Cold coop, snow, brrrrr

Discussion in 'Managing Your Flock' started by doglover1, Oct 18, 2016.

  1. doglover1

    doglover1 Out Of The Brooder

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    I live in Alberta Canada near the sask border. It is getting bloody cold here. It's not unusual to get -35 here in the winters. I have but a 175watt red heat bulb in the coop, I have 15 chickens. It doesn't seem to be doing much in there. The coop is 100% insulated and polied. I have used the red lamp 3 times and whenever I check the birds at anytime in the night from midnight-4am and they all still wide awake and playing and eating. Any other suggestions? It appears they can see the red light and not sleeping. NO heating is not a option. It gets freezing temps here. Thanks.
     
  2. drumstick diva

    drumstick diva Still crazy after all these years. Premium Member

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    I would suggest you check out the thread "J'est another day in Pair a Dice." It's written by a great gal that lives in Alberta. She has chickens, ducks ,hair sheep. geese, swans etc.

    She has found out what works and is very successful with her animals. If you post and ask specifically what you can/should do, I'm sure she has all the answers for you. I know I was surprised when I heard how very cold, snowy, etc. the climate is there. I'm in US - middle west. We get some very cold, very snowy, icy winters but, nothing like Alberta.
     
  3. doglover1

    doglover1 Out Of The Brooder

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    Canada
    Thanks so much for the reply. I will try and look for that post. New here so still trying to figure out how to move around on here lol. Yes, it can get very cold here. I envy the folk who live in nice climates year round. Would love to garden year round.
     
  4. aart

    aart Chicken Juggler! Premium Member

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    This thread @drumstick diva ??

    https://www.backyardchickens.com/t/...iggins-rat-ranch-conservation-farm-in-alberta
     
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  5. chickens really

    chickens really Chicken Obsessed

    I live in Alberta too. Close to Edmonton...BRRRR!...I do run heat also...I use a 250 watt bulb...It is red....My Birds walk around a bit too...Have no worries..They sleep...My coop is not hot by no means, it keeps my water from freezing...I let my birds out into the run during the day and only close it up at 7pm.....I still free range weather permitting daily...I shovel paths for them...

    Cheers!
     
    1 person likes this.
  6. doglover1

    doglover1 Out Of The Brooder

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    May 16, 2016
    Canada
    Thank you so much! I'm a new chicken owner, well had them 20 years ago but so long ago I don't remember what I did lol.
    How cold is to cold to let them out with 10 feet of snow? I know they will go nuts staying indoors all winter. I have a huge pen plus a long tunnel in the yard. I don't want them to start picking on each other due to boredom either. I worry so much about them being cold.
     
  7. chickens really

    chickens really Chicken Obsessed

    If its a Blizzard or so cold and windy you wont go out? They wont either...I let them out in the run everyday...I free range everyday that the weather is not bad...Shovel out walkways for them...They love coming out...-20 they come out for a bit...Depends on the wind....I have construction plastic on one side of the run to block out wind and snow..I had two sides done but it always gets stinky in the spring and stays moist...

    Cheers!
     
  8. Mrs. K

    Mrs. K Overrun With Chickens

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    I am a firm believer in letting your chickens choose. Open the bird door, and let them decide. I find mine spend most days outside, but I do have wind shelters in my run.

    Mrs K
     
  9. doglover1

    doglover1 Out Of The Brooder

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    May 16, 2016
    Canada
    I just worry with their little door open in -20 weather it will freeze the inside out. Our winters are harsh here lol.
     
  10. Mrs. K

    Mrs. K Overrun With Chickens

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    Really you need to worry much more about the dryness of the coop, than the warmth. Warm air holds more moisture than cold air. Damp chickens are cold chickens. Dry chickens are warm. This is a very common mistake, that I made when I got started. Think of a car with people in it in cold weather, it almost immediately begins to fog up. That moisture collects on the walls, the ceilings, the birds feathers, combs and wattles. This is when you will get frost bite. When you shut up your coop to maintain the warmth, what you really do, is produce a damp environment. With the best of intentions you are making it worse for your chickens.

    It is considerably more important to have your coop as OPEN as possible. Your birds need shelter from the wind, but with their feathers and good feed, they are capable of keeping themselves warm in very cold weather, such as -20oF. Have a good deep bedding down below, open ventilation above their heads, set up your roosts so that their heads are 15 inches below the ceiling and 12 inches away from the wall. This lets the air circulate, pulling the warm wet air out of the coop. This keeps the birds dry. Dry birds are warm chickens.

    Last year, I got a new coop. It has considerably more ventilation. I was surprised how much drier the coop was, when I opened the door in the morning to get eggs. I did not have any frostbite last year. It seems so counterintuitive, closed up = warm, but not in the chicken world. Cold and dry air = warm birds.

    Mrs K
     
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