Preparing Your Flock & Coop for WINTER

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

  1. starkist72

    starkist72 Out Of The Brooder

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    Apr 10, 2014
    wow, there's a lot of info on this thread. i learned some new things, like my roost is too close to the wall!

    i was planning on using hay to line the 2 short mesh walls of the run area underneath my coop (the run is built against my garage). i was thinking that this would work like insulating the coop's "basement" while giving them a sheltered area outside, and would compost when i was done with it. but i'm reading people are concerned about using hay? i'd rather not do plastic if i can help it, but should i skip the hay?

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    Last edited: Nov 14, 2014
  2. jtn42248

    jtn42248 Overrun With Chickens

    I don't understand why people are concerned about hay. I use hay in my nest boxes, mixed with shavings for bedding and have it stacked on the drafty side of my duck pen for insulation/storage. Unless there concern is with its flamability if you use heated waters or some such. I have had no problem with hay.
     
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  3. Hooperdooper

    Hooperdooper Out Of The Brooder

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    Jun 28, 2014
    Tolland , CT

    I struggle with what to do with pur 2 ducks. The Indian runner gets cold easier than the pekin and since we let them sleep in our basement, I'm thinking that I shouldn't let them out in the pen once temps get to be in the upper 20's/ lower 30's as a high. The basement is around 62 degrees and I think the shock of going from that to teens in the morning won't be a good idea.
     
  4. starkist72

    starkist72 Out Of The Brooder

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    I thought it was a great idea, but I'm new to this so I'm double checking everything :) Correct me if I'm wrong, but I think people are concerned about lice, mites and mold and respiratory issues. Since I'm using it outside under the coop I should be ok, right?
     
  5. jtn42248

    jtn42248 Overrun With Chickens

    Yes. That is right. The issue with "vermin" like lice, mites, mice, etc. is really not associated with the use of hay or straw as much as it is with not maintaining your coop and run in a safe and sanitary manner. From the looks of the pictures you posted this is not going to be an issue for you. As for the mold risk. It does exist but, if you "fluff" any loose hay that you may use for bedding, clean out an replace any wet or exceedingly damp hay, and watch for and remove anything that looks moldy you should not have a problem.

    I "fluff" my bedding every a.m. This is in part to give it a chance to air out and dry but also, in my case, to find any "hidden" eggs since my girls like to think that they can pull a fast one on my by hiding eggs for nesting instead of using the nest boxes. In addition, I replace all my hay bedding on a monthly basis (not religiously, sometimes it is a month and a half) because I don't want my girls sleeping in a dirty bed any more than I would. They may only be chickens but they are my chickens. I got into this habit because I also have ducks that are a lot messier than chickens and I just extended their cleaning chores to the chickens as well. Also, hay mold is a lot riskier for waterfowl than it is for chickens.

    Sounds like you are moving in the right direction with good intentions.
     
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  6. jtn42248

    jtn42248 Overrun With Chickens

    Also, see if you can get Sweet PDZ. I get it at Tractor Supply. It is a little expensive (about 20 bucks a bag) but a little goes a long way. It is intended to control amonia in horse stalls but also works great in controlling amonia and odor in chicken coops. Just dust a little down on the floor before you put in the hay and you will be amazed at the result. And it is safe for chickens. The way it works is that it binds with the amonia and essentially gets rid of it.
     
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  7. starkist72

    starkist72 Out Of The Brooder

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    Apr 10, 2014
    Thanks for the help!
     
  8. Roxannemc

    Roxannemc Chillin' With My Peeps

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    Was thinking this morning about ideas to weatherproof my 10 tractor coops.I've tried inside insulation other years like cardboard and Styrofoam but they pick at it.Make a huge mess
    Found outside insulating for me is the best.last year and this I used straw batts on roof and sides..with plastic tarps or stApled together feed bags to cover the straw.works great.
    Thought today of bubble wrap.Little more expensive but a super insulator and waterproof.worth a try.
     
  9. Roxannemc

    Roxannemc Chillin' With My Peeps

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    Hooper...I m in Missouri and have chickens who spent all last winter in a cedar tree. Some nights got 10 below and plenty of snow
    I thought they'd surely die but no walking around in the am. didn't loose one nor were they harmed with frost bite so I'm very convinced even a slightly drafty coop won't harm them.
     
  10. Hooperdooper

    Hooperdooper Out Of The Brooder

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    Jun 28, 2014
    Tolland , CT
    I used Styrofoam but then put a piece of plywood over it to keep them from pecking at it.
     

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