Cold Weather; need to enclose girl yet?

Discussion in 'Managing Your Flock' started by AndersonFolk, Oct 20, 2011.

  1. AndersonFolk

    AndersonFolk In the Brooder

    I apologize if this question is being asked in the wrong forum, but now that the cooler weather is starting to settle in around the Atlanta, GA area, do you think it is time to enclose the girls?

    We have a 10' x 10' shed we built for our girls (close them up in it at nights) that is open on 3 sides. The back wall is where the laying boxes are mounted. When I say open on three sides, I mean it is double wrapped with field wire and chicken wire.
    The weather is starting to drop down into the 40's at night, so is it time to wrap at least two of those sides in plastic to keep some heat in? I hate to sound like a worry wart, but I don't want the girls to get cold, but also know that nothing is worse than not having good ventilation since we only let the girls out in the afternoons when we are home.

  2. Davian

    Davian Chirping

    Sep 8, 2010
    Vermont, USA
    I'd wrap it to prevent drafts but at the same time make sure there is ventilation up at the top so it doesnt get too damp.
  3. Carolyn252

    Carolyn252 Mother of Chickens

    Quote:For the late Fall, Winter and early Spring, I use clear plastic tarps and cover all four walls of my wire screened ChickArena. No plastic on the wire-screened ceiling. Couple of boards are mounted on edge up (on the outside on top of the ceiling), to hold up a raised roof of corrugated plastic panels to keep out the rain and snow.


    You don't say how tall your shed is, or if there's a roof on it. If there's a solid roof on it, then when you wrap the plastic on the three walls, just leave the top of the walls open to the air; no plastic. It least six inches, I'd say. If you ever see condensation on your plastic walls (meaning any moisture or fog buildup), then there's not enough ventilation and you must lower the plastic to allow more air flow at the top of the plastic-covered walls.

    In any case, keep in mind that it's NOT the cold temperatures that you must protect your flock from, it's the wind that can harm them.

    Many postings here suggest bales of hay to partially block off the fourth wall (of a three-walled shed) from the wind.
  4. AndersonFolk

    AndersonFolk In the Brooder

    I apologize for not mentioning there is a roof. Tin roof and the building is about 8' tall in the front with a 1.5' fall to the back

    I will wrap the front and two sides this week leaving a 1' on top for vent.

    Thanks for all the replies!
  5. Mrs MIA

    Mrs MIA Chick Magnet

    Mar 3, 2008
    Block the drafts as best you can, but keep some ventilation. Give them someplace to go to get out of the elements, but give them free choice. I think you'll be surprised at how hardy they are. Mine sleep outside of their own volition at 0F. [​IMG]

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