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  1. chickfamilyonsleepyhollow

    chickfamilyonsleepyhollow Chillin' With My Peeps

    I'm getting worried that my coop might be getting too damp for our girls - we have 6 Red Sex-Links in a 8 X 4 coop with no heat or electricity ... I'm using the Deep Litter method and sprinkle DE about every week or two ... we've had snow on the ground since before Christmas but its been warmer (35-40 degree days) with lots of rain over the past couple of days. I went out to close up the coop and its really damp in there and the girls were wet from being out in the rain ... the weather is shifting and we're expecting a sizeable snowstorm tomorrow (8-12 inches of snow) ... should I get another bag of wood chips and put it on top of what I already have ... I just put some DE in there the other day and don't want to put too much in ... any advice would be greatly appreciated [​IMG]
     
  2. blueberrychickens

    blueberrychickens Chillin' With My Peeps

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    May 12, 2010
    Hudson, MA
    Hello Plymouth MA from Hudson MA,
    My girls were wet tonight when they went into their coop, what a sorry looking bunch of chickens. I was afraid they might get too chilled tonight since the temps are dipping into the teens & highs tmrw only in the 20's. I ended up plugging in their brooder light for a little while, I figure it will help them to dry out a bit & maybe it will dry out any dampness in the coop from all the precip we've had the past 24 hrs. I've had about enough winter....I'm ready for spring!
     
  3. chickfamilyonsleepyhollow

    chickfamilyonsleepyhollow Chillin' With My Peeps

    Hi there neighbor [​IMG] I too hate to see the girls all wet. Just wondering if it would be ok to use a heat lamp once in a while [​IMG] I haven't used a heat or light source since last May when the chicks first moved into the coop.
     
  4. MVchickens

    MVchickens Chillin' With My Peeps

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    Dec 8, 2010
    Martha's Vineyard MA
    I have nothing to say but HI from the vineyard.
     
  5. MakNugget

    MakNugget Chillin' With My Peeps

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    May 31, 2010
    Portland, OR
    Well it depends. I had to take some drastic measures myself due to constant rain and high humidity, freeze/thaw... ugh.

    Does it really reek of ammonia? It doesn't sound like it from your post, so you're still ok. For the most part, the high humidity levels alone won't ruin it for you. You'll want to make sure you're getting enough ventilation to help the air change. How deep is your litter? And more importantly, how much of your litter is composed of droppings?

    I've curbed problems with high humidity by using DE (occasionally), adding shavings, deep stirring, adding dead leaves (helps fluff up the bedding), and even partial bedding changes if ammonia becomes a problem. You should be fine by what you're doing now. Just monitor your ammonia

    I have a raised 5x4 coup with 12" bedding and found my bedding had a high poop ratio to shavings. With the cold, rainy, freezing, humid weather, I found that the bedding was starting to compost on it's own. If I had a bigger coup, I would be happy about it, but this is not good news for me. It's composting (hot) since there's enough moisture in the bedding to start it. After much investigating (no signs of water leaks), I came to the conclusion that the BOTTOM/FLOOR of my coop was creating condensate due to the temperature difference between the freezing outside and the warm inside of the bedding. The floor is a 1" subfloor, with vinyl, and it didn't occur to me to add a moisture blocker of some kind, since I figured the bedding would be enough of an insulator. I never said I was a builder, lol.

    So if dig all the way through the composting bedding, there's a thin layer of wet bedding on the surface of the vinyl. Ugh! I had to change out 5, 5 gallon bucket fulls of bedding and stir up with DE to take it back to acceptable levels.
     
  6. Egg Rookie 2010

    Egg Rookie 2010 Chillin' With My Peeps

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    Jun 21, 2010
    North Idaho
    Boy Im glad I read this thread. Ill be putting down the lino in my new coop on Saturday and happen to have a roll of moisture barrier left over from a bathroom remodel...Ill put that down before the lino. I dont think it could hurt anyway.
     
  7. chickfamilyonsleepyhollow

    chickfamilyonsleepyhollow Chillin' With My Peeps

    Thanks for your post ... I too have a vinyl floor and have noticed that the pine shavings on top are dry (except by the roost) and indeed the bottom layer is damp! I think I'll replace half of the bedding [​IMG] and will plan on turning the bedding more frequently (twice a week) to avoid this problem.
     
  8. blefky

    blefky life in the yard

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    Mar 18, 2010
    stamford, ct
    I do the deep litter method also. With the way this winter is shaping up, I find I've added shavings more often than I'd expected. I also use more (food grade) DE than at other times of the year. So far, so good...but spring may be a real bear! Oh, and be sure that your ventilation is adequate - with the fluctuating temps we've been getting in New England this winter, I think the humidity issue is a big deal, healthwise. The past couple of days is a good example - it's been "warm" and rainy, and the girls are soggy and dragging a lot of moisture into the coop, then BAM! it's winter again, temps at night in the single digits (or lower). Moist cold is a much bigger deal than dry cold - frostbite, resp. illnesses, etc.
    Oh, for the warm, dry days of summer....
     
    Last edited: Jan 20, 2011
  9. patandchickens

    patandchickens Flock Mistress

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    Apr 20, 2007
    Ontario, Canada
    Yup, I'd suggest doing as much of a cleanout as you can stand (especially in problem areas like near the popdoor, around the waterer, and under the roost) and replace with dry shavings.

    If you cannot or are just not *going* to do that, then adding a bag of dry shavings on top of what you've already got is probably a reasonable bet, but a cleanout -- at least of the worst areas, and going all the way down to the floor unless you hit a layer of dry stuff down there -- is going to work best.

    Good luck, have fun,

    Pat
     

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