SnootyHen

Songster
Apr 18, 2020
394
1,028
196
Illinois
I started winterizing already. But I do it for me, because I don't want to be out in crummy weather doing it.
Are you raising the heat lamp so it's cooler? I use a heating pad cave and would have it on low at 3 weeks. I have a old stock trough in the basement which is cooler than the house. I have a door screen over it to keep them in.
I've raised it once already and they seem fine with where it is so I may be able to try raising it again now. Will that help them feather out faster?
 

cavemanrich

Enabler
Apr 6, 2014
15,151
47,555
1,207
Melrose Park Illinois
And what about my 3 week olds?
Your brooder temps should be in temp range of about 80°F and keep decreasing by 5° F each week. The lower temps they encounter, the faster they should start to feather fully.
Its kind of like SUPPLY AND DEMAND. If you provide much warmth ,then no need for chickens to grow nice insulating down.

BTW,,,,, I :love that Lobo.
 

CommunistEgg

Chirping
Jul 6, 2020
30
64
54
Hey y'all on the IL/WI boarder and we got a dusting of SNOW today. Wtf! We have a 4x8 coop that we haven't insulated nor do we have plans of running electric to. We currently and 9 chickens, a mix of cream legbars and buff orpingtons and I'm curious of our need to insulate the coop? The coop is in the middle of a 20x60' run and I plan to windproof at least most of that perimeter. But it's open air as far as roof goes. We had some Hawks take interest so we used randomly strung string to deter them with great success, but that random string network won't hold up a tarp with snow accumulation. So I'm not doing anything with a winter roof this year. I guess I'm curious if 9 is too many in my coop given they may or may not be happy outside in the winter. And if their body heat will be sufficient inside in northern il winters.
 

Molpet

Enabler
Premium Feather Member
Sep 7, 2015
10,547
42,257
1,012
New Lenox township. Illinois USA
My Coop
Hey y'all on the IL/WI boarder and we got a dusting of SNOW today. Wtf! We have a 4x8 coop that we haven't insulated nor do we have plans of running electric to. We currently and 9 chickens, a mix of cream legbars and buff orpingtons and I'm curious of our need to insulate the coop? The coop is in the middle of a 20x60' run and I plan to windproof at least most of that perimeter. But it's open air as far as roof goes. We had some Hawks take interest so we used randomly strung string to deter them with great success, but that random string network won't hold up a tarp with snow accumulation. So I'm not doing anything with a winter roof this year. I guess I'm curious if 9 is too many in my coop given they may or may not be happy outside in the winter. And if their body heat will be sufficient inside in northern il winters.
My coops are cattle panel hoop coops covered in clear tarps. Hens are fine, roosters get some comb frost bite.
4sqft per chicken is the norm, some people do 2, but I think that's too tight. So it depends how well they all get along.
 

cavemanrich

Enabler
Apr 6, 2014
15,151
47,555
1,207
Melrose Park Illinois
We have a 4x8 coop that we haven't insulated nor do we have plans of running electric to. We currently and 9 chickens,
Your numbers are just fine. I don't think insulation is that much needed. How is your ventilation, and is the area where chickens roost, free from DRAFTS???
No electricity means you will have to deliver water few times each day. Liquid water supply does require electricity, even if it is a temporary extension cord.
Post some Pix so we can evaluate better.
Welcome to the Illinois Thread,,,,,,,,,,:highfive:
 

BReeder!

Free Ranging
Mar 12, 2018
2,427
9,565
612
Plainfield, IL
My Coop
Hey y'all on the IL/WI boarder and we got a dusting of SNOW today. Wtf! We have a 4x8 coop that we haven't insulated nor do we have plans of running electric to. We currently and 9 chickens, a mix of cream legbars and buff orpingtons and I'm curious of our need to insulate the coop? The coop is in the middle of a 20x60' run and I plan to windproof at least most of that perimeter. But it's open air as far as roof goes. We had some Hawks take interest so we used randomly strung string to deter them with great success, but that random string network won't hold up a tarp with snow accumulation. So I'm not doing anything with a winter roof this year. I guess I'm curious if 9 is too many in my coop given they may or may not be happy outside in the winter. And if their body heat will be sufficient inside in northern il winters.
The issue with 9 in a 4x8 is humidity IMO. Make sure you have sufficient ventilation. Avoid drafts on the roosts, but allow the warm humid air from the chickens' breathing and body heat to escape. Otherwise you will end up with frostbitten chickens caused by humidity condensing on the chickens and then freezing.

I wouldn't concern myself with insulation unless you have chickens that are not cold hardy at all. Blocking the wind is a good idea. A thick layer of straw or shavings gives the chickens something to snuggle into to keep warm too.
 

CommunistEgg

Chirping
Jul 6, 2020
30
64
54
IMG_20201020_105036398_HDR.jpg
IMG_20201020_105036398_HDR.jpg

Screenshot_20201020-110644.png
for ventilation we cut out a 3' x 6" rectangle on both the east and west side. Asap we're putting a functional window on the south side. At the start of sunset I turn on a battery operated light while they get settled for the night.There is also space under the roof (not construction literate lol) on both ends that's open, covered with hardware cloth for ventilation. The red line is about where the roost bar is, it's two long ones lengthwise set at the same height. I really thought I planned this out well but it has proven to need lots of tweaking! We also planned on 8 chickens max but...chickens...
 

cavemanrich

Enabler
Apr 6, 2014
15,151
47,555
1,207
Melrose Park Illinois
Asap we're putting a functional window on the south side. At the start of sunset I turn on a battery operated light while they get settled for the night.
When I started viewing your pix, that is the first thing that came to my mind. Then the last pix explained it all. :thumbsup
Your ventilation looks sufficient to me.
A note on the window. Daylight, and light into coop at dusk are very important. This way chickens see where to jump onto the roost. I think you may no longer need the battery operated light once you have the window in place. Aim for the largest window you can reasonably get to fit. During warm summer weather, that window, if open will also provide summer heat venting.
Window will also allow sunlight in winter to somewhat warm the coop interior.
 

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