Advise on the coming winter

Discussion in 'Managing Your Flock' started by bobshere, Aug 16, 2014.

  1. bobshere

    bobshere Chillin' With My Peeps

    Hi i live in northern ontario. I decided this past spring to convert my 6x6 shed into a chicken coop and raise a few chicks which ended up being 5 red sex links. So i ended up insulating my shed including ceiling and floor somewhat. I also put in 2 10x10 inch vents up as high as possibl. Up here in northern ontario, it can go as low as -35c from january to march. My questions are,
    Do I run a heat lamp

    How will they sand bath? Do i put a box of sand in the coop which in turn will take up needed space? Will they use the shavings instead for bathing?

    Any ideas how to stop the water from freezing? Ive seen the old light bulb in a center block trick and then set the watering containter on top. Any other good ideas.

    How about egg laying. The eggs will freeze. Do i try and slow down their laying by just giving them the natural light which will only be about 7 hours at best.

    Any advise would be appreciated.
  2. centrarchid

    centrarchid Chicken Obsessed

    Sep 19, 2009
    Holts Summit, Missouri
    Get a couple small bales of hay (alfalfa or clover) to serve as elevated placed they can perch / stand. Make so the have additional roost possibly made from a 1.5" tree limb. Allow ventilation from near roof to release humidity. Coop will still get very cold but convection related heat loss from birds will be limited. Supplemental lighting will promote egg laying during winter as will heat source during periods of extreme cold but be careful with fire risk using heatlamp.

    During winter if egg production allowed to slip, consider mixing up some whole grains such as corn, wheat and BOSS to increase energy intake relative to protein. Do not forget the grit.

    Water will be difficult to keep liquid so consider introducing it through something like soaked oats (another intact grain). They will be able to break oats out of mass no matter how cold it gets. If egg production stops and temperature very low, water requirement gets very low. As backup water supply you can add snow.

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