question on keeping chickens warm in winter.

Discussion in 'Coop & Run - Design, Construction, & Maintenance' started by Teresaann24, Aug 20, 2008.

  1. Teresaann24

    Teresaann24 Chillin' With My Peeps

    Jul 29, 2008
    Eastern, Kentucky
    I have no way of running heating lamps to my chickens coops/cages. Other then making a very well draft free area to skap to on cold days/nights is that enough for them?

    This is what I plan. I have a rabbit coop iv turned into a chicken coop Iv lined it with thick plastic i got from a home building place. They will be lots of hay for them to cuddle into inside the coop. everything closed off but a small door for them to come in and out of.

    Also for another set of silkies a hen and roo and by the time winter kicks in chicks at ages about 6-7 weeks old a Big pet taxi fixed for draft free filled with hay and hay also in the pen area.

    Would everyone be ok through cold days and nights in winter in kentucky? Last year winter wasn't so bad but that could change we have had ice storms before. What does everyone think?
  2. ChickenToes

    ChickenToes Chillin' With My Peeps

    May 14, 2008
    NE Wisconsin
    Adult chickens can withstand the cold, it's the drafts you have to be careful with. They should be fine without heat lamps, their bodies throw off quite a bit of heat. Use hay or straw bales for extra insulation.

    The chicks that would be 6 or 7 weeks old when winter hits should be fine, just keep an eye on them.

    Sounds like you have a good plan all figured out! [​IMG]
  3. patandchickens

    patandchickens Flock Mistress

    Apr 20, 2007
    Ontario, Canada
    Problem: you still need ventilation in winter, ESPECIALLY for a very very small coop such as a rabbit hutch conversion. If you close everything off except for the pophole door, it will get extremely smelly and *humid* in there, which tends to lead to respiratory infections and/or frostbite. Realio trulio. You need some cross-ventilation, and it needs not to be located right where the chickens are roosting.

    If you live somewhere iwth mild winters, you will be basically ok with the rabbit hutch just put some more ventilation in it. However if you live somewhere with Serious Winters you may want to rethink your plan and maybe construct alternative winter quarters.

    You certainly don't need anything like a heatlamp, so that's ok -- HOWEVER remember that unless you live somewhere that temperatures don't get below the 20s or so, you will need to keep your water liquid, which may semi-require an electrically powered waterer or waterer base. Some people run extension cords. The alternative is to haul water out there several times a day (DO NOT use warm water, it makes the coop too humid) in which case you will need to buy extra waterers so that 1 can be thawing while another is in use, and you need to be absolutely RELIGIOUSLY dedicated to replacing frozen water quickly (no 'oh I'm busy this afternoon')

    Good luck,

  4. Teresaann24

    Teresaann24 Chillin' With My Peeps

    Jul 29, 2008
    Eastern, Kentucky
    Quote:Thanks for the info thats somthing i was worried about was vinulation and water. So thats things ill be looking up on and fixing that. winter wasnt so bad last year but who knows this year. In Ky we hardly ever have seen 20% temps we stay close to the 40-30s hardly see 30's so I am hoping everything will be ok! The door on the rabbit coop will be compleltly open.
  5. Opa

    Opa Opa-wan Chickenobi

    May 11, 2008
    Howell Michigan
    You shouldn't have any problem with temperature in Kentucky. On days that it gets below 32 you can take water to them a couple of time a day.
    Last edited: Aug 21, 2008
  6. Ky Chicken Fan

    Ky Chicken Fan Chillin' With My Peeps

    Aug 2, 2008
    Northern Kentucky
    We are in Kentucky too, and for what its worth, much of the winter our chickens water does freeze. Last winter I finally got heated waterers and/or heated water bowls for each pen and ran extension cord down to the barn and out to each pen so that they would have water all day. Being at work all day you can't run water out every time it freezes.

    Also, after I lost 2 silkies in an ice storm while I was at work, the silkie pen has plastic over the roof and down the side with the most access to weather to keep it drier. They have a building, but were apparently unable to get there before they were saturated with the ice. Just something to be aware of, I would never have dreamed such a thing would happen. [​IMG]

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