Another Molting Question and Cold Weather Concerns

Discussion in 'Chicken Behaviors and Egglaying' started by mobius, Nov 20, 2016.

  1. junebuggena

    junebuggena Chicken Obsessed

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    I'm in southern Washington. We lose daylight at a rate of about 4 minutes per day starting in September. It shocks all my pullets over 8 months old into molt each and every year. Good news is that the days will start to lengthen in just a few more weeks.
     
  2. mobius

    mobius Chillin' With My Peeps

    A little good news before we head to -5F tonight:

    Last night I put a remote thermometer in the coop at roost level, the coop itself is about 4x5 by 5 ft high. Then I closed the pop door after giving my six chickens a little snack of scratch.

    When I got up this morning the outside temp was 10F. The thermometer inside the coop was 24F! Wow.

    Early this morning I opened the pop door and gave them some warmed fermented feed. After about two-three hours the inside temp registers the same as the outside.

    Looks like this may work. I may close up the last moveable vent tonight as well as the pop door. There are passive vents I installed in the eaves and one gable, above roost height.
     
    Last edited: Dec 6, 2016
  3. aart

    aart Chicken Juggler! Premium Member

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    My Coop
    Do your remote sensors read humidity too?
     
  4. mobius

    mobius Chillin' With My Peeps

    Lol @aart it is on my list. I looked at the one glass window this a.m. and there was the tiniest bit of frost on it, very little.

    then I started looking at DIY dehumidifiers, such as charcoal in a coffee can, or water softener salt in a colander set in a bucket. As soon as I can gather and chicken proof materials I may add these for heavy cold snaps like the one coming up to night.

    As I write this, it is sunny and 17F and i just saw my flock out side as a group doing regular foraging/daily walkabout IN THE SNOW (2-4 inches outside of coop and run).

    Good on them.
     
    Last edited: Dec 6, 2016
  5. oldhenlikesdogs

    oldhenlikesdogs Lots of Chickens Premium Member

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    Chickens suffer more in the heat. It has to get to -20 before I see some birds looking cold, even those days getting them moving with some scratch, and giving them so access to sunlight, either through a south facing window or a south facing sheltered area can help them warm up. Warm feed and warm water are good ideas too.

    My bantams heat their coop up a bit too as their coop is insulated and holds a warmer temperature than my large breed shed. Interesting to see how much they can heat their own coop.
     
  6. mobius

    mobius Chillin' With My Peeps

    Very very good! I just crafted the dehumidifier because the pop door and other vent will be closed tonight! I hung the bucket on a nail out of reach but again near roost level. Also gave them some warm water in the run. They are now under the elevated coop, peeking out and probably commiserating...but comfy I think. This is after all the coldest they have ever been exposed to. I am surprised they are not in the coop proper...

    It IS interesting how they heat the coop! I am very pleased. If it continues about like this, given expected weather and typical winter lows, it wont get below zeroF in the coop overnight. Now for the humidity...
     
  7. aart

    aart Chicken Juggler! Premium Member

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    I wouldn't think they'd 'heat the coop' unless coop was very small and ventilation was negligible.
    I notice a lag between inside and outside temps...but my coop is huge and tall.
     
  8. mobius

    mobius Chillin' With My Peeps

    Well I did post the size of the coop(small but adequate and there are reasons for that) and temps were observed before and after pop door closure! And again after opening this a.m. It took 2-3 hours this a.m. after pop door opened for temp to equalize. Ventilation is reduced (but not eliminated) by closing the pop door, of course.

    As I mentioned before, YCMV![​IMG]

    It will be interesting (and important to me) to continue to keep an eye on it.
     
  9. mobius

    mobius Chillin' With My Peeps

    8F at 8 am outside, 20F in coop. Against forecast, it did not drop below zero.

    Warm food and water in run.
     
    Last edited: Dec 7, 2016
  10. oldhenlikesdogs

    oldhenlikesdogs Lots of Chickens Premium Member

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    It is in the teens here today with single temperatures with the wind chills. The water in my bantam coop was not frozen even though the pop hole was open all night, so mine must be above freezing. Mine won't go outside, they just go out into the tunnel made of bales used to block direct winds from blowing in the pop hole. They do generate some heat, and are quite happy and comfortable.
     

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