Ok, it's getting colder here. I think I'm going to do it.

Discussion in 'Coop & Run - Design, Construction, & Maintenance' started by Overeasyplz, Dec 4, 2009.

  1. Overeasyplz

    Overeasyplz Chillin' With My Peeps

    Nov 8, 2009
    Leesburg
    We just moved in last month and were in a hurry to get in before the first snows. We did, just barely. I know my birds do not have enough room in the tractor, but I belive that's whats keeping them happy and warm. I keep wondering though, soon it will be so cold here (-30-35) that they won't venture out to get their food. I take them hot water twice a day to drink as long as it isn't frozen. The only option is to move them into the second room of the wooden shed. The rabbits occupy the first room and I have always been told to never house birds and rabbits together, but I am so worried about the birds in their little house. I saw an earlier post from a gal in Alaska about a ceramic heater, a few nestboxes and an insulated shed. I can hang a light in there, put wood down on the rotted floor and fill it with straw. There is plenty of ventillation and they would have a more cozy place to winter over. Well, roomy anyway, and they wouldn't have the windy run. And hopefully I'll get a few more eggs. I have such plans for that shed in the spring, and they will have a huge run. I just wish we had found this farm to rent earlier, my birds would have a better house.
     
  2. Mahonri

    Mahonri Urban Desert Chicken Enthusiast Premium Member

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    My Coop
    Good luck.
     
  3. Overeasyplz

    Overeasyplz Chillin' With My Peeps

    Nov 8, 2009
    Leesburg
    Thank you [​IMG]
     
  4. teach1rusl

    teach1rusl Love My Chickens

    Yeah...sounds like a good idea to give them more solid protection during the winter months. If you're not letting them out to free range, you could just get a few metal posts and attach a small, temporary winter run for them...just w/chicken wire or something so they can get out for a little while each day (if they would venture out in that kind of weather???)... Good luck on your project!
     
  5. anthonyjames

    anthonyjames Chillin' With My Peeps

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    Apr 22, 2009
    Port Washington, WI
    overeasyplz,

    If you can get your hands on some soapstone about or sometype of flat stone that can retain heat what you can do is stick them in the oven on about 200 degrees.

    Wrap them in towels and place them in the tractor. They will emit the heat from the stone for a few hours and the girls can step on the towels without being burned. That way you can cycle the stones out right before you go to bed and should keep them warm for a good portion of the night.

    And you won't have to put any electric out there.

    I have a piece of soapstone I have used for our birds this past week as the temps in my area have been around 0. The temp in the coop has been 10 when I checked in the AM. With the soapstone the coop has been in the mid 30's to almost 40 when I go out in the AM. I also leave the windows half open and the pop door open so that drop out and by 7AM the outside temp and inside temp of the coop just about match.


    Hope this helps.
     
  6. Overeasyplz

    Overeasyplz Chillin' With My Peeps

    Nov 8, 2009
    Leesburg
    Wow, that's an interesting idea. I wouldn't have to worry bout the hot water jug freezing solid overnight. Where do you find a soapstone? I was thinking maybe the headstone store down in IF.."No, it's not for my departed uncle, it's for my chickens.."
    They are actually hanging out in their little tractor end at about 45 degrees, pretty balmy for an outside exposed temp of about 10 degrees. Chickens generate a lot of heat. Their appetites are great, no frostbite, just seem a little crowded to me.
     
    Last edited: Dec 4, 2009
  7. patandchickens

    patandchickens Flock Mistress

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    Ontario, Canada
    Water has a significantly higher heat content than stone does; use a cheap flimsyish water jug and only fill it 3/4 full, of HOT water, and you will get a lot more heat out of it than from a rock. You will probably have to thaw it in the house the next day, and it is not totally impossible for it to crack (although they generally don't), but neither of those things is a real difficulty and you do get a lot more bang for your buck so to speak.

    The plan of moving them into the shed does sound like a good one, though -- a tiny tractor is real hard to manage satisfactorily in very cold temperatures and I think your chickens will be much happier this way.

    Good luck, have fun,

    Pat
     
  8. hilandfrog

    hilandfrog Out Of The Brooder

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    Quote:I'm only guessing.... but I would think a tight cover on this container so the water vapor does not shoot ones humidity through the roof.

    Repo
     
  9. patandchickens

    patandchickens Flock Mistress

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    Apr 20, 2007
    Ontario, Canada
    Quote:I'm only guessing.... but I would think a tight cover on this container so the water vapor does not shoot ones humidity through the roof.

    Repo

    Sorry, I guess I wasn't clear enough, when I said water jug I meant exactly that, the kind of thing where you buy a gallon or two of water from the store. Not the big rigid-plastic water-cooler type jugs, the flimsy type ones that hold just a gallon or two. You leave the lid on, so there is no exposed water to evaporate or spill. I've had them outdoors all winter (down to -35 C), filled about 75%-80% full, and they did not bust or leak. Very useful form of heat sink.

    Pat
     
  10. Overeasyplz

    Overeasyplz Chillin' With My Peeps

    Nov 8, 2009
    Leesburg
    Excellent. Could I reuse empty milk containers?
     

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