protection from winter weather??

Discussion in 'Coop & Run - Design, Construction, & Maintenance' started by Dixiedoodle, Jan 26, 2010.

  1. Dixiedoodle

    Dixiedoodle Chillin' With My Peeps

    Apr 14, 2007
    I have a stray chicken that is being isolated in a small 2x4ft 'coop' with a 4x4ft attached 'run'. The entire thing sits off the ground 4' from the bottom of the cage to the ground. The 'coop' area is made of 3/4"plywood and the run area is welded wire covered with 1/2" hardware cloth to prevent 'pull-thru'...and has metal roofing.. Of course, I am really worried, [​IMG] in a few days they are calling for single digits, snow or ice/sleet. I am worried about the safety of this pullet. She seems very healthy but she is alone--no extra body heat!

    What is the best thing to do to keep her as warm as possible. The 'coop' (for lack of a better word) is waterproof--we had a 2.5" of down pours for two days and it's completely dry.. but even tho the 'run' had the same metal roofing the floor of the run was wet.. I have about 5" of pine-shavings for her to snuggle in and she seems to love it.

    Should I put sheet insulation up around the coop. Wrap it in plastic? I REALLY do NOT want to use a heat lamp but I have one IF that's the only thing to do.... thank you Dixie
    Last edited: Jan 26, 2010
  2. Mahonri

    Mahonri Urban Desert Chicken Enthusiast Premium Member

    May 14, 2008
    North Phoenix
    My Coop
    Red heat lamp if you can do it safely.
  3. chookchick

    chookchick Chillin' With My Peeps

    Aug 18, 2008
    Olympia WA
    That is exactly the size of my quarantine coop so I know how small that is! You could do what I did last year--wrap the outside with insulation bats, and tarp over them to keep them dry. But--be sure she still has plenty of ventilation! I would put a thermometer in there to see what the temperature really is. You could also fill plastic bottles with hot water, cap them, and set them in with her. IF you really feel like you need more--use a really low wattage bulb, like a 50 watt black reptile bulb, and be sure to put a thermometer in there so you know what the temp. really is. It is really easy to overheat such a small space.
  4. Dixiedoodle

    Dixiedoodle Chillin' With My Peeps

    Apr 14, 2007
    Thank you for your answers.. I have insulation and tarps on hand --so I'll do those and then look for the heat lamps...Thanks again...Dixie
  5. JMPE

    JMPE Chillin' With My Peeps

    Aug 1, 2009
    Western Wisconsin
    Some BYCers have shared filling a bucket with hot water (with lid) and placing that in the coop overnight. A little rediator for their birds.
  6. LynneP

    LynneP Chillin' With My Peeps

    Yep and in all of this be sure enough air is circulating. So many owners have had wild cold spells this year- it's a challenge.

    Some thoughts in the winter link below...[​IMG]

    If you have some of those gallon jugs with the screw-top they will provide some warmth, but remember that by morning the heat will have faded. Straw bales around a coop work well though you have had so much rain....I'm sure your birds will be fine but I hear you, it just isn't normal!
  7. Airilith

    Airilith Chillin' With My Peeps

    Sep 28, 2009
    Eastern Shore, VA
    Instead of a heat lamp (which made me too nervous) I used a UTH (under tank heater ... it's a lizard heat pad). I put a piece of tile on either side of it and duct taped them together (just so the shavings couldn't touch it, in case it shorted or something). It didn't heat the whole coop by any means, but it gave my birds a warm nest box that they could go to if they got too cold. I found it raised the temp in the nest box but 10-20 degrees depending on how cold it was. Not alot but at least they could warm their undersides and toes. My birds hardly ever used it, but that's main because they had each other to snuggle with.

    I also used 2L coke bottles full of the hottest water I could get from the tap (usually right around 100-110 degrees) and one in the coop right before I went to bed.

    If you're terribly concerned though, you could always just bring your one pullet inside on the nights that it's supposed to be super cold.
  8. Dixiedoodle

    Dixiedoodle Chillin' With My Peeps

    Apr 14, 2007
    I am really afraid to put the heat lamp in such a tiny place... But was looking today, and was wondering IF it might work if I wrap the coop in a trap, then place the heat lamp on a metal chair UNDER the coop area, pointed up toward the bottom/floor of the coop, this way, no shavings or feathers could touch it or anything else! It's only a 2x4 foot space, that would need to be 'heated' . I thought it might raise the coop temp a few degrees...

    If you don't think that will work--How about if I hang the heat lamp just out side the coop door--on the outside of the run??? Would it keep the single digit temps
    at bay??? thank you all for suggestions and Ideas
  9. LynneP

    LynneP Chillin' With My Peeps

    I'm always concerned about fire- for one bird and in such a small place I think that insulation and some thermal mass, like in hot water bottles, should be enough...or as someone said, bring her inside...[​IMG]

    Is the tractor small enough to go into a garage, shed or lean-to?
    How are you managing?
  10. Dixiedoodle

    Dixiedoodle Chillin' With My Peeps

    Apr 14, 2007
    The coop is too heavy to move into the garage...DH isn't gonna be here and there's no way I can move it. I worry about bringing her in then returning her to the cold all at once. I am afraid of fire also... I have been very pleased that her water has not been frozen (inside the coop area) at night --we have been down to 26 last night and the water didn't have any ice in it.. So I might take the hot water bottles out there and try it. I purchased an indoor/outdoor themometer to go in there to see the different!

    Oh, the things we do for these little fluffy butts!!!!!!

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