Plastic Dog House Worries

Discussion in 'Coop & Run - Design, Construction, & Maintenance' started by VAChick, Dec 5, 2007.

  1. VAChick

    VAChick Hatching

    Mar 18, 2007
    My hens were given to me as chicks Easter 07. They have lived free range in a fenced 1/2 acre backyard all Summer. They love it! They had perched all Summer (at night) on the fence but have since moved into a tree at night. I am worried the temps are too cold for them and I bought a X-large plastic dog house (holds 100lb dog). I put the house up on cindar blocks to give it several feet of rise, put pine needles and leaves on the floor, and a latter leading to the opening. I could not get the chickens to go into the house with feed yesterday (first try), so last night I took them out of the tree and put them inside the house and put a piece of plastic over the opening.

    Is it too cold for them with freezing temps in VA in the plastic house?
    How can I teach them to go into the house at night?
    Should I put a perch inside the house and should it be round or flat?

    I don't want to fence in the house because I want them to enjoy the entire backyard. Any help would be greatly appreciated. I didn't sleep all night worried the chickens are cold.

    Sleepless in Virginia,
  2. AtRendeAcres

    AtRendeAcres Songster

    May 23, 2007
    Clarion County
    For them to know were to sleep house you need to lock them in the house a few days!

    If you search Grit magazine the directions are there (some where) for the dog house!

    Plastic dog house you cut off the spots that hold the bottom and top together (for cleaning & to put a perch in there) they are used to perching so you need the roost ((roost needs to be 2x4 so their feet lay flat so they don’t get frost bite)), put in a nest box & put roof back on now cut to make a door to access eggs!
    You need to make a wood so you can lock them in at night!!!

    If you are worried about cold get bales of straw (it is $3 a bale here) stack them to cover north, east & west sides this way they will be warm at night

    I am in Western PA and it has snowed for the past few days & my chickens are out everyday put they retreat to the coop by afternoon!

    Let us know how you make out
  3. palabeco

    palabeco Songster

    Oct 29, 2007
    S.W. PA
    RCHICKS "I am in Western PA and it has snowed for the past few days & my chickens are out everyday put they retreat to the coop by afternoon!"

    I'm in western Pa too!
    Washington County..How close are you?
    Last edited: Dec 5, 2007
  4. lurky

    lurky Songster

    Jun 4, 2007
    Western MA
    I think they know its safer up in a tree. I think they are smarter than alot of people give them credit for. And like Rchicks said....they need a routine to know where to go. They also need a chicken coop to be safe at night. Its really hard because there are so many dangers for them.
  5. WoodlandWoman

    WoodlandWoman Crowing

    May 8, 2007
    Basically, what everyone else said. Put them in at night, until they get used to roosting there. A 2x4 with slightly rounded edges makes a great roost.

    Your dog house needs a door that you can lock up at night, to keep your chickens safe. It will also keep them warmer at night in the winter. A piece of plywood cut to fit, a hinge bolted on and a latch should do it. If you have one of the two piece dog houses and make the lid easier to open for maintenance, then you should latch that down, too.

    Let us know if you need any other help on how to modify your dog house.
  6. AtRendeAcres

    AtRendeAcres Songster

    May 23, 2007
    Clarion County

    I am in Clarion County in Cranberry by Knox!

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