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Getting colder...

Discussion in 'Coop & Run - Design, Construction, & Maintenance' started by TSWisla, Nov 14, 2016.

  1. TSWisla

    TSWisla Just Hatched

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    First year keeping chickens and I need some advice, please. I live in the NW suburbs of Chicago. It is beginning to get cold, especially at night. Do I leave any windows open for ventilation at night? Will they be too cold? My coop is a modified garden shed. I have installed a ridge vent for ventilation. I have two small windows. I do not plan on heating the coop at all. I would appreciate any advice. I love my birds and want them to be safe and happy. Thank you.
     
  2. JackE

    JackE Chillin' With My Peeps

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    Check out the pic below, it's about 10-F there, and look where the birds are. Right at the open front, waiting on me to clear a path for them to come out. And yes, the front is open year round. THAT's a big window.

    [​IMG]
     
    Last edited: Nov 15, 2016
    1 person likes this.
  3. Folly's place

    Folly's place Overrun With Chickens

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    Ventilation is most important! Block the wind on the north and west, and have openings high up on the other sides. Pictures? Mary
     
  4. ECBW

    ECBW Chillin' With My Peeps

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    Ridge vent is good. Can you add gable vents? Build them with shutters, so you have control.

    In winter, close the windows and vent thru the top.
     
    Last edited: Nov 15, 2016
  5. TSWisla

    TSWisla Just Hatched

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    I have no gable vents. I will post some pictures tomorrow. Having a small window open is a bad idea?
     
  6. icanhazchikn

    icanhazchikn Just Hatched

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    Hi, your chickens are waiting to go out, but if you let them out what will they do?
    Do they scratch at the snow, play in it, or look for stuff under the snow?

    I am new to chickens and we won't get snow for another two months or so, and I'm curious what they do with snow.
    How cold can the temperatures get down to before the chickens don't do well? -10 F is pretty low, and we won't get that cold in Nashville.

    Thanks!
    Dave
     
  7. Egghead_Jr

    Egghead_Jr Overrun With Chickens

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    No need for gable vents with a ridge vent. You do want soffit vents though. Either on the soffit itself or wall just under the roof line. Air sucks in there, mixes with moist coop air along roof line until it's pushed out the ridge vent. This convection action is what your trying to achieve in smaller coops. With a large coop the passive air flow of the above woods style coop is excellent. I adore the Woods design but also enjoy small coops I can tow to foraging spots during the summer. I'm a small coop guy.

    @icanhazchikn - A covered area is nice for winter if you have snow. I say this as I've shoveled many a run and it gets old quick. Winter runs benefit from a wind shield via tarps or whatever you have to block two sides of prevailing wind side of run. Shovel snow in that area and paths you want them to use. I use mulch hay (it's cheaper) as bedding. Thin layer of hay over ice or snow dusting for them to walk on. I just posted this photo in another thread but here it is again. Note the covered area and the tarp that's along the Northwest side to block the wind. That's two sides of prevailing winter wind blocked. There is a metal tub with wood ash for winter bathing and a tamper proof bait box with chunx poison for rodent control. Feed and water are outside. I've used heated water dispensers but anymore use the black rubber water dishes and stomp out the ice to add water several times a day. The cold water will dub the cock birds wattles some. The wattles are so long that they dip into water bowls then freeze. If you don't want that then use a heated waterer. The wattles wont dip into that kind of dispenser or heated nipple water system.

    [​IMG]
     
  8. Egghead_Jr

    Egghead_Jr Overrun With Chickens

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    I posted above my thoughts on ventilation. Having a window open is not a bad idea depending where it's located and the roosts. You want to avoid drafts/winter wind on the birds. For small coops this is hard to achieve with openings mid wall so keeping the ventilation above the birds along roof line is better.
     
  9. ECBW

    ECBW Chillin' With My Peeps

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    Dave,

    I have heard others say their birds like snow. Mine never have. So I would say no.

    Never had any problem with temperatures in NJ. Temperature is not as harmful as high wind that penetrates their feathers and downs.
     

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