Can u help a Florida girl with the 1st super cold front w/ hens? PICS!

Discussion in 'Coop & Run - Design, Construction, & Maintenance' started by guesswhatchickenbutt, Jan 1, 2010.

  1. guesswhatchickenbutt

    guesswhatchickenbutt Chillin' With My Peeps

    Mar 5, 2009
    Central FL

    I live in Central Florida and I just found out that our first big cold front of the season is moving in today. We're having highs in the 50s and lows in the LOW 30s for the next 4 or 5 days. I know this isn't cold for you Northerners, but it's bitter for us flip-flop wearing thin-skinned Florida people.

    I was hoping I'd get some feedback on our coop...

    The coop is an open coop because our biggest concern is hot weather. There is an open window-perch in the roost area so my husband screwed a spare piece of plexiglass over it the other day to keep out the cold air. We'll just unscrew it once it warms up again. You can see it in the first picture. We used plexiglass to give them some natural light in it was handy since we found it in the attic.

    There are 2 doors that lead into the coop - the bottom door leads into the "downstairs" area, which is completely open (screened-in) and where the food/water is kept. There is an "upstairs" door that I use for cleaning them out, but also where they fly out of sometimes... you can see these doors in 2nd pic. The "upstairs" is where their nest boxes and roost are located.

    My concern is the open doorway at the top of the stairs. That is completely open. Do I need to close that off? If I do, they won't have access to food/water while locked up at night. It is SUCH a small area in there and they barely have room to roost without squishing each other.

    Here you can see my BR peeking out of the entryway at the top of the stairs. This is my question area. Thoughts on this? Right now there is no closure for this area - it's wide open and just leads out to the open coop (protected by wire, of course).


    Here you can see the 2 side doors (that I close up at night) - EE looking out of top door and BO using bottom door... and you can also see the yellow arrow pointing to the open entryway.


    I don't want my girls to get too cold and I'm willing to do anything I can to make them more comfortable, but the coop is not in a place where I can get electricity, so I can't add any sort of heater or light.

    THANKS in advance for your help!!!!

    <<off to bundle up>>
    Last edited: Jan 1, 2010
  2. Sillystunt

    Sillystunt Master of the Silly

    Jul 11, 2008
    Winter Haven, FL
    hey, i am in polk county! I put plastic trash bags on my screened parts. I just stapled them on and it has helped with the draft!!!! Shouldn't get so cold that it will hurt them ,unless they are chicks or young. I also have in my youth pen a 85 watt flood light(red, blue or green) and it helps heat them up if it gets really chilly but the older ones are fine!!!
    Just get it sealed up with plastic to eliminate the cold drafts~

    Make sure you check out the fl swap threads in my signature. Hope to c-ya at one soon!! Best of luck
  3. halo

    halo Got The Blues

    Nov 22, 2007
    My Coop
    I dont think you need to do a thing. Chickens are pretty hardy, and are braving much colder temps up north than they have to worry with down here. As long as they can get out of wind, they will be just fine.
  4. MissD'uccle

    MissD'uccle Cluck of My Life

    Dec 16, 2009
    Elba Twp, MI
    I think your girls will be just fine. You don't have any super delicate breeds and 30 isn't cold at all. The biggest thing is drafts, but even here in Michigan I have one open window (about 2x2) that stays open all the time to allow access outside. And, YES, my chicks will be outside walking around in 30 degree (and COLDER! [​IMG] weather as long as there is no snow on the ground! Your ladies should be just fine, if you want to make them super comfy though just eliminate the drafts with plastic. Good luck, but no worries!
  5. speckledhen

    speckledhen Intentional Solitude Premium Member

    Quote:Agreed. We'll be in the teens tonight. I do put a 60 watt reptile bulb in the cage where my crippled rooster lives because he is quite lean and has no one to snuggle with at night, but don't heat the coops.
  6. Sunny Side Up

    Sunny Side Up Count your many blessings...

    Mar 12, 2008
    Loxahatchee, Florida
    I agree, if they're all fully feathered adults they should be able to handle the infrequent cold spells here in Fla. I'm in western West Palm Beach & my birds aren't too bothered by the cold here, not even the few frosts & freezes we get each winter. I've even had a bantam hen that successfully brooded eggs during one winter. But we always think it's funny to see our bare-necked guinea hens scrunch their heads into their shoulder feathers to keep themselves warm, it looks like they've put on turtle-necked sweaters.

    If you do want to add something to block the draft but allow the birds access, why not make a fringed drape of heavy cloth for that doorway? Maybe some heavy fleece material, like an old sweatshirt, tacked to the top and cut into wide fringes along the bottom? It would keep out cold drafts but allow them to go in & out at will.

    Stay warm & enjoy it! Remember the sensation throughout the next summer here!
  7. teach1rusl

    teach1rusl Love My Chickens

    Quote:Most fabric stores also sell clear vinyl sheeting of different thicknesses. You can use a staple gun to tack it up. The garbage bag idea is good, and cheaper, but I doubt they're clear. Hmmm.....Lowes/Home Depot sell the cheap, clear drop sheets (for painting and such). They're really flimsy, but no more so than garbage bags. Good luck!
  8. BradnKellie

    BradnKellie Out Of The Brooder

    Oct 28, 2009
    Highland City, FL
    Highland City - Polk County, FL here. I use the clear plastic drop cloths from lowe's also. The birds can handle the temps here just fine, but I put the plastic on to break the wind and drizzle.
  9. HennyJenny

    HennyJenny Chillin' With My Peeps

    Dec 26, 2009
    Bennington, NE
    It's below zero here and my girls have ventured out into the run. I agree with the other posters - the biggest thing in the coop (I think) is drafts (and humidty when it's below freezing.) Even here on the coldest winter days I don't block their pophole (but I do teepee a piece of plywood against it so the wind doesn't blow directly in the coop). I like the suggestion about fringing an old sweatshirt or piece of fleece for the pophole. I may try that myself.
  10. Sc00ter4900

    Sc00ter4900 Chillin' With My Peeps

    Jun 7, 2009
    I visited FL for a wile and when I got back I was freezing. Im sure the girls wount like the change but should adapt. Dont for get That the laidies like hot oat meal on cold mornings. In the south maybe grits [​IMG] The stuff we do for our pets LOL Good luck Scotty

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