOST IMPORTANT aspects of coop design.

Fantastic treatise to help decide how much SPACE your chickens need.

 

Chicken math is not just 'addition'...but also should include Division, Multiplication and especially Subtraction!!!

 

Quoting centrarchid:

"Make every effort to understand your chicken's biology and the environment that supports it."

Reply
post #39 of 46
Thread Starter 

Hi @aart,

 

You are quite correct about calibration :thand testing! I grew up with a family of engineers and I am NOT one so haha I get this completely!

 

Here is link to post with @patandchickens response, I thought it was SUPER helpful:

 

http://www.backyardchickens.com/t/274822/ideal-humidity-temps

 

How great is THAT?

 

Also, I might add that i am quite sure that snowload on top of coop roof will handily insulate: See pic on @patandchickens

"cold coops" article for how the roof looks...close to how mine looks right now with about 8 inches of snow on top. In areas like mine, good reason not to vent at the roof apex (wording incorrect, sry) or you will be removing roof snow to keep it open and any insulatory (is that a word) benefit would be removed at same time...so I vented at gable ends and eaves. It COULD be better, and it will be soon...


Edited by mobius - 12/13/16 at 10:57am
post #40 of 46

Thanks...think I read that long ago...doesn't really seem to balance out tho with ventilation.

The link on VENTILATION in my signature is also written by pat.

I've found over the last 3 years that temp and humidity are pretty hard to micro-manage...or micro measure.

I've watched the readings and found they are pretty similar, tho they lag, between inside and outside.

About all I do is avoid adding humidity inside in winter, and use a fan to cool it down faster late on hot summer days.

Great article on VENTILATION, one of THE MOST IMPORTANT aspects of coop design.

Fantastic treatise to help decide how much SPACE your chickens need.

 

Chicken math is not just 'addition'...but also should include Division, Multiplication and especially Subtraction!!!

 

Quoting centrarchid:

"Make every effort to understand your chicken's biology and the environment that supports it."

Reply

Great article on VENTILATION, one of THE MOST IMPORTANT aspects of coop design.

Fantastic treatise to help decide how much SPACE your chickens need.

 

Chicken math is not just 'addition'...but also should include Division, Multiplication and especially Subtraction!!!

 

Quoting centrarchid:

"Make every effort to understand your chicken's biology and the environment that supports it."

Reply
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