Cold nights & no coop

Discussion in 'Managing Your Flock' started by bobeena, Nov 21, 2008.

  1. bobeena

    bobeena Out Of The Brooder

    Oct 23, 2007
    We keep five backyard hens in a 10 by 10 dog kennel (roofed) at night. They sleep on perches. There is a doghouse inside filled with pinestraw and they lay eggs in there. During the day they roam the backyard. This has been the first fall/winter, though. that we've done it this way and I am worried about the hens being in the wind. They won't go into the dog house - they want to roost, of course. Last winter I had only 2 birds and would house them in a closed, straw-filled plastic dog house in the garage (entrance blocked with a screen) at night and let them outside in the a.m.
    I think we will hit freezing tonight here in N.C. I can go outside right now and scoop them all up and put them in the garage, though with 5 they will have to be split up.

    Thoughts on the open-mesh of the dog pen and nighttime?
  2. PeeperKeeper

    PeeperKeeper Chillin' With My Peeps

    Buy a tarp and throw over the cage. Or an old bedspread or sheet. Brrr, be sure to tie the corners down.
  3. ricky bamboo

    ricky bamboo Out Of The Brooder

    Sep 3, 2008
    Roseville, Ontario.
    this is my first fall/winter with mine, also. i too am worried about how cold is too cold. i don't have power in the coop, but may run some out there soon. it's only november and we already have snow. the temperature is -10 celsius at night. bbrrrrrr.
    check this video out...
  4. bobeena

    bobeena Out Of The Brooder

    Oct 23, 2007
    OK Well I just got up from the computer and dragged two tarps out to the backyard before I realized I'll never really secure them now, in the dark, without a ladder and help. So I dragged both doghouses in the garage and carried the chickens one by one into there. This is what you get when you skimp out on building an actual coop......
  5. mtnhomechick

    mtnhomechick Chillin' With My Peeps

    Jun 27, 2008
    Mountain Home, AR
    punch holes in the tarp and use bungee cords to attach it. Shelters my run real good.
  6. chiknwhisperer

    chiknwhisperer Chillin' With My Peeps

    May 9, 2008
    Lowell, IN
    My coop has extention cords running to it from under a window in the enclosed back porch that the previous owners used as a bedroom. One goes to a heated poultry waterer and the other to the heat lamp. I have to remember to duck when I go out there lol.
  7. EggHunter_66

    EggHunter_66 Chillin' With My Peeps

    Aug 4, 2008
    Box Springs,Georgia
    Quote:I have the same set up, the 10x10 dog kennel w/a house actully 4 houses all with hay in side and I have several bamboo purches. I have a tarp roof, the back side of kennel has a piece of wood to block wind, plus each kennel side has a tarp to block wind, only the front is open. I have 7 chickens that will only use the houses to lay eggs in and they ONLY roost on the bamboo at night. They all sleep side by side so they keep each other warm! This is the 3rd year that I have had this set up and they have always made it through the winters BUT you have to remember I am in Georgia! If I lived up north I would have a different set up.
  8. bobeena

    bobeena Out Of The Brooder

    Oct 23, 2007
    Thanks all for the replies to this. Thought I'd say what I wound up doing.

    This is not a pretty option, but it was cheap and effective. We had two brown tarps already and we used bungee cords to attach them to the roof of the kennel and the base of the kennel walls on the two broad sides. Further, on the very coldest nights here in NC, we carry the girls into the garage and stow them in a large plastic dog house filled with pinestraw and blockaded somewhat in front, then let them back outside in the morning.

    Let's just say this is an option we only choose because we have a) a privacy fence blocking views into our backyard and b) no windows on that side of our house, again, blocking views into the backyard!

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