Low tech cold weather coop

Discussion in 'Coop & Run - Design, Construction, & Maintenance' started by lokua, Oct 24, 2011.

  1. lokua

    lokua Out Of The Brooder

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    Hey all... I'm new to this.. I am putting the finishing touches on my coop for my 5 cherry eggers. They are nearly full feathered and I intend to move them out side in 2 weeks or so. I am hoping to avoid using electricity in the coop. The nearest electricity is 100 feet away so that giant extension cord wouldn't be very practical. I would appreciate any advice on keeping the birds warm and the water defrosted.
    thanks
     
  2. kfacres

    kfacres Chillin' With My Peeps

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    100 foot of extension cord, is a faily cheap investment, i bet cheaper than your birds were, have been, and will be-- let alone the coup costs.

    If you're wanting it warm- insulate it, keep it blocked from the wind (usually coming from N or W), and give it a window on the south, or top for the greenhouse effect.
     
  3. SteveBaz

    SteveBaz Chillin' With My Peeps

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    Quote:Welcome to the [​IMG]

    Get an extra bucket to rotate daily so when one is frozen you go out with fresh to exchange. As long as they are fully feathered after 6 or 7 weeks. I would be putting them out part of the day so they can start getting used to the cold. Bring them in at night if its way to cold but her in Oregon we are having 40 degree nights and that not cold for a fully feathered bird. They bunch up and move around to get warm all night long. Are they inside now?
     
  4. WishboneDawn

    WishboneDawn Out Of The Brooder

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    The birds will be fine without extra heat. Electricity can introduce a fire hazard and I'd follow the other excellent suggestions here before considering it.
     
  5. WoodlandWoman

    WoodlandWoman Overrun With Chickens

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    If you don't want to run a heavy duty outdoor electric cord for the water, haul water out there a couple of times a day. The black rubber livestock feed bowls are flexible enough to pop the ice out. On really nice days, they'll help keep the water unfrozen a bit longer, in the sun. Once it gets cold enough, it'll still freeze up.
     
  6. lokua

    lokua Out Of The Brooder

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    The girls are inside 23 hours a day still. i let them out in the yard if its not raining. I am committed to the electricity free coop... i priced out high quality cords rated for continuous outdoor use and they cost about double what i spent on the birds. also the power can go out for long periods here...... the birds wouldn't have a chance. Will feeding them corn actually help? if so how much is needed.
    thanks for the help
     
  7. Fred's Hens

    Fred's Hens Chicken Obsessed Premium Member

    Quote:In colder weather, birds need a few more calories as they are using calories to keep themselves warm. The feed provided is likely 80% corn already. The number one ingredient on most feed bags is corn. Adding more corn, straight, cracked corn to the diet will only throw the dietary balance of nutrition out of whack with little gain. A good afternoon feeding is what is needed. Sending them to the roosts with a full crop is what is essential. This mythology comes from long ago when chickens had to peck through manure or pick up spilled grains and fend for themselves, catch-as-catch-can so the farmer might toss them some corn in the evening.
     
  8. WoodlandWoman

    WoodlandWoman Overrun With Chickens

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    They don't need heat in the winter, they just need plenty of food, unfrozen water and a draft free area of the coop to roost in.
     
  9. Judy

    Judy Moderator Staff Member

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    Quote:I agree, no heat -- this is reason enough not to add heat. They will do much better if they are accustomed to the cold than they would of the heat went out after they were used to it. But they do need ventilation, and there should not be a draft on them, which can be a tricky balance, especially in a small, short coop, if that is what you have.

    https://www.backyardchickens.com/web/viewblog.php?id=1642-VENTILATION
     
  10. kittycooks

    kittycooks Chillin' With My Peeps

    Quote:I run an electric cord out for a heated dog dish. However, if you electric goes out frequently that is not a great option for your situation. I agree with woodlandwoman that you can haul water out. That's how they did it on my grandparents farm. (long before the Rural Electrification Act) They will get used to your schedule and drink when you come. I like to bring my hens mealworms in the winter. They love them and it provides a bit of protein.
     

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