Need ideas for winterization

Discussion in 'Managing Your Flock' started by ChickenFairy, Aug 13, 2018.

  1. ChickenFairy

    ChickenFairy In the Brooder

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    Jul 22, 2018
    Alberta
    Hello everyone!

    I’m looking for any and all of your best advice on how I can build a winterized chicken coop that’s made for extreme cold weather.
    Also wondering about what the best bedding to use for winter would be?
    I’ve read in a few places about layering hay, which helps to keep the coop warm, makes awesome compost and you don’t have to change the bedding often.
    It just doesn’t sound sanitary to me so I’m wondering if you guys have any info on that aswell.
    Also any ideas for keeping their water liquid in freezing temperatures? I currently use a plastic white and red waterer.

    I’ve never had chickens before and I certainly don’t have any ideas for winter yet.
    My chickens will start laying when winter hits so I’m alittle curious how that will go.
    Thank you!!
     
  2. oldhenlikesdogs

    oldhenlikesdogs Got my Puppy

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    I can answer one question. Frozen poop generally doesn't stink. So letting it build up a bit in the winter isn't always a bad thing, and sometimes you have no choice because stuff freezes hard.
     
  3. Mrs. K

    Mrs. K Crowing

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    You don't want to think about keeping your birds warm, you want to think on keeping your birds dry. Dry birds are warm birds, and damp birds are cold. Deep dry bedding can really help. Occasionally, throw scratch on top, and they will dig and scratch. This breaks up manure into much smaller pieces and dries them out.

    When the birds are roosted up, their heads should be a foot below the ceiling and they should roost away from the walls if you can get them to, this allows better circulation, and keeps water from condensing on cooler surfaces and raining back down on the birds.

    Think of being in a unheated car in the winter with a bunch of kids... windows fog up immediately, that is what you want to avoid. Good ventilation, open vents move warm wet air out of the coop, keeping birds dry.

    As for water, some people go for the heated bowls. I do not have electricity to the coop, so I use two black rubber bowls. Fill one, freezes solid by dark, next morning, flip that one upside down, and fill the second bowl. Any amount of sunshine, even in below 0 temperatures, will melt enough that the cube falls out. Next day, flip and fill, flip the frozen water.

    This is a fun hobby.
    Mrs K
     
  4. wamtazlady

    wamtazlady Crowing

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    As Mrs. K said, you want to keep moisture out of the coop to keep your birds warm. A warm chicken is a dry chicken. Birds make a lot of moisture between breathing and pooping. You need to get the warm but humid air out of the coop. I have 2 1' by 3' vents under the eaves that are never closed. In addition the coop has a 2' by 2' vent in the back door. That side of the coop gets no wind. Also 3 sides of the run, except the side where the back door is, are covered with clear plastic shower curtains. Makes a great wind free place for the birds to spend the day. Mine hate being in the coop. Food and water are kept in the run.

    The coop is close enough to run a heavy duty extension cord out to the run where the water is kept. The waterer is a 10 gallon tote with lid, horizontal nipples, and a stock tank deicer that is rated to use in plastic. It keeps a dozen birds in water for a week and has stayed thawed down to -22 F. I'm lucky that I have an indoor faucet. I hook up one of those hoses that shrink up. Drag the house outside, fill the waterer, turn off the water so the hose drains, and put the hose back in the house.

    I put about 6 inches of pine shavings in the coop at the beginning of the winter. During the winter more shavings might be added. More likely I'll add some hay to the top. That encourages the chickens to scratch and churn everything up. Also gives them something to do as they look for any seeds or goodies left in the hay. Also like to put pine shavings in the run with some leaves and hay. As that stuff composts it actually makes heat. The run feels warmer than the outside when I check up on the chickens.
     
  5. wamtazlady

    wamtazlady Crowing

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    Just remembered...2 by 4s make great roosts. Have the 4 inch side up. That way the chickens can lay on their feet at night and keep their toes comfy warm.
     
  6. ChickenFairy

    ChickenFairy In the Brooder

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    Jul 22, 2018
    Alberta
    Ah ha! I didn’t think of that! Thank you
     
    oldhenlikesdogs likes this.
  7. ChickenFairy

    ChickenFairy In the Brooder

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    Jul 22, 2018
    Alberta
    Wow thank you for the advice!
     
  8. ChickenFairy

    ChickenFairy In the Brooder

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    Jul 22, 2018
    Alberta
    Thank you for all your information !!
     

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