Brand new to chickens and moving into TN winter!

Discussion in 'New Member Introductions' started by TNchickns, Nov 12, 2014.

  1. TNchickns

    TNchickns Chillin' With My Peeps

    Nov 12, 2014
    Hi all! This site has already been an extremely helpful resource after getting our chickens this past weekend. We have adopted 4 girls, 2 buff Opringtons and two black and whites with flat, cushion combs (not sure of the breed), all about 2-3 years old. There are plans to build a bigger, better coop since the coop they came with is less than desirable but it may have to make it through the winter, which is supposed to be colder than normal here in TN. Right now, the highs are lower 40s and dipping into the 20s at night. I’m not planning on using a heat source, but am concerned about ventilation. The coop itself is a 4 X 4 X 4 square, raised up about a foot off the ground. There is a large window which is closed all the time (takes up most of the back side) and the coop door, which doesn’t currently have a door (we are making one). The top of the coop has some gaps between the walls and roof, but no real ventilation. I’m afraid any holes we cut in the top will be too close to the chickens and cause drafts instead of ventilation. Any solutions for working with what we have for the moment? I can post pictures if needed, thanks in advance!
  2. TaraBellaBirds

    TaraBellaBirds Chillin' With My Peeps

    Jul 13, 2013
    SW Kansas
    Welcome to BYC.
    Firstly I think your black and white girls are Silver Laced Wyandottes (SLW), based on your avatar pic.
    Your coop sounds like it is small enough that they can generate plenty of heat. I would think that the gaps at the top should be enough ventilation.
    Can you get a humidity gage to put in the coop?
    If the gaps are not big enough can they be widened a bit with a drimel or such to allow proper venilation?
    You have good breeds for cold weather, and if you can get enough ventilation they should make it through the winter fine.
  3. TNchickns

    TNchickns Chillin' With My Peeps

    Nov 12, 2014
    Thanks TaraBella, the humidity gauge is a great idea, and we can definitely widen the gaps. What numbers/levels should I be looking for on the humidity gauge? Good to know about their breed, their first family just had them as pets for their kids, not really into the details of chicken keeping, but I sure am...its only been 3 days and I love those girls already!
  4. TwoCrows

    TwoCrows Show me the way old friend Staff Member

    Mar 21, 2011
    New Mexico, USA
    My Coop
    Hello there and welcome to BYC! [​IMG]

    I had a very hard time working ventilation in my first small coop and had trouble with frost bite all winter. You don't want air blowing directly on the birds at any time. But if this window is far enough away from them, it might be ok to open. You will definitely want to cut holes in the ceiling to let the moisture out. They do need air and there needs to be a place to rid the coop of all the moisture from the pooping and the breathing. You can also put some vaseline on the combs at night to help prevent frost bite. Make sure to use a 2x4 roost with the 4 side up to help prevent frost bite on the toes.

    Good luck and I hope you can work something out!
    Last edited: Nov 12, 2014
  5. TaraBellaBirds

    TaraBellaBirds Chillin' With My Peeps

    Jul 13, 2013
    SW Kansas
    Someone the other day said that the best way to tell the difference in ventilation and drafts is "if the feathers move then you have a draft".

    TwoCrows is right on about the 2X4 they are perfect for winter
  6. sunflour

    sunflour Flock Master Premium Member Project Manager

    Jan 10, 2013
    [​IMG] So glad you joined us.
  7. Wyandottes7

    Wyandottes7 Overrun With Chickens

    Jul 24, 2013
    Welcome to BYC![​IMG] We're glad to have you.
  8. BantamLover21

    BantamLover21 Overrun With Chickens

    Jul 24, 2013
    [​IMG] Glad you joined us!
  9. Mountain Peeps

    Mountain Peeps Change is inevitable, like the seasons Premium Member

    Apr 23, 2014
    At our lodge
    My Coop
    Welcome to BYC! Please make yourself at home and we are here to help.
  10. Kelsie2290

    Kelsie2290 True BYC Addict Premium Member

    Feb 18, 2011
    Hello :frow and Welcome To BYC!

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