If the door is open how can it stay warm?

Discussion in 'Coop & Run - Design, Construction, & Maintenance' started by OliviaDeHav, Sep 27, 2010.

  1. OliviaDeHav

    OliviaDeHav Chillin' With My Peeps

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    with cool weather upon us.... we have another question... normally, we have the coop open all day into the run area, unless we are not going to be home. The chickens free range when we are outside and when we can keep an eye on them - sometimes only 1/2 hour a day - other days like the last few they were outside 5-6 hours.... But, with it being cold out - how do you keep the temps up inside the coop and allow them the freedom of going outside into the run area? Any ideas?
    [​IMG]

    EDIT ADDED:
    I should have mentioned that the coop is fully insulated, except the ceiling isn't.... the rest has the outside - blue board - then inside wall.... except the nesting boxes, which we'd like to keep warm, so we are trying to figure that one....

    [​IMG]
    Inside - you can see the two vents at the rear of the ceiling.... the window will be covered in plastic on the outside
    [​IMG]
    nesting box location - they are INSIDE the woodshed and won't have any elements getting to them [​IMG]

    [​IMG]
    This is inside the wall as we were building - as you can see...blue board.... I am assuming we should leave the back of the vents alone so to allow air flow - it should not allow air movement - but maybe heat loss?? it sounds like the chickens are pretty hardy - We have actually had a few nights near 30 already - so when winter is nipping at you - time to get all things buttoned up [​IMG] The wood for the woodstove is ALL stacked - ONE down - a million to go [​IMG]
    I wanted to add - we ARE covering the run before snow flies - but there are only SO many hours in the day.... one hundred projects at a time [​IMG]
     
    Last edited: Sep 28, 2010
  2. turtlebird

    turtlebird Chillin' With My Peeps

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    I don't yet worry about coop temp in this weather (in MN). When it starts getting colder, I wrap the run in clear plastic (with proper ventilation) to keep the cold north wind from blowin in the coop. But I open the door most every day in the winter, unless it is going to be below zero all day. They do well. I securely position a heat lamp above the waterer and it stays around 20 degrees in the coop. Coop temps rise to about 40 degrees over night. The plastic does really really well for solar heating in the winter. I should mention that my run is covered.
    Very nice coop and run.
     
    Last edited: Sep 27, 2010
  3. Bird Collector

    Bird Collector Chillin' With My Peeps

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    This is what I have done and will be doing. I have electric to my coop so if you don't this might not help. I bought a light hood from home depot and put a ceramic reptile heat coil in for some heat. There is not light to mess their cycle up and takes away the chill. I got that at PetsMart. I have a big door like your outside one and cut a smaller opening in it with temp door right now that latches. My big door is on the inside of their run and I am purchasing this door right after I get done here.
    www.chickendoors.com This way it will open in the morning and close at night. Of course I will still have to go at some point and do a head count. I get home after dark sometimes and I worried about them being open to the thinks that go bump in the night. [​IMG] I was told not to make the coops to hot because when they do go outside they will get chilled and stressed from it. But in the coop there is no wind/breeze and with their body heat 100 plus and the reptile coil i feel they are comfortable. They may say different so I won't ask them. [​IMG] You could put a small door in the big outside run door and open only it when you want them to free range. Well hope this help or maybe I rambled too much but good luck.
     
  4. CoyoteMagic

    CoyoteMagic RIP ?-2014

    My door is open 24/7. They roost high above the door where there are no drafts but there is good ventilation. Last year we had tons of snow which is unusual for this part of NC. The girls were able to get to at least a little bit of the run everyday
     
  5. elmo

    elmo Chillin' With My Peeps

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    Unless you have a particular breed of chicken that is known for being sensitive to cold (tiny Seramas, for example), most breeds of chickens do just fine in very cold weather (as in Alaska, even) if they have a dry, draft free but well ventilated coop to roost in at night and in bad weather. Many people on this forum who live in places with severe winters don't provide heat in their coops, or even insulate them. Their chickens thrive.

    Chickens are actually more in danger in hot weather than in cold weather. The come with down jackets, after all.

    In very cold weather (I mean below freezing), you do have to be careful that humidity isn't building up in your coop or your chickens could get frostbite on their combs. That's where adequate ventilation is important. Figure about 1 square foot of vent per chicken, high up on the tops of the walls well above roost height.

    Are your vents on the opposite side of the coop pictured?
     
    Last edited: Sep 27, 2010
  6. elmo

    elmo Chillin' With My Peeps

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    Quote:Be sure that the fixture in that hood has a ceramic socket, not a metal one. You need to use ceramic sockets for those heat lamps because the metal ones can't take the heat, literally.

    Take care that the fixture is inaccessible to your chickens. Last winter someone we know had one of her chickens burn its comb badly on one of those ceramic heat lamps. They sell guards that attach to the metal shade to keep anything from touching the bulb.

    Also, be sure that however you have the lamp hung, you have a backup method securing it also. Too many coop fires start when a heat lamp gets knocked down or falls into bedding as flammable as wood shavings.
     
  7. OliviaDeHav

    OliviaDeHav Chillin' With My Peeps

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    Quote:Let me post one... i need to get where the back is... they are in the roof of the coop 4 of them each 6x6 two in the front of the ceiling and two in the rear, they ventilate out to the back... it works really well! even with the window closed on hot days NO smell in there at all.. I should have mentioned that the coop is fully insulated, except the ceiling isn't.... the rest has the outside - blue board - then inside wall.... except the nesting boxes, which we'd like to keep warm, so we are trying to figure that one.... I will post that too....
    Thanks for the input - makes me feel better!
    [​IMG]
    Inside - you can see the two vents at the rear of the ceiling.... the window will be covered in plastic on the outside
    [​IMG]
    nesting box location - they are INSIDE the woodshed and won't have any elements getting to them [​IMG]

    [​IMG]
    This is inside the wall as we were building - as you can see...blue board.... I am hoping after a few things like the plastic on the window etc... we will be all set.... plastic around the run might not be bad - someone mentioned that one...
    [​IMG]
     
    Last edited: Sep 27, 2010
  8. Bird Collector

    Bird Collector Chillin' With My Peeps

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    North Carolina
    Quote:Be sure that the fixture in that hood has a ceramic socket, not a metal one. You need to use ceramic sockets for those heat lamps because the metal ones can't take the heat, literally.

    Take care that the fixture is inaccessible to your chickens. Last winter someone we know had one of her chickens burn its comb badly on one of those ceramic heat lamps. They sell guards that attach to the metal shade to keep anything from touching the bulb.

    Also, be sure that however you have the lamp hung, you have a backup method securing it also. Too many coop fires start when a heat lamp gets knocked down or falls into bedding as flammable as wood shavings.

    Thanks for the input.
    The heat coil is definiently secure for that reason but I am going to check to make sure it has a ceramic socket. I do have the guard on it. As much as you think you can always be missing something.
     
  9. elmo

    elmo Chillin' With My Peeps

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    Is that blue foam board you have up on the walls? Have you chickens started pecking at it yet? I read here that you should cover up all insulation that chickens can reach to avoid having them peck it to pieces.

    The other comment I'd make is that I think you may get a better effect if you insulate your roof, too. That's where most of your heat loss is going to come from (heat rises, after all).

    About your ventilation: four 6" by 6" vents only total 144 square inches of ventilation. That's equal to one square foot. A rule of thumb I've read here on this forum (and one I trust) is to aim for 1 square foot of ventilation per chicken. So you may be a little low on ventilation. It's something to keep an eye on.

    Do you get a lot of below freezing weather in the winter? If you do, the problem comes when your chickens add moisture to the air with their respiration. The moisture in the air builds up, condenses on the combs, then freezes. Even if you don't have an odor problem with your vents right now, do be aware that winter may change the equation somewhat.
     
    Last edited: Sep 27, 2010
  10. OliviaDeHav

    OliviaDeHav Chillin' With My Peeps

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    Quote:I think i put in my description that we have outside walls - hardware cloth - blueboard - then our inside walls.... there is a thumbnail you can click on that has the inside with the walls up and painted 3 coats of Benjamin Moore Kitchen gloss so we can clean it easier....
    You'd have to see the ventilation.... the 6x6s are just part of the equation - it is hard to explain.... But, if we see a problem, we will def fix it right away....
    So far it ain't broke - so we ain't fixin it [​IMG] LOL
    We also got the type of birds we did because they are suppose to be hardy.... I read so many things on here about people NEVER having thier birds have any issues with their combs freezing... can't remember where that was.... hmmmmm getting sleepy I guess....
    thanks for your input [​IMG]
     

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