Not super cold, but very humid conditions all winter in Washington

Discussion in 'Managing Your Flock' started by Sammamish-BYCs, Jan 14, 2016.

  1. Sammamish-BYCs

    Sammamish-BYCs Out Of The Brooder

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    Dec 10, 2015
    Sammamish, WA
    I've been reading several posts about cold chickens and feeling better after reading about them being fine in -20 F weather, which we NEVER get here in the Seattle area. However, since it rains a ton during the winter, we have very humid conditions. This morning it's 38F but feels like 33F with 95% humidity. My 15 week old pullets (3 of them) have been outside the garage since Christmas and have been through weather in the low 20s without any supplemental heat. They have a small coop under the cover of a metal roof with hardware cloth all around. It's built next to a fence and under 100ft. tall evergreen trees so there's some windbreak. Yesterday it poured rain all day and they were dry in the coop unless they stayed right next to a wall where a little water was splashing in. I see them puffed up and standing on one foot which I suppose preserves warmth. I may not need to worry about them, but when it's really windy I wonder why they don't go in their coop. They only go into it when it's dark at around 4-4:30pm. I have observed them roosting in front of one of the coop vents away from the open pop door. Do they like the view of the yard through the vent or to they just like the ventilation? I have noticed that the coop is warmer than the outside air at night with the chickens inside when I reach in to feel the air through the pop door.
     
  2. blumenmadchen

    blumenmadchen Out Of The Brooder

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    Jul 4, 2015
    We are in North Bend, so I totally know what you mean. We do have some additional colder days than you (I'm at about 1,000 ft above sea level) but its always very damp/moist. I have covered part of the run with a tarp to help give more dry space. And it helps, but no where is actually ever really dry this time of year. I try to keep a layer of dry material (like leaves, hay, or even shredded newspaper) on top of the wet ground to give the ladies' feet a break from the damp. But honestly except for really windy days they don't stay in that area and spend just as much time out in the rain or even small puddles if there are bugs to be found. For wind we set up another tarp on one of the fences of the run which is bordered on two other sides by our house and a woodpile. I also attached plastic around the bottom of their coop to give them a place that is totally wind free (the covered space in their coop is pretty small otherwise). They do utilize that when its really blowing. Its our first winter with chickens (my ladies are about 10months) and we have been learning alot each day[​IMG] Good luck and stay dry[​IMG]
     
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  3. aldarita

    aldarita Chillin' With My Peeps

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    Aug 2, 2012
    Brenham TX
    I have the same situation where I am. It has rained more than usual, everything is very damp. This winter has been very mild, temperatures have dropped bellow 32 about twice so far and we have only had very light freezes. I have a covered run and have tarps to block the cold north wind, also I placed tarps on the wall where their dusting boxes are so the rain doesn't turn the dirt into mud. Their coops are ventilated and I always wonder why they don't stay inside when it is really windy, cold and wet outside. Humidity labels are usually above 80% and there is so much dew in the mornings that it takes half of the day to dry out. Sun is always welcome because my chickens like to come out and do some sun bathing. Yeah, when it's cold they are out perched on the bench all fluffed up but won't go inside the coop where it is cozy and less damp. Go figure !!!
     
  4. aart

    aart Chicken Juggler! Premium Member

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    SW Michigan
    My Coop
    Could be both.
    They like fresh air and light.....so lots of windows(both operable and static) and weather proof vents in the coop are a good thing.

    Can you post a pic of your coop and run?
     
  5. Sammamish-BYCs

    Sammamish-BYCs Out Of The Brooder

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    Dec 10, 2015
    Sammamish, WA
    Here's a few photos of our current coop and run set up. We just finished it and put the birds outside the week of Christmas. The back of the coop has doors with a latch for cleaning access and in this case, photo access. :)[​IMG]Our chickens have grown to really like our dog when she visits. They always rush to greet her through the run. Our dog
    [​IMG]Believe it or not, the soil here has really good drainage. Even so, there's enough organic matter already present for it to stay moist under the roof.

    [​IMG]The nesting box is closed off until these pullets start laying in a couple of months.

    [​IMG]

    [​IMG]
    At lunchtime I saw that all 3 chickens were in their coop! I've never seen them do that during the day, and it's not raining today.
     

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