Another Winter/Cold weather coop thread...

Discussion in 'Coop & Run - Design, Construction, & Maintenance' started by LilyBelleFarms, Dec 10, 2016.

  1. LilyBelleFarms

    LilyBelleFarms New Egg

    Aug 16, 2016
    Pine Barrens, NJ
    My wife and I are neophyte chicken parents about to embark on our first winter. I've searched and read 1000's of posts, so I'm fairly confident that any approach I take, the flock will be fine. I just want to make sure I'm not overlooking anything obvious, or if one approach is inherently "better" than the other.

    I constructed a chicken tractor for them, it has an elevated coop, with a run below which opens up to a larger run. The coop has a hardware cloth floor, which of course, is great for ventilation and airflow in the summer, but not so much in the winter. The plan all along was to install a solid floor, to eliminate drafts and the upward airflow, and just leave all of the upper ventilation active. I've also considered putting up some plastic sheathing on the run below the coop, so they can access some earth during the day, but be blocked from the wind.

    Option B is we have a functional hoop house (not a green house, as there is no night time heating currently) that has mechanical ventilation available. I have considered just building them a winter coop inside of there, that would allow them to be blocked from the wind, and obviously, be a bit warmer during the day. I was originally concerned with it getting too warm in there, but after being inside there today, I'm not too concerned with that.

    Any tips or suggestions? I do not want to add any artificial heat, as I don't think the chickens really need that, other than possibly for the water. Does anyone have experience with both, and if so, which do you prefer and why? Anything else we're missing? We're trying to keep it simple, and probably (like 95% of all new chicken owners) are just over thinking it. Thanks in advance for any input we receive.
  2. 1muttsfan

    1muttsfan Chicken Obsessed

    Mar 26, 2011
    Upper Peninsula Michigan
    Either of your options should work. My advice from an even colder climate would be to not use supplemental heat, instead a draft-free, well-ventilated structure will keep your birds comfortable. A heated water source is very handy from a time saving standpoint, in cold weather you would need to provide unfrozen water several times a day, with a heated waterer only as often as it needs to be filled.

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