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Discussion in 'Managing Your Flock' started by OliveandherHens, Nov 28, 2015.
Cute story with a happy ending
Provide straw of hay bales that intact to stand / loaf on during the day. If possible make so loafing birds also in sun while on bales. Make certain roost and areas where birds stand are not metal.
Thank You. I'm sure many others have cute stories too - Perhaps authors of the book Chicken Soup for the Soul should have an edition: "Chicken Soup for the Chicken Lover's Soul"
Lol yes that's true
I'm in Northern Wyoming. I do not heat or insulate my coop. I do cover the run in clear plastic. I have 3 windows, 3 operable vents up high, one operable vent down low, one mobile home exhaust fan left open year round, (I can operate it with the fan or turn the fan off and just leave the cover open) one large gable vent up high, and the gaps between the rafters and the walls are left open but covered with hardware cloth. If the wind is howling from the west, the west window is closed, and so on. We also keep the pop door to the run open 24/7, 365 days a year. I even brood chicks out in the run without a heat lamp - just a heating pad cave. Ventilation is absolutely the key to keeping them healthy through the winter. I agree with the other posters - dry and out of the wind is the very best you can do. They already have the kind of down and feather coat you and I would pay a fortune for and they know how to utilize it! You also have breeds that are known for being cold-hardy.
I was a totally worry-wort last winter. But I had to learn to look at things not from a human comfort standpoint, but from the standpoint of a creature who is beautifully suited to keep itself warm. With a body temp of over 100, down and thick feathers trapping and holding that heat close, and a little protection from the elements, they do very well. Many members here have coops that are totally open on one side year round, like the beautiful and practical set-up @JackE has. Metal coops have special requirements as far as condensation goes - that condensation can be a real trial in winter if it accumulates when moisture and warm air meet cold metal. Others can do a much better job of explaining that than I can. But I sure wouldn't use the smaller coop - the closer confinement is a sure way for excess humidity and ammonia to build up. Our other issue in cold weather areas is keeping their water free flowing. Lots of ways folks handle that, too, everything from using rubber pans and dumping the ice out and refiling to buckets with nipples and stock tank heaters in them.
Does the smaller, warmer coop have a roost? You said they lay in it during the day but don't want to go in it for the night, so I was wondering if that might be because chickens want to roost at night. If it doesn't have a roost and you put a roost in it, they will probably go sleep there!
We don't heat our coop we just try to get a lot of chickens so that they will heat each other.
So you guys wouldn't recommend a heat lamp inside the coop?
I have a question about chickens free ranging in cold weather. It is damp here, so their feet get wet. They didn't seem to be shivering but it has been as cold as 25 to 35 degrees F. Should I keep my girls inside their covered run? Their feet looked sort of pink on the bottom. This is my first year with chickens. They do love free ranging, even in the cold weather.
No its to easy to catch fire and it can raise the humdity which is what is deadly to chickens in the winter. A wet chicken is a cold chicken. Plus then when you let them out they arent use to the tempature outside and cant adjust so it makes the winter harder on them.