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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    Jan 27, 2014
    Central Oregon
    Your run is absolutely adorable!!! I like it! Now for the coop....that pophole of sorts on the right side...I take it that is no longer used, correct? If my guess is right, then I'd wall that off completely...too much draft can flow through there. The roost bar in the back on that photo...I don't know what breed girls you have but you might move it just slightly forward from that back wall...looks a little 'close'. Can you tell me what that large dowel-type rod is in the forefront? If it was/is a roost bar...get rid of it. It's directly over your nesting boxes...yikes!
     
  2. iwiw60

    iwiw60 Overrun With Chickens

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    Your chicken run is absolutely adorable and well built, too! I love it! Now for the coop. I see that 'slatted' pophole thing on the right in the pic. If that's not being used I would recommend walling it off completely...too much drafty air will blow through there. That roost bar in the back against the wall? I don't know what breed girls you have, but I think you should move it forward a bit from that back wall...too close quarters. Now for that large round dowel-type rod in the forefront? If that is/was a roost bar, remove it....it's directly over your nesting boxes.
     
  3. Erin277

    Erin277 Out Of The Brooder

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    Thanks for the compliment. We made our coop over 4th of July and just kinda winged it.

    Yes, the other pop hole is open to nothing. We've used it for cleaning out since we can't reach the other side (up against the fence)
    The flat bar is our roosting stick, but I don't think they use it. It's 8" from the wall. The round dowel is actually right in the middle of the coop. It came to us that way. I'm not sure if it's used for stability.
    We added two boards as a makeshift roof that goes half way down but they still get wet. Should we cover the rest for winter? And wrap the run with plastic?
    Ooh I just went out to measure and found one of the girls is sleeping in the coop. Here's the other two underneath.
    [​IMG]
     
  4. mtchickengal

    mtchickengal Out Of The Brooder

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    Hi, Fellow chicken lovers! I was home at lunch shoveling snow from my sidewalk & on some of the grass so there was snow-free-ish areas for them to scratch in the grass. I have never posted pics on here.....but here goes! ....ok, just kidding. I guess I am getting older and more technologically challenged!!!! will have to figure out how to get pics form my Ipad to my laptop, and/or onto here...
     
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  5. mtchickengal

    mtchickengal Out Of The Brooder

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    [​IMG]
    No sure how these will look, but here are several pics of my coop & run area today.
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  6. GigiAndClaire

    GigiAndClaire Out Of The Brooder

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    I live in middle tennessee and have 6 Bantys and 5 Red Pullets? they are big anyways! lol as you can see I am new to the chicken world. They are all about 7 months old. Saw the idea of the heated dog bowls and was wondering if the chickens bothered the wire for it or how you place it in with them? I presently hang a metal waterer now. Also I have my chickens in a stall in my barn it has solid walls about 7 ft tall and bars on the top of the fronts, if that makes sense?! I lined the whole stall with chicken wire to keep out unwanted critters but wasn't sure if I should close in any of it with plastic to cut down on drafts? Both ends of my barn are open (no doors) and it runs east and west so the breeze usually runs thru it :( they are in the second stall from the east end , about 10 ft from the opening. The stalls are 10x10 and I have shavings on the ground right now, should I change that? They like to roost all over the hay manger and bucket holder which are both metal and I saw earlier that they could get frost bite. Should I be concerned about that for mine in this situation? Sorry this is so long but I really have no clue on birds, other farm animals, yes but not birds.
    Thanks for any advise! :)
     
  7. jtn42248

    jtn42248 Overrun With Chickens

    Do your chickens roost high enough that they will have wind blowing on them directly? If so, then yes you should close off the area that the wind blows through and leave an open area at the top to ventilate their stall. It is not the temp so much that is harmful as it is the wind. If they are in a direct draft it speeds up the loss of their body heat. Their feathers and their ability to self regulate body temps help them stay warm in anything except the most severe cold. So long as it does not get much below 20 or 30 degrees they should be able to huddle together on their roost an stay warm. The importance of ventilation is to help to remove moisture/humidity from their area. It is more the humidity that causes frostbite than it is the cold. I had chickens getting frostbite on their combs during the summer when the humidity here was pushing 80 and 90 percent in the evenings and the temps were in the 90's to 100's. My chickens pen/coop is uninsulated metal on concrete. They have 8-10 inches of bedding, wide solid roosts that they can sit down on their feet, plenty of ventilation and little if any drafts. Yesterday it was 38 outside in the a.m. and 55 inside their coop when I went out to let them out.

    It is important to add some supplemental feed that enhances their ability to generate body heat like cracked corn, oats, etc. and most important of all make sure they have liquid water to drink. If you use heat to keep their water liquid in freezing weather be very careful for fire hazards like cords they can peck at. Best of luck and keep warm.
     
  8. iwiw60

    iwiw60 Overrun With Chickens

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    Since that slatted pophole is only used for cleaning and winter's hitting shortly just cover those open areas with some scrap wood for now just to keep the winds from blowing through there.
    That round dowel was most likely the original roost bar and me personally? I'd remove it entirely. Why? Chickens are unlike parakeets/parrots...they do not like to 'curl' their feet around a round surface for roosting/sleeping at night. They prefer to 'lay' on their feet, which in turn will keep their legs/feet warmer during winter months...much more comfortable for them.Now for your roost bar on the far side. Yes, only 8" is not nearly far away enough for your girls. Move that (it looks like a 1" x 4" (?)) roost bar out from the wall so you have at least 12" of clearance from the wall. While you're at it you might as well raise it up in height, too. Your roost bar should be a minimum of 18" higher than your nest boxes...chickens like to get as high as they can to roost.

    As for your water problem in the run...YES...get that roof covered with a tarp of sorts to keep their area as dry as possible. And YES...wrap your run in plastic to keep the winds and blowing rain/snow out of there, too.

    Let us know how it's going...wishing you all the very best! [​IMG]
     
    Last edited: Nov 11, 2014
  9. SunnyCO

    SunnyCO Chillin' With My Peeps

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    Well, it seems winter is finally coming to Colorado! It was 60 degrees yesterday morning at 7:00am and it was 9:30am, yikes! Today it is 14 out and I'm not sure if I am suppose to lock the girls in the coop or leave the door open and let them decide if they are going out or staying in. Any suggestions?

    Cold here!
    Karen
     
  10. Mrs. K

    Mrs. K Chicken Obsessed

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    Let them decide, I never lock mine in.
     

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