1. If this is your first time on BYC, we suggest you start with one of these three options:
    Raising Chickens Chicken Coops Join BYC
    If you're already a member of our community, click here to login & click here to learn what's new!

Cold weather care

Discussion in 'Coop & Run - Design, Construction, & Maintenance' started by BammysCoop, Oct 23, 2016.

  1. BammysCoop

    BammysCoop New Egg

    7
    0
    9
    Aug 16, 2016
    I'm a newbie chicken-mom. What is the best bedding for my coop to keep my girls warm during the winter? I'm in northeast USA, and it's starting to get chilly. Should I let them out during the day to get fresh air? Seems like I should know more than I do. Thanks!
     
  2. chickens really

    chickens really Overrun With Chickens

    I use sand in my Coop and Run year round....I run a heat lamp all winter...It is never warm, just warm enough to not freeze my water...I open the pop door to the run everyday unless a blizzard is happening....? I free range daily to cut out the boredom and to prevent any bad behaviours..Chickens are tough...

    Cheers!.
     
  3. Hokum Coco

    Hokum Coco Overrun With Chickens

    3,311
    601
    306
    Dec 6, 2012
    New Brunswick,Canada
     
  4. GC-Raptor

    GC-Raptor Chillin' With My Peeps

    1,186
    563
    191
    Jul 26, 2016
    Connecticut, U.S.A.
    I use compacted straw or straw in nests and floor of coop. I have a 4x5 foot raised coop, with hardware cloth protected space underneath, accessible from coop, for 5 pullets. The coop is in a 500 square foot pen. As long as it's not covered in deep snow I will let them out daily. I have a heated base for my galvanized waterer that I keep in the coop along with a feeder.[​IMG]GC[​IMG]GC[​IMG]
     
  5. aart

    aart Chicken Juggler! Premium Member

    32,690
    5,439
    556
    Nov 27, 2012
    SW Michigan
    My Coop
    Welcome to BYC!!

    Bedding doesn't much matter as long as it's dry and absorbent.
    They need good ventilation, even in winter, to allow moisture and ammonia to escape.

    I use pine shavings on the floor, but utilize a poop board to remove poops(moisture and ammonia) every other day.
    https://www.backyardchickens.com/t/...raphic-gross-poop-pictures/1100#post_13179595


    You don't need to 'keep them warm'...they are wearing down coats.
    You may want to heat the waterer tho....or frequently bring them liquid water.
    This is what I've come up with for hassle free winter water, it works great!
    https://www.backyardchickens.com/a/aarts-heated-waterer-with-horizontal-nipples
     
  6. BammysCoop

    BammysCoop New Egg

    7
    0
    9
    Aug 16, 2016
    Thank you.

    Next questions.
    I have 6 hens, no roo. They are all old enough to be laying, but only the oldest one is laying. I'm wondering if it's too late in the season for the other 5 to start? Also, when nature has my one layer slowed down for the winter, should I stop giving them layer feed until she/they start laying again in the spring? I'm concerned that too much calcium when they're not producing may be unhealthy.
     
  7. aart

    aart Chicken Juggler! Premium Member

    32,690
    5,439
    556
    Nov 27, 2012
    SW Michigan
    My Coop
    I like to feed a flock raiser/grower/finisher 20% protein crumble full time to all ages and genders, as non-layers(chicks, males and molting birds) do not need the extra calcium that is in layer feed and chicks and molters can use the extra protein. Makes life much simpler to store and distribute one type of chow that everyone can eat. I do grind up the crumbles (in the blender) for the chicks for the first week or so.

    The higher protein crumble also offsets the 8% protein scratch grains and other kitchen/garden scraps I like to offer. I adjust the amounts of other feeds to get the protein levels desired with varying situations.

    Calcium should be available at all times for the layers, I use oyster shell mixed with rinsed, dried, crushed chicken egg shells in a separate container.

    Animal protein (mealworms, a little cheese - beware the salt content, meat scraps) is provided during molting and if I see any feather eating.
     

BackYard Chickens is proudly sponsored by