Fairly Urgent Roost Design Help?

Discussion in 'Coop & Run - Design, Construction, & Maintenance' started by jennyf, Dec 18, 2016.

  1. jennyf

    jennyf Chillin' With My Peeps

    Apr 24, 2016
    It went from lows in mid-40s to 5 degrees with neg wind chills in last couple of days. Only hit about 14 today and about to be 5 degrees for a sustained period tonight and after pondering it all day, I think I want to bring chickens in the garage overnight. Lows in the 20s tomorrow so after tonight should be good to go. Note in the garage it's still not going to get over 30 but still hoping it keeps my 2 favorite girls combs from getting any more frost bitten than they look now. :(. Have a very large dog crate, can put some pdz in the tray, but any ideas on quick easily assembled roosts to put in a dog crate (6 chickens)? I have a decent amount of scrap lumber laying around.
  2. Egghead_Jr

    Egghead_Jr Overrun With Chickens

    Oct 16, 2010
    NEK, VT
    They'd prefer to stay in the coop. Pullet combs shouldn't get frostbit if you've enough ventilation in there.

    Never think of wind chill as it doesn't mean anything unless your in the wind. No wind inside a coop.
    1 person likes this.
  3. Howard E

    Howard E Chillin' With My Peeps

    Feb 18, 2016
    If you have them in a dog crate, just put them in the garage for the night and be done with it. That will get them through the night. Tomorrow is another day.

    If you are getting frostbite, your coop is going to need some work re: ventilation. I'm also in MO and we were -2F last night, with no issues.
    Last edited: Dec 18, 2016
  4. jennyf

    jennyf Chillin' With My Peeps

    Apr 24, 2016
    Most of my issues seemed like today daylight with the windchill. They all exited the coop this morning and then went to huddle up in the run, but they didn't move hardly at all out there for 4-5 hours! When a patch of sun finally hit the run, they scratched around a tiny bit for a couple of hours, but that's about it. The only thing I can think of is that the run (deep litter) was so much warmer than the coop (sand) that the run was where they wanted to be. They dug down in the deep litter and stayed there all day. None went for water, none laid.
  5. Folly's place

    Folly's place True BYC Addict

    Sep 13, 2011
    southern Michigan
    Pictures! You can block the wind very effectively with clear plastic wrap, sold in big rolls at the hardware store. The birds will be outside if they aren't in snow (mine hate standing in snow!) and can root around in the litter. Pictures! Mary
    1 person likes this.
  6. centrarchid

    centrarchid Chicken Obsessed

    Sep 19, 2009
    Holts Summit, Missouri
    I would place an inverted milk crate inside the dog crate for birds to roost on.
  7. Little Fuzzy

    Little Fuzzy Chillin' With My Peeps

    Jan 16, 2016
    Well I can see where sand would get a lot colder than deep litter. Why don't you sprinkle some straw on top of the sand.
  8. thomasboyle

    thomasboyle Chillin' With My Peeps

    Feb 28, 2013
    Northwest Hills of CT
    I wrap my pen with clear vinyl. Walmart sells it in 4' wide rolls. Paid $50 to wrap my coop, and am on year 3 of using the same vinyl. Makes a huge difference since it cuts out all wind and has a greenhouse effect. I put it up Thanksgiving week. The days prior were in the 20-30's and the chickens would not go out. Once wrapped, they happily go outside, and the pen stays 10 degrees warmer than the outside air on a sunny day.

    1 person likes this.
  9. AllynTal

    AllynTal Chillin' With My Peeps

    Aug 22, 2014
    Mississippi Gulf Coast
    If sand gets some sunshine during the day, no matter what the temperature is, it'll be warm and have enough thermal mass to hold the warmth into the evening. If it doesn't, then it'll be whatever the ambient temperature is.

    I agree with Egghead_Jr. They'd rather be in the coop. Frostbite is a symptom of excess moisture in the coop -- the deep litter isn't properly maintained (it isn't a hands-off system), the inside waterer leaks, and/or there isn't enough ventilation. In your case, you have sand inside, so it must be lack of ventilation (I assume your waterer doesn't leak.) People think frostbite on the combs is a temperature problem. It isn't. It's a ventilation problem. If the coop is draft-free and dry, the chickens can take care of themselves.

    (And yes, I live in the deep South now, but I started with chickens in 1965 in New Jersey. I moved down here a few years ago from Massachusetts, so I have had chickens 'up North.')
    Last edited: Dec 18, 2016

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