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Discussion in 'Managing Your Flock' started by iwiw60, Aug 26, 2014.
I never thought of using leaves. How thick did you pile them up?
I am in the PNW and this is my first time ever with chickens and we suddenly have colder temps arriving this week. I realize that my chickens are hardy and can handle our mild NW temps. But how can I keep them happy and more importantly healthy!!! We have a small coop and run. We have a make-shift roof on part of the run. Totally off topic, they don't sleep in their coop, they sleep under it and only Nugget goes inside to lay, and now Cashew has gone in to squat (maybe preparing to lay). I am planning on using extra pine shavings and hay in the coop.
Anyway, I'd love recommendations for winterizing in Oregon?
I have heard warnings about drafts. What is the best way to stop a draft in the coop?
Oh and people had mentioned artificial light to give them an extra few hours of light each day. What bulb wattage would be appropriate? I know NOT to use a heat lamp due to fire danger so what do people use or recommend? Do they put it in the coop or in the run?
Thanks in advance from a new mama.
Whereabouts in Oregon?? I'm in Bend, Central Oregon, and man it gets COLD over here on the eastern slopes of the Cascade Mountain Range!! Plus we get those blasted winter winds howling through.
As for your girls sleeping under the coop at night, you should most likely start picking them up and putting them on the roost bar...you'll likely have to do this repeatedly til they 'get the message'. And speaking of roost bars, make sure you're using a 2" x 4" laying flat so your girls can literally 'sit' on their feet at night...keeps them warm and helps against frostbite. Once you have them in and settled, close their pophole so they have to stay in the coop at night. Then open the coop in the a.m.
Yes!! Drafts are a chickens worst enemy (not the cold!) You should most probably wrap your run with plastic sheeting, at least on the windward side so they have somewhere to get out of the winds.
I personally don't believe in putting artificial light (OR heat) in the coop just to snag an extra egg or two during the winter months. This is the time of year when their systems slow down naturally and I think they deserve a rest. As for heat in a coop, take a look at this:
Twelve chicks and 8 hens were lost in that fire...not worth it for me anyways. Here's a few pics of my setup to maybe give you a few ideas for your own:
I wrapped my run with 6-mil (nothing less, too flimsy) plastic greenhouse sheeting and tacked them to the uprights with lathe strips.
As for stopping drafts inside the coop you'll have to locate where actual 'breezes' are entering and plug 'em up. But remember! Moisture and humidity are terrible for your girls in the coop. Chickens can survive down to -20 or so...they produce enough heat/energy of their own...cold doesn't get them....humidity/moisture does. Make sure you have ventilation port(s) so that there is air flow but no drafts.
Just got the last open places of the "run" buttoned up w/plastic (there's plenty of ventilation) and i don't think they'll be getting any drafts on the roost but is it ok to leave the one "door" open? They both open solely into the run which is covered now and i have a board (that lets air around it, it's not sealed) over the door next to their roost
@iwiw60 I am in the Portland area. We are a lot milder over here. We tried painters plastic a few weeks ago and it was much too flimsy. I will look for greenhouse plastic. Our coop was a hand me down (free is great for me) but it is old and rickety. I believe it is drafty all over. I'll go take a picture and post it. I'd love suggestions.
Here's our coop. I'd love recommendations.
My "coop" is a fully insulated enormous igloo dog house that will be lined with triple-thick straw and hay. I only have a small flock so they're pretty content nestling together in there. I'm also in PNW (pierce county) so I doubt they'll need much more than that to be cozy.
Ooh a dog house. That's a great idea @Serenderpity!!
Hmmmmm...can you post a pic of the run (and how it's attached to the coop...can't see that), and also inside the coop???
Here is the run. It's attached with chicken wire.
Here is inside the coop.