Only 2 chickens - what about the New England winter?

Discussion in 'Managing Your Flock' started by rwgrout, Oct 6, 2012.

  1. rwgrout

    rwgrout Chillin' With My Peeps

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    This is my chickens first winter and my first winter owning chickens. I've read several articles and I'm fairly comfortable with the concepts but I guess my concern is I only have 2 chickens. I have a small raised coop that is 2x4 in the interior so no ambient heat will be coming from the floor. Quite the opposite, the winter wind will be blowing under the coop. I think if I had 3-4 chickens I would feel more comfortable believing they will snuggle up for warmth when the winter gets really cold. I was planning on keeping extra bedding on the floor, run a 60w bulb during the day and only opening their "little door" in case they decide to go out during the day. I'm not concerned about egg production, I just want my girls healthy and comfortable. Any suggestions from fellow New Englanders or others that have long, cold, harsh winters? Thanks
     
  2. rwgrout

    rwgrout Chillin' With My Peeps

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  3. PartyOnARoost

    PartyOnARoost Chillin' With My Peeps

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    I also have 2 chickens, first winter with them, and I live in Chicago. I have a raised coop so the ground wouldn't be so cold on them. The coop itself is good for winter because its tight, which gives them more heat in the shelter area (where they sleep, lay eggs, hide,). I hope someone with knowledge about this can step in and put their 2 cents in
     
  4. centrarchid

    centrarchid Chicken Obsessed

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    Make so they can roost out of direct wind and keep feet off metal. Provide some hay to pick through and stand on. Make so they have adequat food. When it get really cold I feed same amount of quality layer or flock raiser diet but also provide additional scratch and sunflower seeds or even some sort of soaked grain like oats. Make certain the birds have access to grit. Chickens can probably take colder than New England winters so long as food is adequate and feed dry.
     
  5. galanie

    galanie Treat Dispenser No More

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    What you describe sounds fine. They sound like they'll be ok to me. What you do want to watch out for is to be sure they get enough ventilation. This might sound odd but usually coops that small don't. A picture of it would be helpful.

    When they don't have adequate ventilation, moisture will build up in the air and cause combs to get frostbite. The cold itself won't cause it as fast as moist air + cold will.
     
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  6. rwgrout

    rwgrout Chillin' With My Peeps

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    Here are a couple pics of the coop, in my icon you can see inside. The coop is now back toward the wood which you can see in the first pic and is enclosed in an 8x10 run. There aren't any true air vents but I open the doors every day. I'll post pics of the run if I can find my camera.

    Thanks for all your help!
     
  7. galanie

    galanie Treat Dispenser No More

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    Yes, as I suspected, you need ventilation in that. High up too. A vent in either end wall as high as you can put them would be fantastic. It would allow moist air to rise up and out w/out putting a draft on them as they roost.
     
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  8. LilacLes

    LilacLes Out Of The Brooder

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    I'm glad I read this thread. I'm in New England and a new chicken-mom too, and I have vents up at the top of my coop. I was planning on blocking them off during the winter because I thought it would keep them warmer, but it's sounding like a bad idea. I guess I should keep them unblocked to let the air flow, from the sounds of it.
     

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