Questions regarding Winter and my coop

Discussion in 'Coop & Run - Design, Construction, & Maintenance' started by Nicole5525, Nov 11, 2015.

  1. Nicole5525

    Nicole5525 New Egg

    Oct 6, 2015
    Drayton, Ontario
    Hi everyone, I am a new chicken owner and I'm in the process of building my coop. I have 4 silkie chickens and plan to add more next year. The coop that I am building is 8x8. We will be insulating the walls and the ceiling. I have 4 windows that are able to be opened, plus plan on drilling holes in the top corners for ventilation. My problem is that we have what I call "an ******* neighbour". This neighbour loves to make rude comments all the time. His favourite thing to do right now is tell me how my chickens are going to die in the winter. I have read about the pros and cons of using heat lamps, and I don't want to use them. We live in an area that is frequented by winter storms and the problems that come with it. I have told my husband that if we hook up heat in the coop and the power goes out the chickens wiil die. Our area could go without power for at most 3 days. So my question is do I need to run heat out there or should 4 chickens be fine in a coop that size that has been insulated? There will be no drafts and I will be keeping them inside all winter. I live in Southern Ontario. I have told my husband that the more chickens you have the more heat they generate. So should I be telling my husband that more chickens are needed before the snow hits? (Chicken fever has already hit lol). Any help is greatly appreciated! Thank you!
  2. Sseckel

    Sseckel Chillin' With My Peeps

    Oct 20, 2013
    Homestead, IA
    Silkies are not the most cold hardy of breeds so you are right to be concerned but I mostly think your neighbor is just delighting in being an ***. So things you can do are:

    -use deep litter method to generate some heat
    - add a drop ceiling to keep the heat lower and closer to your girls
    - straw mixed in your bedding is also a great insulator, not great for absorbancy though so I usually mix in some shavings with it as well.
    - make sure you have LOTs of ventilation, your girls don't really need to be warm so much as they need to stay dry. Cool dry air equals healthy livestock, warm damp air breeds disease.
    - and the funnest thing, fatten those girls up a little. Dont' make them obese or overweight but a little extra chub will help insulate them too. One those really cold mornings I like to give mine some warm meals too. Oatmeal and the like

    Good luck
  3. Rod-T

    Rod-T Chillin' With My Peeps

    Sep 23, 2015
    Deer park, Washington
    Chickens can handle the cold..your neighbor just wants to discourage you.. he's probably afraid that they'll wake him up early. .
  4. Hokum Coco

    Hokum Coco Overrun With Chickens

    Dec 6, 2012
    New Brunswick,Canada


    I am subject to -40ยบ weather l live in Canada think North Pole. I have 65 trips around the sun and have been keeping chickens and birds for decades.

    Your best practice I find is to not be too concerned about winterizing or heating your coop to help your birds combat the cold.

    Predator proofing "ABSOLUTELY".

    Your efforts should be spent in winterizing your birds and letting them acclimatize to their surroundings.
    This is done by feeding them whole corn if available or cracked corn as an added supplement in a separate feeder.

    The extra protein is more the adequate to bring them through the
    "COLDEST" winter.

    Do keep an eye open for birds that maybe not be adapting well to the new menu and may be at the lower end of the pecking order they can sometimes run into problems and may need extra TLC.

    That being said in a perfect world the flock will flourish and do just fine .

    I do not add any extra heat or lighting.
    Egg production does slack off but I have more than enough eggs for the table all winter long (24 hens).

    Some people may disagree with my method but it has worked well for me and I am not about to change.

    I look at it in the same light as winterizing your car.

    You really do


    have to winterize your car if you can keep it in a controlled environment at all times otherwise you are in for

    "MAJOR" problems.
    Last edited: Nov 11, 2015

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