Frosted windowpanes, heat lamps gleaming inside...

Discussion in 'Managing Your Flock' started by chica-z, Jan 13, 2009.

  1. chica-z

    chica-z Out Of The Brooder

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    Sep 23, 2008
    Northern WI
    Doesn't the heatlamp give off a creepy glow? [​IMG]

    Anywhoo, I've been getting frost on the inside of the windows in the coop (well, actually in the house too [​IMG]), and was wondering if I should be concerned. Our temps have been -15F at night without the windchill. interior coop temps are around 10F above. When it drops below zero, I switched out the regular lamp for an infrared on a timer just to add a little warmth. The bedding is dry as a bone and their water is kept out in the run. I do the lazy butt version of deep litter. Ventilation includes a couple of vents up in the gables that are always open, plus a 2 foot square window that gets propped wide open all day. Plus their pop hole door is open all the time.
    I was wondering if I am being too much of a worrier on this ventilation issue...Pat's got me all concerned. Thanks Pat [​IMG]

    Any thoughts from others living in the frozen tundra??? Is a little frost on the window panes NORMAL in these extreme temps?? The frost does go away when it gets a little warmer (above zero).
     
  2. Superior Chicks

    Superior Chicks Chillin' With My Peeps

    YA.....thanks PAT![​IMG]

    So far no frost on the windows.

    -20 here this morning. Took my 3 mile hike anyway. Nothing like a good winter walk on the Lake. -30 wind chill. We're right on the Lake so we stay warmer..............[​IMG]

    Yes I agree with the creepiness....my husband and I looked out at the coop from our kitchen window last night and looked at each other with the same thought. It would definately give Stephen King some writing material.

    Hang in there! Only 63 days till spring!

    Ma
     
  3. patandchickens

    patandchickens Flock Mistress

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    Apr 20, 2007
    Ontario, Canada
    If the coop is significantly (like, *significantly*, not just somewhat) warmer than outdoors, and outdoors is rilly rilly cold, then yes you will get condensate/frost on your windows, and this can be true even if the coop air is dry enough to be healthy.

    (If the coop is not too much warmer than outdoors, though, it pretty definitely signals a real humidity problem).

    The reason: warm air holds much more water vapor than cold air. This is the major reason why heating a damp coop makes it drier. It is not drier in an absolute sense (well, not necessarily) but the relative humidity is lower. So heating (and I don't necessarily just mean 'with heaters or lamps') your coop can lower the relative humidity enough to bring it into the healthful range. However when that air runs up against a cold windowpane it is cooled way down and can no longer hold all its moisture, so you get condensate/frost.

    It is still a good idea to try to minimize this sort of condensation, just because moisture sitting in droplets on your windowpane is not getting removed from the coop by your ventilation so you are not getting maximum benefit from your ventilation. If your chickens can't reach the windows then it is easy to tape plastic or (better) bubblewrap over 'em, to give some degree of insulation. Beyond that there is probably not much you can do about it though.

    Does that help any?


    Pat, bracing for forecast lows of -30 C (-20ish F) later this week and our place usually runs 5-10 C (10-20 F) colder than forecasts... [​IMG]
     
  4. chica-z

    chica-z Out Of The Brooder

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    Sep 23, 2008
    Northern WI
    Yup, actually that makes alot of sense. Usually the coop has been holding at about 20-25 degrees above the outside temp, which I think is pretty significant. The girls seem active and happy, they were outside this morning at -10F playing in the run. The coop is insulated and we use a heat lamp for a few hours in the early morning, about 4-8 am. So that helps heat it up a bit. And yes, it is "rilly, rilly cold" the last day or two, as in -15F raw temps. That's notwith windchill. I never actually see water droplets on the inside of the windows, just the frozen crystals. I am assuming then, that the air is dry enough that when the water turns liquid, it evaporates... which is a good sign... I think [​IMG]

    Thanks PAT! I think I just recieved a mini science lesson (and might have even learned something in the process!!) [​IMG]
     
  5. chica-z

    chica-z Out Of The Brooder

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    Sep 23, 2008
    Northern WI
    [​IMG] 63 days, is that ALL? Thanks, that brightened my day, Superior Chick... [​IMG]
     
  6. CityChook

    CityChook Chillin' With My Peeps

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    Apr 9, 2008
    Minneapolis, MN
    My Coop
    That Pat, she's a smart egg.... even if she does get me all spun up about my ventilation.... Thanks for the explanation, dearie.

    I've got crystals on my windows too, chicha. But my coop is dry so I'm not worry'n too much.

    When the DH sees the red glow in the surrounding snow, he calls to me, "Honey, your princess poultry are having a rave again tonight..."
     
  7. banter

    banter Chillin' With My Peeps

    Mar 3, 2008
    Raymond Maine
    I have a infra-red bulb and I'm too paranoid to use it!It wil be 0 or below by the end of the week. Our barn is full of straw-Thoughts?
     
  8. CityChook

    CityChook Chillin' With My Peeps

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    Apr 9, 2008
    Minneapolis, MN
    My Coop
    I have one light hardwired but the accessory light is a clamp-style, left over from our brooder days. I have it clamped to a shelf and then another clamp clamped on to that. And it's up high where no one can monkey with it. Make sense? I'm terrified of fire.
     
  9. patandchickens

    patandchickens Flock Mistress

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    Apr 20, 2007
    Ontario, Canada
    As for the red glow at night, I know it well, from when the brooder light has been on (the chickens are in a big building so I brood in there too)... in my house we call it "brooder hell" or "chicks 'n' brimstone" [​IMG]

    Pat
     
  10. needmorechickens!

    needmorechickens! Chillin' With My Peeps

    Jul 2, 2008
    West TN
    Quote:[​IMG] [​IMG] [​IMG] [​IMG]

    Pat - you crack me up! [​IMG]

    ~Rebecca
     

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