Preparing Your Flock & Coop for WINTER

Discussion in 'Managing Your Flock' started by iwiw60, Aug 26, 2014.

  1. iwiw60

    iwiw60 Overrun With Chickens

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    I thought I'd start a new thread today so everyone can post what they are planning to do to help winterize their flocks and coops/runs for winter. Share your ideas, things that have worked well for you, things that haven't worked so well. I'll start off with this:

    First of all, I do not free-range, so my run (which is attached to the coop) is quite large for my 4 girls. It is approximately 9' x 16' with a sloped roof for easy snow removal:

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    I purchased a 100' roll of 6-mil clear plastic, 10' wide and I'll be "wrapping" my run with it leaving about 12" or so at the top for ventilation. The winds can get pretty bad during our winter storms so I'll be securing it to the posts using those cheap wood furring strips (I think that's what you call them) top to bottom on each post. With it being 6-mil it should hold up really good.

    I figure when it's not snowing and even though it may only be +20 outside, even the minimal warmth from the sun will heat that area up pretty dang good. So there you have it, my first idea.

    PLEASE SHARE YOUR IDEAS AND TRICKS YOU'VE USED!!
     
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  2. cluckcluckgirl

    cluckcluckgirl Queen of the Coop Premium Member

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    First of all, this is a great idea for a thread!

    We get some long, cold winters where we are. We've insulated the walls of our coop with fiberglass insulation and ran electricity out to their coop so that 2 250 watt heat lamps can be used in the coop. I also move their 5 gallon waterer inside and place it on a platform so that the chickens can access fresh water, not ice, but so that bedding does not get into the water. I put down about 4-6 inches of straw on the floor of the coop to insulate the floors. I also shovel the run so that they may go outside if they want to, but food is also offered inside the coop. Even when the temps drop below 0, the chicken coop has remained typically 35-50 degrees Fahrenheit.
     
  3. Peeps61

    Peeps61 Chillin' With My Peeps

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    I live in NW Florida, and while we are in the "Sunshine State", it does get to freezing and below during the winter months, although usually at night. It warms up during the day. I simply moved my chicken tractor under our pole barn where the building next to it blocked the NW winds that are so cold in the Winter. On the really cold nights, I made sure they had plenty of hay to keep the coop warm, but left the pop door open for ventilation. They did fine. No extra light or anything like that. This winter, I think I will put plastic over three sides of the run and leave the door area and top open for ventilation. It will keep most of the drafts away from them that way. We did have a freak ice storm in late January. There was ice on the ground in the form of pellets for about three days. The chickens didn't care for that at all! They stayed under the pole barn digging and scratching in the dirt there :).
     
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  4. iwiw60

    iwiw60 Overrun With Chickens

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    I'm glad you mentioned STRAW...while I use wood pine shavings in my coop I plan on throwing straw out in the coop from their pophole ramp and here and there throughout the run. I'm sure their tosies will appreciate walking on that instead of rock-hard-frozen-ground!!
     
  5. iwiw60

    iwiw60 Overrun With Chickens

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    Excellent idea on wrapping your run with the plastic for sure. Sounds like you've "been there done that" so you'll have no problem! [​IMG]
     
  6. mak1

    mak1 Chillin' With My Peeps

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    Hi I live in the PNW and it gets cooled in the winter. I am sealing my coop with foam inside and putting T1- 11 on top of foam because my chickens break cardboard and eat the foam.
     
  7. cluckcluckgirl

    cluckcluckgirl Queen of the Coop Premium Member

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    Tending to my chickens
    I've also heard that there's some reaction between chicken poop and straw that helps produce heat. Yeah, that's a good idea too. Mine don't enjoy walking on something cold either!
     
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  8. dheltzel

    dheltzel Overrun With Chickens

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    I would never use heat lamps in my coops, too much chance of starting a fire and it's completely unnecessary, detrimental even. What I do use are the heated dog waterers. The wattage is much lower and they are thermostatically controlled so they will not overheat if they are left dry. Liquid water is vital and it's a real pain to break out blocks of ice every day, only to have it freeze again soon after. I'm building new coops this year to expand our operations and a top priority is to design in strategic locations for the heated dog waterers.

    Good husbandry without a lot of work is my goal for this winter.
     
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  9. iwiw60

    iwiw60 Overrun With Chickens

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    Pacific Northwest? I live in Central Oregon...where do you hail from?
     
  10. iwiw60

    iwiw60 Overrun With Chickens

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    Me either, @dheltzel ...not worth the possible tragedy of a fire. As for waterers I use the horizontal water nipples in my plastic bucket. I've ordered 250-watt mini stock tank heaters so my problem will be solved...no more frozen waterers. And the best part is...no more spilled/wet bedding!
     
    3 people like this.

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