1st winter and worried....

Discussion in 'Coop & Run - Design, Construction, & Maintenance' started by suburbfunnyfarm, Nov 28, 2016.

  1. suburbfunnyfarm

    suburbfunnyfarm New Egg

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    Hello All! I have three Welsummers that I got as chicks in March. Their run is wire-enclosed and their hen house is raised but as the temperatures drop they continue to sleep on the open air roost. Do I let them navigate their own sleeping location or should I close them up at night in the hen house. FYI, I plan to cover the wired run with plastic but refuse to add heat. Their hen house is not insulated either but I did add more straw as deep litter. I would like them to acclimate to the cold on their own but I can't help but worry about them. Thank you!
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  2. JaredCrue

    JaredCrue Out Of The Brooder

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    My Coop
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  3. snywalker

    snywalker Chillin' With My Peeps

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    How cold are we talking? They are hardier than you would think.
     
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  4. junebuggena

    junebuggena Chicken Obsessed

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    They aren't going sit out there and freeze. If they need a more sheltered place, they will find it. That run looks pretty well sheltered, they will probably be fine.
     
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  5. Leigti

    Leigti Chillin' With My Peeps

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    I choose to lock mine in the coop at night just for security reasons. And their bodies help keep the enclosed space warm. Where are you located? The big thing is to be able to block the wind so plastic can do that.
     
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  6. Howard E

    Howard E Chillin' With My Peeps

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    To the OP, what happens as colder weather sets in will depend a lot upon your location. Things will be different in Maine than they are in Mobile.

    If you never get below freezing, you won't notice much of a change. The birds will be fine. As long as that run is secure, and it appears to be, they should come to no harm. If they continue to roost in the run, they are voting with their feet. If it was more to their liking, they would move inside.

    If you do get below freezing for any length of time, better start thinking of a way to keep the water from freezing.

    Second, I notice you have a lot of toys for them to play with. If you really want to give them a thrill, buy them a head of cabbage now and then. Just toss it in there and stand back.
     
  7. ECBW

    ECBW Chillin' With My Peeps

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    Try lower or remove the roost in the run. Birds tend to roost at higher branches, if the coop roost is higher. they may migrate there by themselves.
     
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  8. suburbfunnyfarm

    suburbfunnyfarm New Egg

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    We are in a suburb of Denver, CO
     
  9. Howard E

    Howard E Chillin' With My Peeps

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    Denver is one of those tricky areas........you can get really cold for short stretches of time.....certainly cold enough to freeze that water fountain but does not stay that way forever. So you may want to find a short term solution. An electric pet dish may work for short term conditions if you are around most of the time to monitor things. If not, may want to switch that to a metal fountain with electric heated base. That should work all winter under all conditions you are likely to encounter.

    The coop should be OK. Hopefully it is on the south side of the house so it gets some winter sun.
     
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  10. suburbfunnyfarm

    suburbfunnyfarm New Egg

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    Thank you, all! So very helpful!
     

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