cold weather tips?

Discussion in 'Managing Your Flock' started by HiddenBrookAcres, Nov 16, 2011.

  1. HiddenBrookAcres

    HiddenBrookAcres Out Of The Brooder

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    This is the first winter for my flock, they were all hatched this past April. I live in RI. They live in a shed that was converted into a coop by adding nest boxes and roosts. The breeds I selected are supposed to be cold hardy. Does anyone have tips on keeping my hens happy and healthy during the colder months?
     
  2. OregonChickenGal

    OregonChickenGal Chillin' With My Peeps

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    A draft free coop, and ventilation is very important. I also put lots of pine shavings in the coop to help insulate the floor. Also dry food and ice free water. There are alot of articles on ventilation in BYC website.
     
    Last edited: Nov 16, 2011
  3. MimiChick

    MimiChick Chillin' With My Peeps

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    I'm also in RI, the northwestern part of the state. Your girls will be just fine as long as they have a safe, dry coop to go in to when the weather is lousy. Don't worry about heat. They really don't need it. And if they want to play in the rain or snow, let them. Look at the wild birds in the area. They don't even have a coop to go into, and they're fine. Just make sure they have food and water available at all times. They're very hardy creatures. Have fun!
     
  4. Arielle

    Arielle Chicken Obsessed

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    [​IMG]

    I'm just north of you. Last winter I only had one hen last winter; and now I have many more birds: more hens and roosters, turkeys and ducks, too.

    I have the same worry: keeping them sufficiently warm and safe in the New England winter. Everything from cold rain to sleet to feet of snow. Hopefully I picked the right breeds. And I think about making little shelters with ply wood roofs instead of the tarps that currently shelter them from the rains. Afew things left to do before winter sets in.

    GL
     
  5. dragonlair

    dragonlair Chillin' With My Peeps

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    I live above both of you-Central Maine.

    Draft free is the key. Plus, I feed fat and meat scraps to the girls for the extra calories for warmth production.

    My hens HATE hate hate the snow and refuse to step foot in it.
     
  6. Roy Rooster

    Roy Rooster Chillin' With My Peeps

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    Tennesee Smoky Mts.
    I am glad that this question was asked because I had the same question. But I am wondering what is the difference
    between a non drafty coop and a ventilated coop? If you allow ventilation in the coop dosen't that cause drafts?

    Just wondering.

    Thanks
     
  7. MimiChick

    MimiChick Chillin' With My Peeps

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    If you have ventilation openings near the top of the coop you won't get drafts on the chickens when they're inside. But the air still moves enough for good exchange. I have two 4 ft long, 8inch high ventilation openings that I can partially shutter when necessary (Blizzards and Hurricanes). I keep them mostly open almost all year long. Plenty of fresh air for the chicks without drafts.
     
  8. trooper

    trooper Chillin' With My Peeps

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    [​IMG]:p[​IMG] Last winter was my first winter with chickens.My coop is an old playhouse that needed alot of work.I'm doing a little at a time because of the cost.When I walked in you could feel a draft in the entire coop.It was colder and there was a chill.I have been working on the draft and ventilation and now when you walk in there is no air movement and the chill has left.I have vents in certain locations that allows the air to move taking out the moisture,but it isn't all over the coop.Kinda like when you are outside in the windy weather in the wind and you step back behind something to get out of the wind.The air still moves in areas around you,but not directly on you.Hope you get the picture.I do the deep liter method and this also helps with warmth because it insulates the floor.I put down the rubber mats used in horse stalls and this also helps to keep the heat in and also makes it easier to clean. This also adds some cushion on their feet and legs when they jump.My coop is 8'x8' and I have 8 chickens.They come and go as they please during the day and they appear to be happy and healthy.I do take a broom about twice a week and move the shavings and poop around.This keeps the poop and shavings mixed and takes away the odor.I add shavings as I see needed.Clean twice a year.This works for me.You may have to do what works for you.Good luck.[​IMG]:celebrate
     
  9. trooper

    trooper Chillin' With My Peeps

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    [​IMG][​IMG]:caf I also need to add that I have put vents at the top of my coop and at the bottom I keep the bottom ones open year around.This allows controlled air movement year around.Helps move the heat out in the summer and helps to take the moisture out in the winter.Chickens are moving around during the day and the cold isn't much of a factor.The upper vent I leave open during the summer.This allows the heat to be able to rise and move out of the coop so that they aren't so hot.In the winter I close the top vent so that the heat that is in the coop stays in(every little bit helps)The coop.There is no air moving at the top and this keeps down the draft.Heat is actually more harmful to chickens than cold.Here again,this works for me.[​IMG]:old:pop
     
  10. CheerioLounge

    CheerioLounge Chillin' With My Peeps

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    Quote:Couldn't have said it better!
     

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