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First time owner, Winterizing the Coop.......

Discussion in 'Managing Your Flock' started by mdewitt71, Oct 20, 2012.

  1. mdewitt71

    mdewitt71 Out Of The Brooder

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    I have 3 large Egg Laying hens and 11 bantam 6 month olds......
    Temps are starting to drop and the days getting shorter my 3 hens have slowed down on laying eggs.....

    I have been told I need to extend the day for them to eat longer, if the temps stay above 40 degrees does this mean I can shut the light off at night?

    Where should I mount a light in the hen house, down low about 2 foot off of ground or up high in the roof corner of the house?
     
  2. BackyardAnita

    BackyardAnita Chillin' With My Peeps

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    Oct 18, 2012
    How cold does it get where you live? Chickens can keep warm in the winter even without a heater. Make sure your coop is closed up though so the cold air can't get through as easily. Your chickens will warm each other while roosting at night.

    Lighting would be a good idea, they need about 14 hours of daylight in order to lay (they still lay without 14 hours but not as many eggs). Place a light on the upper corner of the coop and put a timer on it. The light does not have to be on during the day.
     
  3. ImpulsiveFarmer

    ImpulsiveFarmer Chillin' With My Peeps

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    Jun 29, 2012
    Chautauqua County, NY
    Up high would be best and temp has nothing to do with them laying or not it's the day's length*. If you want them to keep laying keep the light on. You don't need to keep the light on all night just a few hours after sunset to trick the chicken's internal clock into thinking the day is longer than it really is.

    *If the temp falls too low, like below 0, it may cause them to lay less. You might then want to ad a heat lamp if your chicken are not an especially cold hearty breeds.
     
  4. mdewitt71

    mdewitt71 Out Of The Brooder

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    Thanks, I hope it doesnt get too cold this winter (I don't like the cold either haha) but, I will get a light to extend thier days for sure this week.
    I already blocked up thier windows with tarps to keep the wind out and plan to lay some straw across the floor of the coop when it does decide to drop down in temps.
     
  5. BackyardAnita

    BackyardAnita Chillin' With My Peeps

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    Good luck! It's my first winter with the chickens too!
     
  6. mdewitt71

    mdewitt71 Out Of The Brooder

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    Thanks, not sure how bad a winter we will have this year.
    I bet it gets bad since we didnt have a winter last year (1 day of snow and no freezing temps).
     
  7. wsmith

    wsmith Chillin' With My Peeps

    First, where are you and what breed of chickens are they? That will dictate what measures you should take, if any.

    Chickens are much more cold tolerant than many people think. Nearly all chickens slow down in laying during the winter, as they are using the nutrients in the feed to stay warm and healthy. You CAN give extra light in the morning and evening if you want more winter eggs, but you don't HAVE to. Extra heat really isn't needed either, usually it just makes the owner feel better. The problem with giving extra heat is that when the heat source is gone (think power outage, etc) the chickens suffer because they aren't used to the cold. Again, depending on the breed...Some are better at handling cold than others.

    Also, how big is you hen house? Do you have adequate ventilation? Is it drafty?

    From your info, I see you are in MO? You probably don't need to supplement heat there. It doesn't get that cold from what I am told. If it got to say -10 for a week or so, you might get mildly concerned
     
    Last edited: Oct 21, 2012
  8. mdewitt71

    mdewitt71 Out Of The Brooder

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