Hello from the High Desert

Discussion in 'New Member Introductions' started by chickieladies, Oct 3, 2014.

  1. chickieladies

    chickieladies In the Brooder

    Sep 30, 2014
    High Desert
    Hello All!
    Very excited to be here and learn all I can about Chickens. I currently have four Barred Rocks and they a very friendly and love to be picked up. I have had many chickens in the past but these are the best so far. Looking for advice on how to winterize my chicken coop for the chilly desert nights this winter, plus it is very windy in my area. Any ideas would be welcomed. I will post a picture of my coop soon!
    Have a great day!
  2. liz9910

    liz9910 Crowing

    Apr 8, 2012
    Northern California
  3. stasichick

    stasichick Chirping

    Sep 3, 2014
    Long Island
    Hey There!!! Welcome!!!

    I would love to hear what everyone says about winterizing your coop please keep me in the loop!
  4. Mountain Peeps

    Mountain Peeps Change is inevitable, like the seasons

    Apr 23, 2014
    My Coop
    Welcome to BYC! Please make yourself at home and we are here to help.

    Barred rocks are such a great breed! Glad you are enjoying them!

    Ventilation is probably one of the most important things to have in winter. Without proper ventilation your birds will get frostbite, respiratory illnesses and other problems.
    Chickens can survive brutally cold temps as long as they are dry and out of all drafts. Sealing up all cracks in the coop and putting in about 1 square foot of vent space in the eaves per bird. Wind chills are merciless on chickens sleeping at night so make sure your coop is draft free.

    Other things to do to help keep your chickens snug this winter include using straw as a bedding, using the 4" inch side of a 2x4 roosts. I also put a towel that has been in the dryer and put it on the roosts to warm their feet. Make sure that there is no water spillage or moisture collection on the bedding as this can also result in frostbite. On the very cold nights you should rub vaseline on the chickens' combs and wattles to help prevent freezing.
    Here's a link on frostbite and ventilation.

    You don't need a heat lamp if you have ventilation, proper bedding, proper roosts and proper feed. In the winter you should be feeding your normal layer, grower or chick feed along with scratch as this will keep the birds warm especially if you feed it in the evenings.

    Bedding that is warm and absorbent is also necessary. Wet bedding mixed with the cold temps and wind chills equals bad frostbite. So either use straw, shavings or shredded paper. Straw is possibly the best bedding to use in winter. Line the nests with straw to help prevent eggs from freezing. Bales of straw help act as insulation and keep the coop even warmer.

    Heated water bowls are also imperative. Chickens drink non-stop in winter and they can't do that if their water is frozen! So either buy a heated bowl or use a heated base on the bottom of their regular waterer. I've also heard of people who place a 40 watt bulb in between bricks and then put the water on top in a bowl. Make sure the waterer isn't plastic.

    Good luck and welcome to our flock!
    Last edited: Oct 3, 2014
    4 people like this.
  5. TwoCrows

    TwoCrows Bird is the Word

    Mar 21, 2011
    New Mexico, USA
    My Coop
    Hello there and welcome to BYC! [​IMG]

    So glad you could join our community! Mountain Peeps has given you some excellent advice! Vent space in your eaves is crucial to keeping your birds warm and dry. 1 square foot per bird in the eaves. On windy nights you can close SOME of them off to slow down the air movement, but never close them all off. All that moisture from the pooping and the breathing needs to go somewhere and not fall back down on the birds as water or frost bite. Frost bite can even occur in temps above freezing. So let them roost low to the floor in quiet air, a nice positive air movement of venting air out your ceiling, tack a towel onto the roost bar as Mountain Peeps has suggested and your birds should do just fine. Dry drier driest. Keep the bedding dry and do not leave water in the coop over night.

    Enjoy this new adventure you are on and welcome to our flock!
  6. drumstick diva

    drumstick diva Still crazy after all these years.

    Aug 26, 2009
    Out to pasture
    Welcome To Backyard chickens . My sister lives in Bernallilo and my niece in Rio Rancho
  7. Michael OShay

    Michael OShay Crowing

    May 14, 2014
    Welcome to BYC. Glad you decided to join our flock. Barred Rocks are an excellent, hardy breed that will give you lots of nice, large, brown eggs. Mountain Peeps and TwoCrows have given you some excellent advice on winterizing your coop. Feathers are an excellent insulator and I have had chickens do fine in temperatures as low as 30 F below zero. Just make sure the coop is draft free with good ventilation and dry. Moisture is a greater danger than cold. Please feel free to ask any questions you may have. We are here to help in any way we can. I'm looking forward to the pics of your coop. Good luck with your flock.
  8. Kelsie2290

    Kelsie2290 Free Ranging

    Feb 18, 2011
  9. Wyandottes7

    Wyandottes7 Crowing

    Jul 24, 2013
    Welcome to BYC! [​IMG]We're glad to have you.

    Mountain Peeps has given some good advice! I'll add another method that I use to keep my chickens warm, especially in windy conditions.

    My coop's run is made of hardware cloth. The cold wind blowing in isn't good. So, I get some clear plastic and wrap it around the run. I don't cover all the sides of the run, to make sure that there is still good ventilation. This keeps my chickens happier, and they don't have wind blowing on them, ruffling their insulating feathers.

    Good luck with your birds!
    Last edited: Oct 3, 2014
  10. BantamLover21

    BantamLover21 Crowing

    Jul 24, 2013
    [​IMG] Glad you joined us!

    You've been given some good advice already. Good luck with your flock!

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