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Discussion in 'Coop & Run - Design, Construction, & Maintenance' started by n2thestorm5032, Jun 29, 2008.
On nights that is forecasted to be below freezing I put on a heat lamp.
Got down to 17 below already this year, coop not insulated yet, but draft free. I use a foot of wood chips on the floor and as this breaks down, it creats heat. During the cold days I feed them whole corn as it helps the chickens creat more heat while digesting the whole kernals. If you have hens, using heat lamps will disrupt egg laying if left on all the time.
My heat lamps are on all the time in the coop since we have been having sub zero temps and strong winds. I have 6 hens and get 6 eggs daily all winter long.
Cold isn't really the problem here in So. Calif even at 2900FT. Our winters are more freezy (high 20s-mid 30s). My issue is more the heat. It isn't unusual for us to have weeks of 100+ degree heat.
I think for my own coop based on the location, two walls and a roof for the chickens to roost in. I have several good tarps for my camping equipment so I will use them for the rain we do get around Feb.
Hi - thanks for the reply - didn't even think about the heat. My chickens pant alot in the heat, but they have alot of shade and love to take sun baths. The heat lamps are doing ok now, but we're in the 40's now during the day. Everyone keeps bringing up the ceramic heaters, so next year, will try that. Those heat lamps are worrisome because my rooster loves to sit almost on them and I'm afraid he's gonna catch his tail on fire and burn down the coop along with my store and house.
Premier One has heat lamps that are inclose with a grid. Very nice. Used the lamps for two years now. Had problem with one of them (part of the housing was crumbling) and called Premier and they replaced the unit right away.
Hi - thanks for the reply - I have one with a grid, but that long tail gets down in there - just going to have to put it somewhere he can't get so close. We get alot of power outages to, and thank goodness the lamps come back on. I've had alot of emails from people back east that never heat their coops and I guess if you have enough chickens and they are acclamated, they'll be ok, but I raised my chickens in my office when they were babies (I still have seed in my computer). Ah, California chickens - don't they have it great!
Back east and my state-MI -does'nt have the winters you do. We just broke a record at -18. People get rabid about doing things their way.
You do what you feel is nessary for the care of your chickens. Watch their behavior and they will tell you what they need.
Well, what I've learned from this forum is that people back east are more creative than us here in Montana. When my chickens were younger, they didn't mind pecking around in the snow. Now, the rooster goes out - looks around and if he thinks it's too cold, he won't let them out. To keep them happy in the winter, I give them lots of corn, beef and straw. Thanks for the input.
I live in MN and have a 4X4' coop for 2 hens. This is my first winter with chickens.
If it is above 0 (F) I have one 100 wt bulb lamp mounted over their food and water and under their nesting box (heat rises).I also cover their coop, an A frame, with a tarp but leaving some air space along the edge.
I put deep layer aspen bedding (6 inches) through out the coop and nesting box at the beginning of the cold weather and oystershell (B. earth) spread on their bedding which dries their droppings and makes them fall to the bottom of the bedding creating a compost heat. The aspen shavings absorb the smell. I will be able to compost it into my garden compost come spring.
If it goes below zero or if there is a strong windchill that might seep in, I turn on a second light.
Only once has their light gone out and froze their water by morning, but they didn't seem affected. They just huddled together. They can get out of the light by going in their box. Their eggs have never frozen.
I supplement with corn and other vegies like squash (higher carbs) and I mix one heaping Tbsp of cayenne in 5 days worth of feed which keeps them laying all winter.
They don't seem to mind the cold. They won't come out of the coop with all the snow though but they like the door open for a while during the day if it's above zero and sunny--a breath of fresh are and they can stretch their wings a little.
Next weekend it will be -20 degrees. That will be a test.