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Just Looking for some winterizing tips

Discussion in 'Coop & Run - Design, Construction, & Maintenance' started by Elizafern, Nov 25, 2013.

  1. Elizafern

    Elizafern Out Of The Brooder

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    Jan 15, 2013
    Danbury, CT
    I live in Connecticut. We have 8 chickens. We do not free range much but they do get out a lil bit at least 3 days a week for like 4 hours a day. with the days getting shorter it has gotten a lil harder for us to do this but we r managing somehow. but Was just wondering if anyone has any tips as to what to do to winterize the coop or if we should do anything special things through the winter months for them? This is only our second winter with the chickens and last winter our chickens ended up sick and they havent been quite right since. Just have some sneezing going on, which isnt good to start the cold months with, but they are on meds so hopefully it will kick it out of them soon. So any pointers will help. Thanks everyone. .
     
  2. RoseCassFarm

    RoseCassFarm Out Of The Brooder

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    Mar 23, 2013
    Connecticut
    Hi! I don't have any tips for you -- this is my first winter with my girls -- but I'm also from Connecticut and am excited to see another chicken enthusiast in my neck of the woods! Where abouts? I'm on the shoreline (and it is freakin' COLD out there this morning!!) I'm also trying to figure out how to winterize my coop. Last night, I went to Lowe's and bought some weatherseal that you'd use in your house around your doors and windows, so maybe that can help in some capacity? I'm using it to seal around the coop's people doors. Best of luck!!
     
  3. RoseCassFarm

    RoseCassFarm Out Of The Brooder

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    Mar 23, 2013
    Connecticut
    lmao, duh, just saw that it says you're from Danbury!
     
  4. Elizafern

    Elizafern Out Of The Brooder

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    Jan 15, 2013
    Danbury, CT
    Yea im in Danbury, and it is cold as can be. youre the first CT person I have seen on here. so excited. . My cousin got me into the chickens last year. I love them so much. was afraid of them at first tho. lol. I have to laugh at that now. . LOL. . but I know we have put plastic up on our windows of the coop and we have put up some tarps around our run so there is a shield for all the wind and rain and snow. We are using an old duck house for our chickens. the run is all home made. I didnt make it. wish I was here when they did make it cuz it is getto as can be. LOL. . I want to redo the hole thing but we do not know how much longer we will be in this house because my cousin may have to sell. . I will be so sad cuz we will have to say bye to our girls. . They are like my best friend sometimes. LOL
     
  5. JackE

    JackE Chillin' With My Peeps

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    Apr 26, 2010
    North Eastern Md.
    One thing, you say you have put plastic up over your coop's windows. You did not totally seal out all fresh air flow, right? Because sick sneezing chickens can be a result of a poorly ventilated coop. How big is your coop? How many birds in it? How much ventilation do you have for the coop? Fresh air/ventilation, is a lot more important then trying to keep the chickens warm.
     
  6. 4 the Birds

    4 the Birds Chillin' With My Peeps

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    Oct 15, 2010
    Westfield, Indiana
    +1

    You can certainly seal out drafty conditions but you want fresh air getting in and moist air getting out up high.

    [​IMG]
     
  7. Elizafern

    Elizafern Out Of The Brooder

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    Jan 15, 2013
    Danbury, CT
    The coop is well ventellated. . We didnt cover the windows completely. We have 8 chicks. We have been told the coops is well big enough. Im not sure of the square footage on it. Like I said I didnt build it.
     
  8. JackE

    JackE Chillin' With My Peeps

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    Apr 26, 2010
    North Eastern Md.
    Well, what is "Well ventilated" to some, is poor to non-existent to others. Below is my winter ventilation. That is a 3X7' open hole in a 8' wall. THAT is fresh air/ventilation. In the 4yrs I've had chickens in this coop, I've never had a sick bird. None has ever suffered from frostbite.
    You have 8 birds, sq ft recommended is 2 to 4' sq ft per bird. The bigger the better of course. What is the footprint measurement of your coop? 4X8'? 6X5'? You would want, with 8 birds, a footprint in the area of 32 sq ft or so. Another thing that leads to sick birds, is overcrowding, especially in winter. If, for example, you have 8 in a 4X3' (12 sq ft)coop, you (Really, the chickens) are in trouble. Add to too small a coop, poor ventilation, you are almost guaranteed sick birds. I've read where a chicken's respiration rate can be compared to ours, if we had the respiration rate of a full sized horse. All tha CO2 HAS to be ventilated/ removed from the coop. Chickens have somewhat delicate respiratory tracts, really sensitive to bad air. That bad air has to be removed, replaced with fresh air. And if that air is cold, so what, the birds can handle cold. They don't handle stale, damp, crappy air.



    [​IMG]
     
    Last edited: Nov 25, 2013
  9. Elizafern

    Elizafern Out Of The Brooder

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    Jan 15, 2013
    Danbury, CT
    The coop is about 5'x6'. . We have a lot of ventilation thru it. Maybe too much I don't really know. The coop is an old duck house and it is not insolated at all. It needs work we just haven't had the extra cash for it. Need to redo the hole thing. We are slowly getting to it. Doing lil things here and there. . Last winter on christmas eve something got in our run and got ahold of one of our chickens ripped her up and when I found her the other chickens were eating her. Shortly after that was when they all ended up getting sick. Dont know if that had anything to do with it. Any clue? Is it possible?
     
  10. JackE

    JackE Chillin' With My Peeps

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    Apr 26, 2010
    North Eastern Md.
    With 5X6', it's not ideal, but it should be enough. Really, you can't have too much ventilation. You could have a whole wall out like me, and as long as the wind ain't blowing right across the birds as they sit on the roost, you should be good to go. You don't have to worry about insulating the coop, the chickens already have perfect insulation of their own. They come pre-packaged with some really nice insulated feather coveralls. They really don't need any help from us.
    As far as the cannibalism goes, gross as it is, that should not have made the birds sick. Again, I would look at the fresh air flow with the coop. How's it smell in there? Does it have that ammonia smell? Is it damp, or nice and dry? Even though it is a chicken house, it should not smell bad. It should be dry, not damp and musty. It's not going to smell like a rose garden, but it should not knock a buzzard off a crap wagon either.
     

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