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How did chickens ever survive without insulated & well lit coops?

Discussion in 'Managing Your Flock' started by redhawkou812, Apr 6, 2009.

  1. redhawkou812

    redhawkou812 Songster

    Apr 3, 2009
    Joelton, TN
    I'm a nube here & been lookin' round the BYC. Nice place they got here [​IMG] Just picked up our new family members this weekend & have got the plans ready to build the coop.....but where. See, we're back in a holler, woods everywhere & flat land is primo. We have one spot that went to the house, 1 went to the sweat lodge, & now the last 1 to the peeps. I've been reading about what's necessary for a successful brood & can't decide if I'm gonna accept the notion that these little winged ones need everything I see being offered. But like I said I'm a nube. It's usually 3-4 degrees cooler here than up on the plateau. We have a creek that runs all year round. I can appreciate the need for a light to enhance laying year round, but not sure if I really need to insulate. I moved south to Tennessee form Lou'ville, KY & the winters are so much milder in comparison. Anyone in here that has been raisin' chics in a cool (literally:), semi-damp (but well drained) shaddy spot, I'd like to hear all about the pit falls & triumphs. You could just help save a chic from human stupidity!!!! Thanks.

  2. crait

    crait Songster

    Jul 9, 2008
    Dallas, Texas

    Sorry I can't help you out with managing your flock..
  3. I raised chickens for years in WV. It gets COLD there. Adult chickens never had a problem with the weather and they didn't have an insulated coop.
  4. silkiechicken

    silkiechicken Staff PhD Premium Member

    Well ventilated and they can do pretty well in cold. I don't heat, but winters are mild in the PNW. We get maybe a few weeks of single digits.
  5. CATRAY44

    CATRAY44 Lard Cookin Chicken Woman

    Welcome to BYC! I live in Michigan. My coop is not insulated, lit or heated. I did stack straw bales around the base of my coop, and run...(coop is 4x4, run 10x10.) I made sure the vents were open for good air circulation. I kept adding dry pine bedding and stall dry against any damp. My sex link chickens laid all winter, even at 30 below windchills. I made sure there were wind breaks against the north and west, with tarp and straw bales, and that was about it. My chickens were happy and healthy all winter.

    Tennessee is my favorite state, btw!
  6. swampducks

    swampducks Overrun With Guineas

    Feb 29, 2008
    Barton City, MI
    I live in northern MI and my coop is not insulated or well lit. I do use a heat lamp but it's a 6 x 8 coop and the inside temp still dropped below 10f quiet a few times this winter. Other than the water freezing and the barred rock rooster getting frost bite on his comb, everyone seems fine.

    The frost bite is why I'm switching to chickens with smaller combs.
  7. morelcabin

    morelcabin Songster

    Feb 8, 2007
    Ontario Canada
    I live in Northern Ontario Canada and my coop is not insulated. I do run light though, with an extension cord because hens lay better in winter with lights.
    You're right, you don't have to subscribe to everything you read here, to each his own...but there is alot of good info on disease. Some of us prefer to cull diseased birds, others get veterinary help. Lots of really good coop plans and ideas....

  8. morelcabin

    morelcabin Songster

    Feb 8, 2007
    Ontario Canada
    As for chicks, that's where the extension cord comes in handy...I have some in my coop right now, under a heat lamp...and it is a snowstorm outside. They are not nearly as fragile as most think, I've raised them every spring for years, starting in April, never in the house.
    You would have to make sure they have a dry draft free place though, and they do need heat at first, for about 3 to 4 weeks
  9. RuffTuffCreampuff

    RuffTuffCreampuff Songster

    Mar 27, 2009
    Gainesville, Texas
    http://www.plamondon.com/hoop-coop.html. I'm working on my second one. This coop is easy to build, inexpensive, and the chickens do well with it. I suppose you could build a run onto it if you wanted to. I just drag it to a new patch of grass once in a while. My favorite thing about this coop is the open design.
  10. genabeana

    genabeana In the Brooder

    Feb 19, 2009
    Hendersonville, TN
    Hi! I, too am a nube, but I've got lots of experienced advice from my neighbor. She, too, is from KY and successfully raised chickens there. We're in TN, like you. She doesn't have an insulated coop. Neither do I. The chicks have been outside, day and night for about a week. Tonight she and I both brought them in and put them under lights since it's so FLIPPIN COLD!

    I also read the book "fresh air poultry housing." It's quite dry and very text book-like. However, the point of the book is that Chickens (fully feathered) are just fine in the cold. They need shelter from the elements and from predators, but fresh air circulation is natural for them! They weren't insulating chicken homes hundreds of years ago, and chickens have been just fine! [​IMG]

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