Christina from Minnesota

Discussion in 'New Member Introductions' started by brunhildr, Feb 20, 2014.

  1. brunhildr

    brunhildr New Egg

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    Feb 20, 2014
    Minneapolis MN
    I'm so happy to be returning to chicken keeping! I grew up with chickens and now entering my second full summer in our own house we're adding hens. I'm especially looking into gaining confidence that I can keep them alive in the winter in a small back yard coop, without burning it and my ladies to the ground. Also, we put a lot of time and energy to living a cleaner more natural life style and will be working to bring that same commitment into our coop, so I'm also searching out heated nipple watering systems with as little plastic as possible.
     
  2. Kelsie2290

    Kelsie2290 True BYC Addict Premium Member

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    Hello :frow and Welcome To BYC!
     
  3. drumstick diva

    drumstick diva Still crazy after all these years. Premium Member

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    Out to pasture
    [​IMG]
     
  4. TwoCrows

    TwoCrows Show me the way old friend... Staff Member

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    My Coop
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    The biggest mistake new flock owners do in the winter is close up the entire coop. That is not what you want to do even though it is -10 outside. Chickens breath and poop, which puts out tons of moisture. This moisture has to go somewhere. You need to keep your roof vents open so that this moisture rises, as heat does, and goes out the roof, instead of refreezing and falling back down on the combs and birds. Being cold and wet makes them colder. Chickens can survive incredibly cold temps if out of the wind and dry. So ideally, what you want is birds roosting low to the floor, vents all along the roof on two sides of the coop, moisture from pooping and breathing gets whisked up into this positive air flow of the opposing vents and goes out the roof. The birds roost in relatively quiet air and the moisture does not cause frost bite. Only if there is a ripping wind, you can block off some of your venting on one side only. But never close off all these vents.

    Now that is not to say that occasionally you may need to add heat. My personal opinion on adding heat is this. If the over night low AVERAGE is say zero and the predicted over night low is going to be MORE than 30 degrees colder than the average, then I will add a SMALL amount of heat. Only enough to bring it up a few degrees. 30 or more degrees is a big shock at night, so this is when I will add heat. But when the temp returns to normal, the heat goes off. Young birds and sick birds always get extra heat at any time.

    If you do use lamps for heat. ALWAYS permenantly attach them to the wall. NEVER rely on that clamp as it can release and fall and cause fires. Also, use the protective wire
    that comes with the lamp over the bulb to protect the bulb itself.

    Good luck with your new babies and enjoy BYC!
     
  5. gander007

    gander007 Chicken Obsessed

    Alright [​IMG] great to have you joining the flock [​IMG]
     
  6. brunhildr

    brunhildr New Egg

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    Feb 20, 2014
    Minneapolis MN
    Thanks guys! And TwoCrows thanks for the words on adding heat. This is is a good summery of what I've read around the web. We've been getting some pretty serious polar vortex BS this year so hopefully next winter will be a bit kinder.
     
  7. simi33

    simi33 Chillin' With My Peeps

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    Hello Christina! Welcome :)
     
  8. TwoCrows

    TwoCrows Show me the way old friend... Staff Member

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    My Coop
    You know what else really helps to keep birds warm? Come early winter or even late fall, I will tack an old towel to the roost bar. Warm feet mean warmer birds. Wood gets cold and if they can warm up the surface under their feet, the birds stay a lot warmer. I take it off sometime in April when it is starting to warm up. [​IMG]
     
  9. SquareInchFarm

    SquareInchFarm Out Of The Brooder

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    hooray from Minneapolis!

    and i think basement can be a last resort in really cold days =D
     

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