Heat

Discussion in 'Feeding & Watering Your Flock' started by nevadachickens, Nov 30, 2013.

  1. nevadachickens

    nevadachickens Out Of The Brooder

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    Nov 30, 2013
    Do my full grown chickens need heat? I am afraid of starting my coop on fire. I have golden sex links, Plymouth rocks, Rhode Island reds, and delawares. I live in Reno and our temps are going to be down in the teens this week.
     
  2. Yay Chicks!

    Yay Chicks! Chillin' With My Peeps

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    Apr 15, 2010
    Forest Grove, OR
    Hi there.
    You should not have to heat your coop. Chickens tolerate cold well, generally speaking, and the breeds you have should be totally fine. Make sure that you still have ventilation up high in your coop, but no drafts blowing up their skirts, so to speak. [​IMG]
     
  3. nevadachickens

    nevadachickens Out Of The Brooder

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    Nov 30, 2013
    I think I'm good in the ventilation on our coop and shouldn't have many drafts! Is the best bedding for them just plain old straw?!?
     
  4. Yay Chicks!

    Yay Chicks! Chillin' With My Peeps

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    Apr 15, 2010
    Forest Grove, OR
    I don't use straw, but not because there is anything wrong with it. I just never have. I use pine shavings. I just have a very small coop and it's easy to turn and stays pretty dry when I periodically sprinkle it with DE. I add more shavings at intervals since they tend to kick it out the door over time.
     
  5. pdirt

    pdirt Chillin' With My Peeps

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    May 11, 2013
    Eastern WA

    Are your chickens sleeping in the bedding or on a roost? I'm not a chicken expert but ours sleep on a roost but not on any bedding. The floor of the coop is made of about 18" of pine shavings, dried leaves and a few grass clippings. We're doing the deep litter method (clean the coop once a year in th spring and get some fine compost in the process) and add a thin layer of material (leaves this time of year because we have LOTS of them) on the poop under their roost every 2-3 weeks. It gets below zero here and we use no heat in the coop except for a 60w bulb that comes on for a few hours in the early AM to stimulate laying. 60w doesn't do much. Some say that the composting of the deep litter releases some heat, which makes sense, but I have nothing to compare it to since we've only used the DLM.
     
  6. nevadachickens

    nevadachickens Out Of The Brooder

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    Nov 30, 2013
    Some of my chickens roost and some lay cuddle on the floor. I have 3 that won't go in the coop at night. I put them in they come out! I dot really know what to do about that! I will try that method in our coop as our coop is about 12x12 so it is good sized for 9 hens.
     
  7. pdirt

    pdirt Chillin' With My Peeps

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    May 11, 2013
    Eastern WA

    Huh, I thought all chickens liked to roost, but Im new to chickens. are the ones on the floor smaller...do they need a lower roost? Our coop is about 6x12 and we have 12 birds, although we have heard there has been over 20 birds in there at one point. There are two roosts, one about 18" off the floor and the other is about 36" high, some of the smaller birds use the lower one to hop to the higher one. We notice that the birds generally much prefer ALL being on the same roost, though that has changed some in the colder weather. I've read here on BYC that a roost wide enough for all the birds often reduces squabbles. We had one bird who liked to roost high (about 5') in the auxiliary run and we would pick her up and move her to the coop and she would stay put for the night there. We lost her to a cat one night that I didn't move her :( We also had a couple that liked to sleep in the nest boxes, which I think we've finally broken them of that habit. We just would move them by hand onto the roost when we came to lock up the coop for th night.

    Maybe there are some birds that naturally tend to sleep on the ground? Seems less ideal since much of their pooping is at night and they'll more or less be sitting in it.

    As for your birds who won't stay in the coop, I'm not sure. Are they ones who tend to get picked on or are lower on the "pecking order"? Your coop sounds plenty big enough for your 9 birds.
     
  8. nevadachickens

    nevadachickens Out Of The Brooder

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    Nov 30, 2013
    They all seem really mellow and don't seem to squabble. They are all about the same age and size. I've locked them in last night and tonight. We have shelves in the coop and we have a roost that goes all the way across the coop about 3 ft high, we have an old jet ski stand that they love I roost on outside so I've even tried putting that inside. They are just nutty stubborn hens. I am hoping locking them in their house at night will make them "want" to be in there.
     

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