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Winterizing coops

post #1 of 11
Thread Starter 

A bit early, but I would like to plan ahead.  I was hoping that somebody could post pictures perhaps of what they do to winterize their coops.  My coop is a "chicken tractor" style coop....  It is a heavily modified version of the Horizon Structures "Pull it coop".  I put that in quotes because it weighs like 700 pounds and unless I develop jedi powers or buy a full sized tractor its not moving.  Anyhow as you can tell I have mixed feelings about the coop.   It is great for the weather now.  My girls sleep very comfortably in a breezy well protected structure at night.  The breezy part will not be so pleasant once December/January rolls around.

http://www.horizonstructures.com/pull_it.asp

The horizon web site appears to be down atm but I linked it in case it came back online

I was thinking about turning it into a mini green house type deal for the winter.  That or using a combination of tarps and clear plastic.  Does anybody else or has anybody else tried that on their chicken tractors?  I'm open for suggestions and while it is warm I would like to get things ready.

post #2 of 11

I just put styrafoam up against the walls and put a heat lamp or two in the coop. If you do it this way make sure the heat lamps are secure and cover the styrafoam with plastic or OBC board, if you dont the chickens will eat it.

post #3 of 11

I just use heat lamps over the roosts and a heater under the waterer.   I close the windows, but leave all the upper vents by the roofline open for ventelation.

Mom to 10 barn cats, 2 Rhode Island Reds, 4 bunnies, 10 new chicks, 1 great Hubby, 8 grown kids (his and hers), and my darling 16 grandchildren.

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Mom to 10 barn cats, 2 Rhode Island Reds, 4 bunnies, 10 new chicks, 1 great Hubby, 8 grown kids (his and hers), and my darling 16 grandchildren.

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post #4 of 11

clap  That man in the ad picture surely must BE a jedi then, as he looks like he's not even breaking a sweat to pull that coop...hehee.  I would use clear plastic or tarps around the run part, at least on the prevailing wind side.  Your run being covered will help a lot.  Other than that, close up any windows that would allow cold air directly on your birds in the their housing, and then whether or not to use a heatlamp, just a regular bulb, a cookie tin heater or clay pot heater...that's up to you and your comfort level with wintering your birds...

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 #5 of 11

Not for sure if you have a lawn tractor or not, but I use mine for a lot of heavy pulling chores around my property. It is just an old 12 HP cub cadet. Only problem I've had is if the load is real heavy it tends to do wheelies. LOL! Then Wifey gets to sit on the front to hold it down some LOL! All I really need is wheel weights which I will be adding soon since it is almost winter.

Rob and Kathleen Schultz
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Rob and Kathleen Schultz
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post #6 of 11

I think if I spend anymore time in the henhouse, I will sprout feathers and lay an egg. I have been "Insulating" the roof with feed bags, split open and tacked up like tarp. Looks cool. The bags each have a picture of a Hen on them. The chickens are fascinated by all those "guardian angel hens" on the ceiling. LOL

***It doesn't matter where you go, just make sure the last trip is UP***

http://www.youtube.com/watch_popup?v=N5ddoyfn6g4
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***It doesn't matter where you go, just make sure the last trip is UP***

http://www.youtube.com/watch_popup?v=N5ddoyfn6g4
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post #7 of 11

Some ideas in the link below!  cool

Focussing on the black Australorp.  Facebook page under Linda Pattison.

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Focussing on the black Australorp.  Facebook page under Linda Pattison.

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post #8 of 11

Wow!  That's all I can say about the links you sent!   Folk in Canada must have a LOT stricter agricultural laws than here in the states.  Not to mention a few larger predators.  All we get are Racoons, Rats, Hawks, Owls, and an occasional fox.  oh, yeah, and my dog.

My coop is a 18 x 20 foot converted hog building.  I have some pics posted on BYC somewhere of what it looked like while we were doing the conversion.   Only 9 foot of one end is actual coop with an elevated plank floor, the rest is what I call indoor playyard that is just dirt and screened walls w/ snow boards.   And of course, the chickens have a large pasture to wander around during daylight hours.

We rarely get colder than -10 farenheit here in winter.   This will be my bird's first winter in the big coop.  Before that they were in a small converted hog feeder.  They wintered well there with only a heat lamp for warmth.  I expect I will need to put in at least 1 heat lamp this year again.

I prefer the deep litter method in my coop.   With daily stirring, I need only change it about 4 times a year.   Dust is a problem that I hadn't known I needed to address. 

I have been looking for Diatomacous Earth for some time, but may end up ordering it online.   My local farm supply store clerk looked at me like I was an alien when I asked for it.  They had never even heard of it!  I think they need to go hire an old farmer instead of these cityslickers! Sheeshes!

***It doesn't matter where you go, just make sure the last trip is UP***

http://www.youtube.com/watch_popup?v=N5ddoyfn6g4
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***It doesn't matter where you go, just make sure the last trip is UP***

http://www.youtube.com/watch_popup?v=N5ddoyfn6g4
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post #9 of 11

Yes, we are up against the same problem here - our first winter. We have a cold-hardy breed, and others have stated theirs do okay,  but I still worry. 

We have extreme hot and cold issues here in Southern Ontario - Georgian Bay area, where it can often be 35C/95F in the summer and  -25C/-13F in the winter with about 2m/6' of snow.  I worry about the cold, water freezing and so much snow to shovel out to get the coop door open. 

Thankfully, the only predators are racoons and skunks that I have seen in town (coyotes and foxes in the rural areas). Since neither of these animals  are too active in cold weather winters, we aren't too worried about them for the winter. 

We are planning on using styrofoam insulation (covering it), the deep litter method and having a few straw bales on hand for shelter.

I think you could close off two side of the run area on your Horizon coop to cut down on the wind.


Edited by denise70 - 9/17/10 at 11:51am
post #10 of 11

It's not our agricultural laws, it's our predator situation- we live in the Rawdon hills near a river and ravine, and on the Atlantic flyway- black bears, eastern cougar, pine martens (protected), eagles/owls/hawks (protected, bobcat, minks, weasels, foxes, coyotes...wink

Occasionally we go through prolonged cold spells, not as bad as out west, but with moisture and snow load, so keeping the water thawed is an issue.  We have a generator wired to a house panel for outages.


Edited by LynneP - 9/16/10 at 4:36am

Focussing on the black Australorp.  Facebook page under Linda Pattison.

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Focussing on the black Australorp.  Facebook page under Linda Pattison.

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