Lonely Gal

kburruano

Chirping
Dec 1, 2021
42
84
59
No, I'm not looking for love. But I am looking for answers. My one sweet girl died yesterday. I'm searching for a friend for my remaining girl. It will be weeks before I can get a pullet. I'm in PA, temps at night are around 20-30. How long will she be okay solo, and should I keep her in my garage at night since she has no friend for warmth?
 

3KillerBs

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Welcome to BYC. I'm sorry that a sad circumstance brought you here.

Your remaining girl doesn't need a friend for warmth. As long as she's dry and out of the wind her built-in down parka will keep her warm.

But she does need a friend because she's a flock animal who will pine when alone.

You can look for a friend for her on the buy-sell-trade section of these forums: https://www.backyardchickens.com/forums/#buy-sell-trade.67
 

kburruano

Chirping
Dec 1, 2021
42
84
59
Thank you. I feel just awful for this little lady. This is how I have it set up. The tarp and the fence to block the wind and hay and shavings inside. It's gonna be 20 tonight. Hopefully she will be ok.
 

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3KillerBs

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Where, in general are you? Climate matters, particularly in this kind of situation.

If that tarp is blocking the coop's ventilation then it will do more harm than good because she needs a constant flow of fresh air to both remove the moisture from her breath and her poop and to protect the health of her lungs.

A chicken that is dry and out of the wind can readily tolerate cold down to or even below 0F.
 

kburruano

Chirping
Dec 1, 2021
42
84
59
I'm about an hour north of Philly. Her vent door there is open and the bottom is mostly as well.
Where, in general are you? Climate matters, particularly in this kind of situation.

If that tarp is blocking the coop's ventilation then it will do more harm than good because she needs a constant flow of fresh air to both remove the moisture from her breath and her poop and to protect the health of her lungs.

A chicken that is dry and out of the wind can readily tolerate cold down to or even below 0F.
I am about an hour and a half north of Philly. There is only one vent door, and that's opened. I keep hearing that you need to stop the draft, which is why I put up the tarp between the fence and over the top. I'm so confused on that to do...
 

3KillerBs

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I'm about an hour north of Philly. Her vent door there is open and the bottom is mostly as well.

I am about an hour and a half north of Philly. There is only one vent door, and that's opened. I keep hearing that you need to stop the draft, which is why I put up the tarp between the fence and over the top. I'm so confused on that to do...

Could you post more photos of the coop from closer up? Exterior and interior?

Here's an except from an article I'm writing:

How to Provide Good Ventilation
There are many ways to provide ventilation in a chicken coop and the ordinary windows that are so often seen on coops, especially those designed to have strong visual appeal, are often not the best choice. As noted in the Usual Guidelines, ventilation is best placed above the chickens' heads when they're sitting on the roost. This is both because heat and ammonia rise and need to escape at the top of the coop and because such ventilation is draft-free.​
Wait a minute, what does "draft-free" actually mean?​
It doesn't mean total lack of air movement, it means no strong breezes capable of ruffling the birds' feathers and thus disturbing their down-parka insulation. Look at my run-into-brooder conversion: https://www.backyardchickens.com/articles/run-to-outdoor-brooder-conversion.76634/
0523211146a_HDR.jpg
That's an 8" opening all around the top -- 16 square feet of that permanent, 24/7/365 ventilation we talk about. Even with all the vents open on both ends it's draft-free for little chicks because of the cardboard barrier. Soon that barrier won't be necessary and for adult birds in a warm climate it would never be necessary to pin down the tarps except in blowing rain.​
Vents at the top of the wall are easy to make as long as you plan generous roof overhangs. Just don't carry the siding all the way up and cover the gap with hardware cloth. If it's a sloped roof rather than a flat roof be sure to put the vents on the walls at the bottom and top of the slope so that you get a constant flow of air on the underside of the roof to carry the heat, moisture, and ammonia away.​
If you're building a peaked roof then plan on leaving out the soffit blocks and either installing a ridge vent, gable vents, or both. Remember that ridge vents are easily blocked by snow and that ventilation is just as important in the winter as in the summer. (See this article on cold weather chicken-keeping).​
Monitor roofs and cupolas are traditional means of providing for top-level ventilation that is both draft-free and weatherproof. With sufficient roof overhang they will continue to work despite moderate snowfall (and if your snow is deep enough on the roof to block them you might want to be clearing the roof to protect the structure anyway). The coop page for my Little Monitor Coop includes construction details for framing a monitor, this coop includes a functional cupola, and here you can see how another BYC member mounted a monitor on the roof of a plastic shed.​
Top hinged windows are the best windows for providing supplemental ventilation at a lower level because they act as their own awning to protect against rain and can be adjusted to account for different temperatures and weather conditions. Here's one way to make a safe, adjustable prop to keep them open. Sometimes it's good to have a window down low to allow cool air to enter at or near ground level. The top hinge concept works for this too. Since I never need to close mine in this climate I just tucked it under the roof of the nest box.​
0523211225a.jpg
Remembering that chickens don't stack for storage and thus height can't compensate for lack of floor space, height is your friend when it comes to ventilation. When trying to add ventilation to an existing structure, if the roof is high enough above the roosts you can pull the siding off the gable triangles or open up the soffits and/or the top of the wall. Roof overhangs are also your friends.​
Yes, sometimes when you have a very small coop, especially a commercially-made coop, you will realize that getting adequate ventilation means replacing an entire wall with wire. That's one of the reasons why BYC regulars usually advise against using those small, commercial coops -- they are dreadfully hard to ventilate properly. In some circumstances, especially in warm climates, pulling off the wall that faces into the roofed run actually is the right way to solve the ventilation problem.​
Adding roof extensions to shelter these vents can be intimidating to inexperienced handymen. Here's how-to (and how not to), extend a roof by sistering the extension to the rafters: https://strousehomeinspections.com/blog/structural-roof-extensions.html
And here is how to use lookouts to extend the roof at right-angles to the rafters: https://www.backyardchickens.com/ar...e-overhangs-eaves-of-a-shed-coop-house.76599/
This member did a nicer job putting awnings up than I did on my brooder: https://www.backyardchickens.com/threads/check-out-my-chicken-tractor.1456418/post-24496139


I wish I lived close enough to give your lonely hen one of my for-sale birds as a companion.
 

kburruano

Chirping
Dec 1, 2021
42
84
59
Could you post more photos of the coop from closer up? Exterior and interior?

Here's an except from an article I'm writing:

How to Provide Good Ventilation
There are many ways to provide ventilation in a chicken coop and the ordinary windows that are so often seen on coops, especially those designed to have strong visual appeal, are often not the best choice. As noted in the Usual Guidelines, ventilation is best placed above the chickens' heads when they're sitting on the roost. This is both because heat and ammonia rise and need to escape at the top of the coop and because such ventilation is draft-free.​
Wait a minute, what does "draft-free" actually mean?​
It doesn't mean total lack of air movement, it means no strong breezes capable of ruffling the birds' feathers and thus disturbing their down-parka insulation. Look at my run-into-brooder conversion: https://www.backyardchickens.com/articles/run-to-outdoor-brooder-conversion.76634/
0523211146a_HDR.jpg
That's an 8" opening all around the top -- 16 square feet of that permanent, 24/7/365 ventilation we talk about. Even with all the vents open on both ends it's draft-free for little chicks because of the cardboard barrier. Soon that barrier won't be necessary and for adult birds in a warm climate it would never be necessary to pin down the tarps except in blowing rain.​
Vents at the top of the wall are easy to make as long as you plan generous roof overhangs. Just don't carry the siding all the way up and cover the gap with hardware cloth. If it's a sloped roof rather than a flat roof be sure to put the vents on the walls at the bottom and top of the slope so that you get a constant flow of air on the underside of the roof to carry the heat, moisture, and ammonia away.​
If you're building a peaked roof then plan on leaving out the soffit blocks and either installing a ridge vent, gable vents, or both. Remember that ridge vents are easily blocked by snow and that ventilation is just as important in the winter as in the summer. (See this article on cold weather chicken-keeping).​
Monitor roofs and cupolas are traditional means of providing for top-level ventilation that is both draft-free and weatherproof. With sufficient roof overhang they will continue to work despite moderate snowfall (and if your snow is deep enough on the roof to block them you might want to be clearing the roof to protect the structure anyway). The coop page for my Little Monitor Coop includes construction details for framing a monitor, this coop includes a functional cupola, and here you can see how another BYC member mounted a monitor on the roof of a plastic shed.​
Top hinged windows are the best windows for providing supplemental ventilation at a lower level because they act as their own awning to protect against rain and can be adjusted to account for different temperatures and weather conditions. Here's one way to make a safe, adjustable prop to keep them open. Sometimes it's good to have a window down low to allow cool air to enter at or near ground level. The top hinge concept works for this too. Since I never need to close mine in this climate I just tucked it under the roof of the nest box.​
0523211225a.jpg
Remembering that chickens don't stack for storage and thus height can't compensate for lack of floor space, height is your friend when it comes to ventilation. When trying to add ventilation to an existing structure, if the roof is high enough above the roosts you can pull the siding off the gable triangles or open up the soffits and/or the top of the wall. Roof overhangs are also your friends.​
Yes, sometimes when you have a very small coop, especially a commercially-made coop, you will realize that getting adequate ventilation means replacing an entire wall with wire. That's one of the reasons why BYC regulars usually advise against using those small, commercial coops -- they are dreadfully hard to ventilate properly. In some circumstances, especially in warm climates, pulling off the wall that faces into the roofed run actually is the right way to solve the ventilation problem.​
Adding roof extensions to shelter these vents can be intimidating to inexperienced handymen. Here's how-to (and how not to), extend a roof by sistering the extension to the rafters: https://strousehomeinspections.com/blog/structural-roof-extensions.html
And here is how to use lookouts to extend the roof at right-angles to the rafters: https://www.backyardchickens.com/ar...e-overhangs-eaves-of-a-shed-coop-house.76599/
This member did a nicer job putting awnings up than I did on my brooder: https://www.backyardchickens.com/threads/check-out-my-chicken-tractor.1456418/post-24496139


I wish I lived close enough to give your lonely hen one of my for-sale birds as a companion.
Sigh, I'm not happy with this coop. I don't know how to build a coop and found this one was a happy medium for beginning. But I've worried about it since the weather has turned for one reason or another. Here is the stock image. The picture that I sent earlier, if you look closely, you can see where I have added wire fencing to extend the sides of the fenced in dog yard Infront of it to the back fence it's against, and bird netting on the top to extend that poor excuse for a run. When it was warmer they girls free ranged bc the kids and I were outside. Now she has the run I've made.
 

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3KillerBs

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That's a nice run you've made her.

She'd probably like a few things to sit on or get underneath in it. My flock's favorite is the pallet up on blocks.

cover-image


With the coop up against the fence that way you could take the tarp off -- unless you know that rain is getting inside where she sleeps.
 

kburruano

Chirping
Dec 1, 2021
42
84
59
So I don't need the tarp?! A concerned loved one keeps telling me it's too cold and she needs tarps and all kinds of things. This is not a person who has ever raised chickens. I have straw in the nest box and pine shavings in the coop.

Thank you for the compliment!
 

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