Chickens can live in a Fridge to keep warm in cold climates.

Discussion in 'Coop & Run - Design, Construction, & Maintenance' started by GodofPecking, Dec 19, 2015.

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  1. GodofPecking

    GodofPecking Chillin' With My Peeps

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    For very very cold climates, you can use an old fridge or freezer for roosting. I lay tall ones on their back so that the door becomes a door on the top. In what is now the side of the fridge, you can drill through with regular drill bits, you can cut (use gloves) the sheetmetal using tinsnips, or if you have no tinsnips, you can use an angle grinder (dangerous) or an old knife or lawnmower blade. Put the blade or knife into the hole and hit the back of the blade with a hammer in the direction you want to cut. Good idea to cut larger than the chook by enough margin to line the hole with wood, so the chooks are not tempted to eat the insulation. If the fridge is put into the chooks current coop, you'd have to wait until after they settle in for the night on the old perches and then move them into the fridge for up to a dozen nights until they learn to go in themselves. If it is a new coop or chicks, they get the idea straight away.

    I've done this many times so I can advise on whatever is not clear if I am still here. I originally wrote this as part of a different thread, but it is better as it's own topic. I can post some pics however it is just a fridge as described. Chicks love it in cold weather, I had a light on inside one that was outdoors, you MUST be careful with that because any standard light bulb or heat lamp will cook the chicks no matter how cold it is outside, at least in the daytime. I didn't lose any, but you need a timer bare minimum if not a thermostat. Any size of chook likes this arrangement and obviously it extends the laying period into and through the winter because they have an area to make an adequate nest and raise chicks, so with enough food, hormones do the rest. Mine lay through winter when everyone else in town say theirs have stopped laying.

    The surprise advantage of the light at night to keep the chicks warm is that lots of bugs fly in during the early evening giving the chicks a feast and lots of practice catching, and it's free, they love it.

    edit:

    I think because of all the allergy to something different, and what I think is hysteria, I should have called this thread "How to raise Zombie chickens" and then the same people might say (I think) things like "It'll never work, they'll just breathe air coming through the door!"

    Here are some pics I finally got out of the silly phone.
    [​IMG]

    here is the inside and outside view of a door in a fridge I have been using for some time to raise different batches of chicks outdoors *including during freezing winter conditions*

    note the fridge shelves used as walls of the enclosed outdoor yard for the chicks.

    [​IMG]
    This is another one, where I have built some nest inside, not shown because not finished, still working on a mechanism that closes wooden internal doors to give the hen privacy so chooks don't use the same nest 4 at a time. still working on that part.
     
    Last edited: Dec 19, 2015
  2. enola

    enola Overrun With Chickens

    How does the moisture from the chickens exit the refrigerator/freezer?
     
  3. GodofPecking

    GodofPecking Chillin' With My Peeps

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    through the entry, I found it is enough without putting holes elsewhere. It never gets moisture in my experience, it is pretty dry. Their poop seems to dry up and flake off easily. You could probably just stick to sweeping although I often hose them out because i am lazy. The one I hose out most has the door on the side. It doesn't need to be moved to clean it, which is good because it has a little run attached to it, made out of fridge shelves wired together.

    edited to add picture.

    [​IMG]
     
    Last edited: Dec 22, 2015
  4. blucoondawg

    blucoondawg Chillin' With My Peeps

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    What region do you live in? I'm in northern Wisconsin, we get very cold, 0F is a normal winter night temperature and there are many nights in the -10 to -35F range, I think you are providing very bad information, a simple read through this forum will show you what is thought of as good ventilation and coop design by the experienced chicken keepers here, whom possess many years worth of knowledge. Telling people to close off their ventilation to trap the warm air is simply bad and dangerous information for a new chicken keeper, I hope any new folks on here doing research will read the abundance of threads on this forum pertaining to coop design before they settle on this plan you use.
    If you keep your chickens like this in severe cold you are asking for frost bite and respiratory illness at some point.
     
    Last edited: Dec 19, 2015
  5. GodofPecking

    GodofPecking Chillin' With My Peeps

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    You seem very very very very upset, is it ok for me to ask where on earth I said this ? I re-read this thread and can't see it anywhere.
     
  6. blucoondawg

    blucoondawg Chillin' With My Peeps

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    On another thread, sorry for the confusion and no I am not upset but you most definitely are advocating practices that are generally thought of as very unhealthy for chickens by your refrigerator design as well as on the other thread where you instructed another member to close off their overhead ventilation and reconstruct a ventilation method down lower which would trap the warm air inside the coop. That is not good advice for keeping a healthy flock.

    I don't care what anyone does with their birds but when new people are looking for information on how to build their coop and take advise such as you are giving it could very possible give them big problems health wise, when I see that happening I will point it out so those new folks hopefully take time to read further and make their own decision.
     
  7. Teila

    Teila Bambrook Bantams Premium Member

    So that I can get a better understanding, I would like to see some pictures please?

    I am trying to picture my fridge as a roosting area and I believe it would take up a lot of room while not actually providing much of an area to roost?

    Living in Aus, our climate is definitely not cold and the chickens would probably prefer the fridge to be upright, working and turned on [​IMG]

    So yeah, my interest is purely intrigue.
     
  8. GodofPecking

    GodofPecking Chillin' With My Peeps

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    I can't get pics off my phone onto the computer at the moment, the phone is not recognized, but I'll upload them, and a pic of a rooster I would like to identify as well.

    YES, IT DOES TAKE UP A LOT OF ROOM. Tell me about it. Although you haven't tried it, yes, moving a fridge is not so easy especially inside my very large chicken tractor. Outside the tractor they are fine, and with a little cage on the end, they are fine by themselves for raising chicks BUT BE CAREFUL of feral cats reaching through the wire to kill the chicks !!!!

    Well in most of australia it is arid in the country and so while it is HOT in the day it is also COLD at night because there is no moisture in the air to reflect the heat back to the earth. It also works against the heat to a degree, if there is enough breeze to take away the chooks own heat.


    well please put it in that thread rather than causing confusion here, you can click the picture of a pencil at the bottom of your messages already posted here and I can do the same to match, thanks in advance.
     
  9. Teila

    Teila Bambrook Bantams Premium Member

    While Central Aus has a dry heat and a large area is desert or semi arid which is cold at night, this is the least populated area. I am just sub tropical with a wet season currently in progress, definitely not dry and/or cold but humid and afternoon tropical storms etc.

    If you compare the population density to the climate areas, not many people live in the central area.

    Climate:
    [​IMG]

    Population Density:
    [​IMG]

    I think a lot of holes would have to be drilled to allow enough breeze and therefore defeating the purpose of working against the heat.

    Anyways, looking forward to the pics; as I mentioned, purely intrigue.
     
  10. GodofPecking

    GodofPecking Chillin' With My Peeps

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    I took photos with my phone and just tried to upload them then, it didn't work. It's a SONY phone.
     
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