Anyone use.....

Discussion in 'Coop & Run - Design, Construction, & Maintenance' started by K-9mom, Sep 7, 2011.

  1. K-9mom

    K-9mom Out Of The Brooder

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    Jul 5, 2011
    Hi all.... well our first group of girlz are doing well. They are now 7 weeks old and have been out in the coop for Bout a month. They have been allowed in their pen for about 2 weeks now and are excited to go out in the AM and in in the PM (7:30 seems to be their time and DON'T ASK THEM TO COME IN AT 7:15 CAUSE THEY ARE NOT READY!!!, LOL!!). And actually they have been up and roosting for about a week now, they are growing SO quickly!!

    Anyway, we are in New England and it appears fall has come early and therefore most likely winter around the corner. With that being said, how do our chicken friends keep their feathered friends warm in the winter? I have been looking into the panel heaters or ceramic bulbs, does anyone use either of these methods? How about water heaters/warmers? At what temp should I have to worry about the girls??
     
  2. wood&feathers

    wood&feathers Chillin' With My Peeps

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    You never mentioned what breed flock you have. I am quite a way south of you here, and use no heat in the coop during winter. We are in the mountains and have a fair amount of snow, but nothing like up there! Temps often drop into single digits. I use a heated dog bowl in the run for water. I honestly think chickens deal better with extreme cold than extreme heat. Feathers are an amazing thing.
     
  3. 6chickens in St. Charles

    6chickens in St. Charles Chillin' With My Peeps

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    Mar 25, 2009
    St. Charles, IL
    [​IMG]

    Our mixed Chicago area bantam flock was around 6 months old during their first winter, and we put a red heat lamp in their little coop. Sometimes, we overnighted them in our basement. It was a mistake, based on their second winter when we watched in [​IMG] awe as their winter feathers "came in" thick and lush and they refused to leave their cold, dark coop for our pleas to come inside. They really are happier, and healthier without light and heat during the cold short winter days and sleepy winter nights.

    They're not like us. They're different. ( [​IMG] they're birds?!)

    Keeping fresh water in their coop was kind of a hassle, but we frequently checked and changed frozen water, and we supplemented their Purina Flock Starter/Layena pellets with corn based scratch.
    They got fat and lush and healthy over the winter in their unheated, un-lit coop.

    Their biggest problem in the cold and icy days was BOREDOM. For fun, we'd buy greens like dandelions and kale and tied it from long ropes for them to bop around and eat. We also put a ball in there, they'd jump on it and argue over it. During the sunny hours, we let them out and they'd complain about being unable to forage, but they always were hot little birds and their feathers were knockout gorgeous. It was reassuring to feel their hot little monkey paws and tuck cold fingers under their hot little wingpits.

    But, none of ours have stand-up combs. I think I would use petroleum jelly on that, to help against frostbite, if they had upright combs.
     
  4. peepblessed

    peepblessed Chillin' With My Peeps

    6chickens in St. Charles :

    https://www.backyardchickens.com/forum/uploads/thumbs/25976_p120111_1553.jpg

    Our mixed Chicago area bantam flock was around 6 months old during their first winter, and we put a red heat lamp in their little coop. Sometimes, we overnighted them in our basement. It was a mistake, based on their second winter when we watched in [​IMG] awe as their winter feathers "came in" thick and lush and they refused to leave their cold, dark coop for our pleas to come inside. They really are happier, and healthier without light and heat during the cold short winter days and sleepy winter nights.

    They're not like us. They're different. ( [​IMG] they're birds?!)

    Keeping fresh water in their coop was kind of a hassle, but we frequently checked and changed frozen water, and we supplemented their Purina Flock Starter/Layena pellets with corn based scratch.
    They got fat and lush and healthy over the winter in their unheated, un-lit coop.

    Their biggest problem in the cold and icy days was BOREDOM. For fun, we'd buy greens like dandelions and kale and tied it from long ropes for them to bop around and eat. We also put a ball in there, they'd jump on it and argue over it. During the sunny hours, we let them out and they'd complain about being unable to forage, but they always were hot little birds and their feathers were knockout gorgeous. It was reassuring to feel their hot little monkey paws and tuck cold fingers under their hot little wingpits.

    But, none of ours have stand-up combs. I think I would use petroleum jelly on that, to help against frostbite, if they had upright combs.

    LOL! Love your hen "house"!! [​IMG]
     
  5. peepblessed

    peepblessed Chillin' With My Peeps

    Our EEs always seem to molt when it's 20 degrees out! [​IMG] And yet they seem cozy fine in the coop! I always make sure there are no drafts and they have liquid water during the day light hours! [​IMG]
     
  6. K-9mom

    K-9mom Out Of The Brooder

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    Jul 5, 2011
    Sorry... All 5 of my girls are Plymouth Rocks (2 Barred, 2 Partridge, and 1 Buff). I guess the answers are the reason I am torn. I hear some say to do nothing and some that I feel go overboard (in other links), LOL! My coop is 4x6, is under a pin tree, with a shed nearby on 1 side and a 6ft chain link dog fence/yard on another side that I could hang a tarp to block wind if needed.

    So if we get zero degree nights and 30 degree days (with possible wind chills in the neg teens on occasion), do ya'll think I would be ok provided water bowls are kept ice free??

    Do ya'll let your girls out with snow on the ground or do they get locked in for most of the winter??

    Sorry for all the ???'s, I am a new Chicken mum......
     
  7. openheartnp

    openheartnp Chillin' With My Peeps

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    Jul 25, 2011
    Green Twp, NJ
    This past winter in northern NJ was horrible, with lots of cold, ice, and snow. We bought a heated water bowl, it was the best thing I did. DH tried to tape a heating coil to the regular waterer...it was a mess. The heated bowl has a thermostat in the plug, it goes on when the temp goes below 40 degrees, it stays off otherwise.

    Last year, we had a tiny coop and 2 HUGE roos taking up the floor space, so the hens roosted on the roof, exposed to the elements-much to my dismay. I ended up wrapping the entire run in plastic sheeting and using a heat lamp. This year, I will use the lamp in their cozy, insulated 8x8 shed, but only to keep it around 50-55. A red heat lamp is easier on their eyes, they may rest better if you need heat through the night.
     
  8. openheartnp

    openheartnp Chillin' With My Peeps

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    Jul 25, 2011
    Green Twp, NJ
    Sorry i type slow and didn't see your post...

    I had 6 Barred Rocks at the time-all pullets last year. They were not real fans of the snow, I shoveled and chipped ice away for them. This year, I'm putting a tarp down on the ground before each snowfall, maybe I can coax them out a bit more.

    Cold really isn't the worst, it's the drafts that cause problems.
     
  9. Moxiechick

    Moxiechick Chillin' With My Peeps

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    Jan 15, 2010
    Maine
    We use a red light to provide some extra heat on the coldest nights, when it dips down below 10 degrees Fahrenheit. A lot of folks say not to provide extra heat, and their reasons are sound in that you don't want to rely on it in case the electric goes out. You want the birds to be adapted to the cold. If kept too warm and then the power goes out, they won't be able to cope as well with the cold. We only use a 100 watt bulb though, which only brings the temperature up about 10 degrees. Not enough to throw off their cold hardiness, but enough to take the edge off during a frigid spell.

    We also either snow blow, or shovel their run. They'll walk on packed snow, just not the deep or fluffy stuff. We've also added elevated areas to roost in the run, so they can be outside without their feet on the snow. We also have a heated base for their waterer. I'm thinking of possibly wrapping part of the run in plastic sheeting this year too, to cut down on wind.
     
  10. Yay Chicks!

    Yay Chicks! Chillin' With My Peeps

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    Apr 15, 2010
    Forest Grove, OR

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