1. If this is your first time on BYC, we suggest you start with one of these three options:
    Raising Chickens Chicken Coops Join BYC
    If you're already a member of our community, click here to login & click here to learn what's new!

Just Getting Started in MN

Discussion in 'New Member Introductions' started by Sotabrew, Sep 5, 2013.

  1. Sotabrew

    Sotabrew Out Of The Brooder

    20
    1
    31
    Sep 5, 2013
    St Paul, MN
    Hey Everyone!

    I just built my first coop & run and I am picking up my 4 hens this Saturday. We are getting 4 - 6 month old hens that are a mix of a Plymouth Rock Hen and a Barnevelder Rooster. We ended up building a 4x4 coop with a 7x4 run attached. I plan on extending the run with time and made one of the walls on the coop removable, in case we decide to add on down the road. :)

    Living in MN I will need to put in an electric heater for the water this winter and I am just curious to how I can put that in the coop and wire it so the hens don't tamper with the cord? Also, it was suggested to me to use pine shavings over straw/hay... in the winter should I use both straw and shavings for added comfort or will they be fine with just shavings?

    Thanks for any help, I'm excited to be a part of BackYard Chickens!!
    -Hunter


    Twin Cities, MN
     
  2. BantamFan4Life

    BantamFan4Life Out of the Woods Premium Member

    84,499
    3,781
    646
    Jun 15, 2012
    Washington
    [​IMG] So glad you joined us!
     
  3. liz9910

    liz9910 Overrun With Chickens

    12,406
    490
    338
    Apr 8, 2012
    Northern California
    1 person likes this.
  4. 1muttsfan

    1muttsfan Overrun With Chickens

    18,751
    1,102
    396
    Mar 26, 2011
    Upper Peninsula Michigan
    Hi and welcome to BYC from northern Michigan [​IMG]

    I sprung for one of the metal platforms that heat from the bottom, and have found it absolutely indispensable. Straw and hay do not work as well for bedding as they tend to clump up and are not as absorbent (particularly hay), having said that there are those that use them. I stick to wood shavings (not sawdust) and have had good luck with it.
     
    1 person likes this.
  5. Bogtown Chick

    Bogtown Chick Overrun With Chickens

    5,516
    1,372
    361
    Mar 31, 2012
    Northern Minnesota
    My Coop
    Northern MN here. I use a platform type heater base for my water in the winter too. I made it with a Cookie tin from a thrift store and a $4 lamp socket- light-set-up and made my own. The hens and rooster don't really mess with the cord and I am mindful to kind of tuck it out of their way though or hook it behind a long nail or something. In case there's a squabble and running going on in that coop and they pull the heater/water set up and get the shavings all wet. :)

    Pine Shavings 4-6 inches on the floor or better for winter. And through the winter I just keep adding to cover dirty bedding. I also put bales of hay out around the perimeter of the coop outside. And soft fluffy hay in their covered Run.

    Welcome to BYC! It's addictive.... [​IMG]
     
  6. Webechickens

    Webechickens Chillin' With My Peeps

    222
    13
    81
    Apr 1, 2013
    East Central Indiana
    Welcome from east central Indiana!
     
  7. Sotabrew

    Sotabrew Out Of The Brooder

    20
    1
    31
    Sep 5, 2013
    St Paul, MN
    BogtownChick - I'm already hooked and I don't even have my hens yet... rut row [​IMG]
     
    1 person likes this.
  8. drumstick diva

    drumstick diva Still crazy after all these years. Premium Member

    80,886
    7,982
    746
    Aug 26, 2009
    Out to pasture
    [​IMG] Chickens are much better at handling cold, than heat. If they have a draft free coop and sufficient bedding they can survive winters without heat contraptions which are always a serious threat of fire. They do need good ventilation - because the heat from the bodies causes condensation inside the coop which leads to frostbite.
     
  9. Bogtown Chick

    Bogtown Chick Overrun With Chickens

    5,516
    1,372
    361
    Mar 31, 2012
    Northern Minnesota
    My Coop
    I agree about the cold vs. heat statement. Nothing scares me more than a hanging brooder lamp. If I use them it's way below zero for an extended period of time before I'm dragging it out. I have it hooked at 3 different points on the lamp to 3 different points of the coop and I have a bit of chicken wire around the bulb if that socket lets go for some reason. For Minnesota with our temps -20 to -30 frequently these lamps put a slight dent in the cold but not much. (Uninsulated coop) Chickens are pretty weary on the roost at -10 or more. You can see it in them. Ventilation is key as well. One should not have frost stuck on the inside of coop windows. (that's my indicator to ventilate more) Lucky for us we're a "dry" cold up here, which helps too.
     
  10. Sotabrew

    Sotabrew Out Of The Brooder

    20
    1
    31
    Sep 5, 2013
    St Paul, MN

    I was debating insulating my coop but not sealing the over hang eaves on my roof... I thought it would offer great year round ventilation while still keeping them out of the weather and preventing all drafts from coming inside with the insulation. Thoughts?
     

BackYard Chickens is proudly sponsored by