Help Needed We are NEWBIES

WeeOnesChicks

In the Brooder
5 Years
Jul 23, 2014
11
0
22
Hi I am from green bay wi and I am a newbie to chicken. This will be our first winter and I am thinking water in the run. So with the water being in the run and the pop door being closed at night is this a wrong thing to do. Do chickens always need access to their water. Finishing up on our coop and was Also looking for information on what to use for roost for my girls to perch on and our windows are pop out windows meaning we keep them open with a piece of wood. so for ventilation would you recommend just popping them a bit for ventalation or would you use a vent. ugh so much info needed to keep my girls comfy
 

hennible

Crowing
5 Years
Jul 14, 2014
11,524
884
386
Central British Columbia

lazy gardener

Crossing the Road
7 Years
Nov 7, 2012
27,615
26,997
917
CENTRAL MAINE zone 4B
a lot depends on the style coop you have. Is it a little pre-fab, or are you building a standard coop? Distance from perches to ceiling? Do you have your flock yet, or are you still planning? How cold does it get outside? Will you use a heated water bowl? To answer your first question simply, they will be fine on the perch over night without water. But, they will need access to unfrozen water before going to perch at night, and again first thing in the morning. When you think about it, wild birds, or any bird who sleeps at night don't need water while they are sleeping. RE: ventilation. You'll need to keep the coop ventilated, while at the same time keeping the birds from having any drafts, especially where they're perching at night. This makes the small pre-fab coops rather problematic. You might want to look at cold weather hardiness in different breeds, if you've not yet settled on which breed(s) you want to raise. Smaller combs are less likely to frost bite. Also, be sure their perch is plenty big enough so that they can have their feet flat on the perch. This allows them to cover those toes with feathers so they don't get frost bit. I wish you the best of luck, and commend you for thinking about coop design as well as water placement for the coming winter.
 

yyz0yyz0

Songster
8 Years
May 2, 2012
616
113
184
One advantage of keeping the water in the run is a reduced amount of moisture in the coop, moisture in the coop can be a big problem in the winter. That's why ventilation is so important.

I keep mine in the run but I don't close the pop door, so they have access to the water whenever they want it. Just gotta go out and get it.
 

pdirt

Songster
6 Years
May 11, 2013
1,609
213
198
Eastern WA
The main reason for ventilation in the coop is for fresh air to come in and out, taking away the ammonia fumes coming off their droppings. This is important as breathing the ammonia is not good long term.

If you're propping open windows with a stick, what keeps the predators from coming in through a window? If you need to close the windows, put ample vents in, secured with hardware cloth. There are formulas out there to figure out how many square inches of vent you need for the number of square feet of coop you have,

Our coop is uninsulated built of wood. The boards are rough cut, which allows for small gaps of air throughout the coop. Plus the metal roof doesn't lie totally flush with the pole framing, allowing for some larger air gaps near the roof, where you want it.

The designs I've seen is you generally want the ventilation to be up high, above the roosts, this allows for the (rising) ammonia to flush out and yet keeps direct drafts off of the birds. Some people also have vents down near the droppings. Anything but vents at the level of the roosts where the birds will sleep at night.

Our roosts are round posts, about 3" diameter, none of our chickens experienced frostbite on their feet last winter (-9F w/o windchill factor), but a few did get nips of frostbite on their combs, nothing that didn't heal.

Particularly if you're planning to heat their water to keep it unfrozen, I wouldn't keep it in the coop. The evaporation of heated water will increase humidity, which could increase frostbite or other problems. They'll be fine without water until you open the pop door, unless you're a real late riser in the morning.
 

jtn42248

Crowing
7 Years
Good ventilation is essential for the health and well being of your chickens. Make sure it is high (well designed ceiling vents are best). As for roost. Chickens want to roost up high so depending on the number of birds you have and their size make sure you have room (a foot or two per bird works for me). Make sure the roost are higher than the nest boxes to discourage sleeping in the nests. I use 2x4 for roost places with the 4 inch side up so they can place their feet flat and rest on them in the winter to keep their feet warm. Make your roosts removable for cleaning also. Use a dropping board (just a piece of plywood will work) under the roosts to catch the droppings...you will find it easier to clean and be glad you did. I do keep water in the coop but I do not heat it. You will find that, except for extreme cold, the chickens body heat will keep the coop right at or above freezing. Best of luck.
 

WeeOnesChicks

In the Brooder
5 Years
Jul 23, 2014
11
0
22
One wall to finish in our coop:) Now looking for input on the floor in the coop my husband is laying a wood floor and insulating it. I will be using sand in the coop and wanted to know what everyone's thoughts are laminate it than add sand or if I could just lay sand over the plywood?
 

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