Frost in my coop?

Discussion in 'New Member Introductions' started by MaineChickenGuy, Dec 27, 2013.

  1. MaineChickenGuy

    MaineChickenGuy New Egg

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    Dec 27, 2013
    I am a new chicken hobbyist in Maine. I got 8 chickens (2 NH red, 2 Buffs, 2 Golden Comets, & 2 Ameraucanas) back in May and built an uninsulated, raised 10 x 8 coop. So far the chickens have been doing great but I'm concerned about heat & ventilation in the coop this winter. Recently the temps have been dropping down into the single digits (0 - 9 F) at night and that will probably happen on a regular basis for the rest of the winter. I buttoned up the coop as much as possible, have a 60 watt bulb on a timer (3:30 am - 7:30 am) over their perches and am using the deep-litter method but I have recently noticed frost forming on the ceiling and the walls. I am assuming that I buttoned things up a little too tight and their breathing is causing the condensation. So here are my questions:

    1) Should I remove the styrofoam insulation that I used to cover the vents in the eaves of the roof? This would increase the ventilation and get rid of the frost but would also allow for drafts in the coop.

    2) Do I need more than a 60 watt bulb if the temps will be in the single digits? I've read a lot of differing opinions on this one and am thoroughly confused.

    Thanks in advance for any suggestions.
     
  2. Kelsie2290

    Kelsie2290 True BYC Addict Premium Member

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    Hello :frow Welcome to BYC and Happy Holidays! You might want to try posting this over on the Coop/Run design board https://www.backyardchickens.com/f/9/coop-run-design-construction-maintenance with your coop setup. If the vents are not at roost height/ where the drafts would hit roosting chickens opening them back up should be OK, if they are, could you put up baffles or add ventilation somewhere else? The lights are usually used to keep them laying, not for heat, and a 60 watt bulb should light a 8x10 coop. We get in the single digits in the winter fairly often, and healthy, acclimated chickens shouldn't need extra heat.
     
  3. Egghead_Jr

    Egghead_Jr Overrun With Chickens

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    You need the vents open, at least partially open. If you ever see frost then you've not enough air exchange. Humidity in you coop is what causes frost bite. If a dry coop then you shouldn't have to worry about heat. Excessive moisture and frost bite can occur at 32F.

    Granted my rooster has a touch of frost bite on his comb but we've already hit -20F. No heat and the rooster is the only one to feel the effects of it. He already lost his points from comb last winter.
     
    Last edited: Dec 27, 2013
  4. Mr MKK FARMS

    Mr MKK FARMS Chicken Obsessed Premium Member

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    Welcome to BYC! Glad you joined us! [​IMG]
     
  5. 1muttsfan

    1muttsfan Overrun With Chickens

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    Hi and welcome to BYC from northern Michigan [​IMG]

    If you have condensation inside your coop, you need more ventilation.

    Heat is neither necessary nor, in the opinion of many (including myself) a good idea, as it can allow increased moisture in the air without keeping the temp above freezing, increasing the risk of frostbite. I have a window in my coop that is at least cracked open all year round, and the pop door is open at all times except when we get storms with bad north winds.
     
  6. TwoCrows

    TwoCrows Show me the way old friend Staff Member

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    [​IMG] to BYC!

    Lots of people in your area with frost issues this year. Good luck and enjoy BYC!
     
  7. MaineChickenGuy

    MaineChickenGuy New Egg

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    Dec 27, 2013
    Thanks for the welcomes & the suggestions. Very helpful. Happy new year!
     
  8. MaineChickenGuy

    MaineChickenGuy New Egg

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    Dec 27, 2013
    @Kelsie2290 "If the vents are not at roost height/ where the drafts would hit roosting chickens opening them back up should be OK, if they are, could you put up baffles or add ventilation somewhere else?"
    The vents are approximately 2 ft above the perches.
     
  9. sourland

    sourland Broody Magician Premium Member

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    Yes, open the vents - welcome to BYC.
     

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