1. dadsdeercamp

    dadsdeercamp Say goodnight gracie

    Sep 24, 2010
    Mora MN.
    [​IMG] IF MY COOP IS WELL VENTED YET DRAFT FREE DO I NEED A HEAT SOURCE? IT DOES GET A LIL CHILLY HERE IN CENTRAL MINNESOTA ( LIKE - 30 AT TIMES) GOLD STARS A BROWN LEG HORN AND SOME MUTS [​IMG] [​IMG] [​IMG] [​IMG] [​IMG]
     
    Last edited: Oct 27, 2010
  2. BirdBrain

    BirdBrain Prefers Frozen Tail Feathers

    May 7, 2007
    Alaska
    Make sure they have plenty of bedding to snuggle down in if they need to. Give them corn before roosting. Also can give them warm mash with cayanne pepper in it to help them stay warm. You can also mix cayenne pepper in with some lard and put it on their combs at night to protect from frostbite. They should be fine.
     
  3. dadsdeercamp

    dadsdeercamp Say goodnight gracie

    Sep 24, 2010
    Mora MN.
    Quote:HOW COLD SHOULD IT BE WHEN I START DOING THIS???
     
  4. woodmort

    woodmort Chillin' With My Peeps

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    Jul 6, 2010
    Oxford NY
    Quote:My aunt, who lived in BlackDuck in N. MN, never heater her chicken coop (couldn't have anyway since they didn't have electricity for years) so I guess your birds will be just fine if your coop is well vented and the floor is covered with a good layer of pine shavings or straw/hay. Your chickens will suffer less than you will worrying about them.
     
  5. chicmom

    chicmom Dances with Chickens

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    Strasburg Ohio
    Here's a good tip for you, since you've got such cold weather: Use 2x4 boards, with the broad side up for your roosts. That way, your hens can set on their feet and keep them warm with their own body heat during the cold nights. It'll help you avoid those frost bitten toes.
     
  6. Lifetime chicken lover

    Lifetime chicken lover Chillin' With My Peeps

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    Jun 26, 2009
    Rogers, MN
    I'm new to winterizing my chickens, too. Also in MN. I've heard that if you don't heat, your egg production will go way down. I put a heating light in mine, and haven't noticed a difference in production yet...but the winter is young. I heard you guys got some snow up there last night. [​IMG]

    I'm interested what the others have to say about this. I put my winter coop in my unheated garage so they are protected from the elements but by no means warm in the middle of winter.
     
  7. elmo

    elmo Chillin' With My Peeps

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    DFW
    I always thought it was the reduction in light not the reduction in heat that depresses egglaying in winter. We don't have much in the way of winter here in North Texas, but our hens slow down in the winter, too. That's why people add lights on timers to their coops in winter to encourage laying.
     
  8. justcelia

    justcelia Chillin' With My Peeps

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    Oct 24, 2010
    SE Michigan
    I am building an "upgraded" chicken tractor. My BF plowes "race tracks" for our Yorkie mix (otherwise she "bottoms out!).
    Could we do the same for our hens? (will have only 2-3).
    Our yard is protected by a 6' privace fence and the tractor will be in the "L" of the house and garage. (dead wind zone)
    Could we plow and area, let the sun melt it then move the tractor?
    I worry that the 4X6X3' high area will be to small for them to be cooped up all winter. Troy, SE Michigan.
    Brahmas

    Celia
     
  9. patandchickens

    patandchickens Flock Mistress

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    Apr 20, 2007
    Ontario, Canada
    With your weather it would be smart to have a heat source *available*, in case of need. Whether you will actually have to USE it often or at all depends quite a lot on your particular coop situation -- how large, how constructed, how ventilated, whether you can keep it real dry in there, etc.

    When it gets real cold, put plenty of depth of shavings (or whatever you use for bedding) on the floor -- even a foot is by no means excessive -- make sure they have a WIDE roost as mentioned in an earlier post, and never ever let them run out of food. Do not shut the ventilation off in hopes of keeping things warm, it just causes humidity which causes frostbite. For large single-combed breeds like some of yours, it can't hurt and may help to put vaseline on their combs a couple times a week during the coldest weather.

    And keep an eye on them. If you see signs that they are stressed, or the first earliest touches of frostbite, consider running a lamp -- not intended to heat the coop and it need not *necessarily* even be high-wattage or a 'heat' lamp, a regular 100w bulb can often be quite useful, you just want something they can hunker down under if they're feeling cold. Obviously it needs to be safely rigged so it cannot fall and start a fire and so they cannot bonk into it and burn their combs or break the bulb.

    But since the point at which chickens start to experience problems from cold depends on so many factors, really YOU (being there) are the only one who can tell when and if it makes sense to actually USE that supplemental heat.

    Good luck, have fun,

    Pat
     
  10. justcelia

    justcelia Chillin' With My Peeps

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    Oct 24, 2010
    SE Michigan
    Thank you Pat!
    I plan on being with them as much as possible.
    The cockerel we have now (that is going to his new home soon) Is more of a pet! LOL!
    I will build and insulate as much as possible and have a lamp available if nessecary.
    We can even bring the tractor into the garage if needed. (heated to 40 degreese F.)
    Thanks againe!
    Celia
     

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