1st Winter in Central PA


In the Brooder
Jul 9, 2018
So this will be our first central PA winter with our chickens and ducks. They have a wooden coop with an attached run. During the summer the chickens always go up in the coop to roost at night and the ducks stay in the run. We’re thinking of putting plywood around the run for the winter. Will this be sufficient? Should we use the heat lamp in the coop? Or the run? Or both? I know they can be resilient birds but I want to do right by them. And being this is our first winter we want to make sure we get it right. Any advise is welcome. Thank you!!
Avoid putting heat into ether coop or run. Here are the reasons.
1. cost will put you in the POORHOUSE.
2. The heat will make your chickens and ducks dependent on the heat. They will not develop as good of feathers/down as needed.
3. A power failure , and you are DOOOOOOMED,,,,, Well not you, but your flock. They will not be able to handle the sudden change into COLD.
4. Fire Hazard DANGER.

Instead of plywood around your run, I would suggest clear heavy see thru plastic. Here is one that I found at 6 mil thickness.
It is heavy enough to withstand easy tearing. Will protect from winds. Will allow sunlight as well as just daylight into run area. Sunlight = natural warmth. It would also be a good idea to keep snow and rain out of most of your run with overhear covering.
If you can post some pix , I and others may have some additional ideas or suggestions.
WISHING YOU BEST,,,,,,,,,,,,,,,,,,,,,,,,,,,,, and :welcome
I don't keep duck so I really can't talk too much about them. Starting a thread in the ducks section might be a good idea. Or maybe duck people will respond here. You might go back and edit your thread title to include chickens and ducks. Get the attention of the people you want to respond.

I've seen chickens sleep in trees when the daytime high never got above zero Fahrenheit for four days straight when I was growing up. You do not need a heat lamp. What you need is a dry coop with adequate ventilation but where the chickens are not getting blasted by a strong breeze on the roosts. I don't know what your coop looks like but an easy way to get decent ventilation is to have your ventilation higher than the chickens when they are on the roost.

I don't know how big your coop is or how many chickens you have. Chickens generally don't like to wake up to a world that turned white overnight. I took this photo when I lived in Arkansas. If the chickens wake up to a white world it may take them a few days to venture outside. This snow fell during the day when they were already outside and they never bothered to get frightened of it.

Snow Feb 2013.JPG

If your coop is fairly small for the number of chickens you may have problems with them stuck inside for a extended period. Also, mine do not like a strong cold wind. If you can create an area in your run that keeps the snow and a cold wind out, they can use that in the winter. Snow blows in from the side so a roof is not enough to keep snow out. Whether you use plywood, plastic film, or something else and exactly how you do that is up to you. As long as you can keep an area cleared of snow (some people shovel it or put bedding on top) and give them a spot protected from a strong cold wind the chickens will be happy.

New posts New threads Active threads

Top Bottom