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REALLY cold weather

Discussion in 'Feeding & Watering Your Flock' started by Kathie816, Jan 3, 2014.

  1. keesha63

    keesha63 Out Of The Brooder

    I am looking forward to the warmer weather as well. Our coop we actually had bought from a shed seller. He said he had just started making coops. Now that we've had it for the winter we definitely see where improvements could be made. The main door into the coop area has a door that overlaps the inside, so when there is snow it catches the snow and pushes it up against the bottom so the door won't close unless you get all the snow off the overlap :( There was no vents put in except a large one directly behind the roosts. Great in the summer, but not useable in the winter. We wrapped plastic around the attached run so we don't get drafts. I am able to at least leave that their pop door open for some ventilation. It wasn't insulated so we insulated it which I am sure helps a lot. We added a 10x10 dog pen to the outside of the attached run. They will go out there as long as it is shovelled. We added an additional 10x10 and 10x20 pen at the end of the summer. But those ones are currently full of 4 feet of snow :) The poop hammock has been fabulous! Cleaning the coop takes minutes :)

    Here's a better picture of what the coop looks like without the snow.


  2. Naturegirl44

    Naturegirl44 Chillin' With My Peeps

    Jun 11, 2013
    Powassan, Ontario
    it looks wonderful!! I wish we had one that you can actually stand up in! lol at our age, the crouching to get to the back of the coop can be ....a pain. I like you coop because you can walk right into it.

    We are still learning as well and as the years go by I am sure our chickens will get more and more comfortable accommodations lol

    Looks like we are all getting a big melt!! I am back down south for work but I will be going back up north on weekends until next holiday in Feb. Sadly I have to commute for another 4-5 years :( but my man gets the honour of living with the chickens full time. I am envious!! lol
  3. BatonRougeChick

    BatonRougeChick Chillin' With My Peeps

    May 13, 2013
    Denham Springs, LA
    My Coop
    It looks similar to mine but larger. I can stand up in mine too.

  4. Bocrates

    Bocrates Out Of The Brooder

    Nov 5, 2013
    9,000ft, CO
    My Coop
    I've often thought wind chill was an irrelevant measure of temperature when it comes to chicken husbandry as well. If you are concerned anout wind chill then you are failing your chickens. Chickens should always have an option to go into a wind free zone, and it doesn't take much work to give them that. We were at 12F last weekend, which is normal for our gals this time of year. However we had winds that hit 109mph near our place by Kenosha Pass (http://www.corymottice.com/2014/01/11/peak-wind-gusts-from-january-10-15-2014/). So that is a wind chill of -22F, but we have our coop and part of our run wind proofed, so our hens played around like it was another 12F day. Much more lively than on a -22F air temp day. A wind free coop and the right breeds can go well into the negatives without issue. The effect of the wind is totally controllable.
    Last edited: Jan 17, 2014
    1 person likes this.
  5. BatonRougeChick

    BatonRougeChick Chillin' With My Peeps

    May 13, 2013
    Denham Springs, LA
    My Coop
    Mine have done fine in the heat but my rooster's combs all have frost bitten tips :(.
  6. RedMeadowFarm

    RedMeadowFarm New Egg

    Jan 22, 2014
    I live in North Minnesota with -35 temps. I have a one gallon plastic watering container that I used to modify this option.

    I took a 15" container and used silicon to attach a spare water base in it before adding the concrete and heater. The result was a heated base with an indentation for the water containers. I had been using a light bulb in a cinder block before. This new method works much better. Also wrapped the gallon water container in insulation bubble wrap.

    Good luck.

    link removed by staff
    Last edited by a moderator: Jan 23, 2014
  7. harveyhorses

    harveyhorses Chillin' With My Peeps

    Jan 16, 2010

    Yep, wind breaks are not used when summers have 100 degree days with 98% humidity. I kept repeating that as I attached tarps and anything else I could to block it. I use shade cloth in summer and love it, keeps sun out, lets breeze in.
    Mine are doing O.K. So far, but in Va I am not really set up for the long term cold we are having. water is my biggest problem, i have an insulated one that does o.k. To low 20s, since that is the forecast high for most of next week, should I get the heated dog waterer or chicken?
  8. BatonRougeChick

    BatonRougeChick Chillin' With My Peeps

    May 13, 2013
    Denham Springs, LA
    My Coop
    We are getting snow tomorrow, which is very rare for us! And it will be back in the 70s by the weekend :/. My coop is getting a strong cold north wind, so I just bought a long roll of 6 mil plastic sheeting at Home Depot and wrapped it around the coop. Now it's nice and cozy in there with no wind! I feel like I have them in prison all closed in. And I am worried about venting it, but I didn't want to let any drafts in. It's certainly not air tight, and there are little pockets where air can get in and out under the tin overhang. So I think they're good.

    Last edited: Jan 27, 2014
  9. dandkadams

    dandkadams Out Of The Brooder

    Jan 10, 2011
    laurentian hills
    Sorry to revive and old thread,
    This is my 1st coop and we're living in a new area (Deep River, ON) I'm about to build our coop next weekend and am desperately trying to get all the info I can, we have weather swings from -35C to +35C, and we had 5' of snow in the yard.

    I have decided to build an un heated, but insulated, walk in style shed coop, with attached run.
    I'm still a little lost on venting, and would love any tips from anyone with similar weather.
    Thanks :D
  10. Realtree4

    Realtree4 Chillin' With My Peeps

    Mar 18, 2014

    "Basically" you want it so that air can flow through the coop, but not creating a draft. We have open areas along the roof of our coop that are just covered in hardware cloth (way above where they roost). Those particular areas do not get covered up in the winter to allow for the exchange of air. Believe it or not, chickens can handle very cold weather....it's not the cold that will hurt them it's the moisture you need to worry about. And since chickens create a lot of moisture just with their breathe alone, that's where the ventilation comes into play. That way the moist air flows out.

    This past winter we had -40 wind chills and our coop is not heated and not insulated. They were fine...they huddle up together and stay warm. I just watch for frostbite on their combs....I learned the hard way to apply Vaseline on their combs when I know it's going to be that cold again. Other than a very slight case of frostbite (lesson learned!) they did perfectly fine :)

    Oh, I would also throw a handful of cracked corn down before bedtime and in the mornings if it was still supper cold. It gets their metabolism going and that helps them keep warm :)

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