So winters comming

Discussion in 'Coop & Run - Design, Construction, & Maintenance' started by rancher hicks, Sep 2, 2009.

  1. rancher hicks

    rancher hicks Chicken Obsessed

    17,582
    745
    416
    Feb 28, 2009
    Syracuse, NY
    I have 29 chickens and I need how big a coop? I'm in NY so I don't know how this will work out. Anyone in the cold areas want to give me some advice on dealing with winter?
     
  2. honeybeez1994

    honeybeez1994 New Egg

    7
    0
    7
    Aug 20, 2009
    the chickens should be fine i would just throw in some hay/ straw to get the birds off the cold coop floor.
     
  3. honeybeez1994

    honeybeez1994 New Egg

    7
    0
    7
    Aug 20, 2009
    the coop floor should be 116 s ft and the run should be 290sq ft and you would need around 8-10 nest boxes.. look at my page and look at the coop that i have been building... good luck
     
  4. LynneP

    LynneP Chillin' With My Peeps

  5. patandchickens

    patandchickens Flock Mistress

    12,521
    85
    341
    Apr 20, 2007
    Ontario, Canada
    Quote:As big a coop as you can manage. I would absolutely not suggest anything less than about 10x12 (plus a reasonably sheltered run or other area to go outside)... and personally I don't feel good about keeping my chickens in less than about three-four times that space, *plus* run.

    Realistically, with that number of chickens, the controlling factor is not going to be "what's best for the chickens" but "what can you provide" and then just hope it works out ok. The thing to remember is that cannibalism cannot always be stopped, short of making soup out of the whole flock, once it has started -- and the less space they have, the more chance it will start.

    Beyond that, as long as they have plenty of bedding, GOOD VENTILATION (yes, even in wintertime -- humid air is really more of a problem for frostbite than simple cold is), and plenty of liquid water and good food, they will be fine. Unless you have a very non cold hardy breed, or poor coop management, they should not need a heat lamp, although it can't hurt to have electricity available just in case (and electricity is sure handy for running a waterer heater to keep things from freezing up...)

    Good luck, have fun,

    Pat
     
  6. rancher hicks

    rancher hicks Chicken Obsessed

    17,582
    745
    416
    Feb 28, 2009
    Syracuse, NY
    How can i tell when to let/or not them out in the cold weather? Do I just open the pop hole and let them decide?
    Should I keep a thermometer/hygrometer in the coop. I intend to do this, but would it be benefitial, or am I wasting my time?
    Is cannibalism really something to worry about?
     
  7. patandchickens

    patandchickens Flock Mistress

    12,521
    85
    341
    Apr 20, 2007
    Ontario, Canada
    Quote:That's what most people do.

    Should I keep a thermometer/hygrometer in the coop. I intend to do this, but would it be benefitial, or am I wasting my time?

    I don't personally see the need for a hygrometer (and most of the ones on the market are reaaaal inaccurate anyhow) but a max-min thermometer is exceedingly helpful. It lets you find out how cold it got inside the coop last night without having to actually schlep out there at 6 a.m. to look - and developing a feel for how indoor temps relate to outdoor temps is quite useful, for getting good at managing ventilation etc.

    Is cannibalism really something to worry about?

    Lordy, yes. Chickens are cute, and fluffy, and social, and all that - but absolutely 100% without anything resembling human morals, so they are also hungry vicious little dinosaur descendants. They peck at blood. They frequently do not stop pecking at it til the recipient is dead, at least not if you do not catch them in time and intervene. And once they learn that blood and flesh are tasty and pecking at each other is an interesting diversion, you cannot always break them of the habit just by removing the conditions that started it.

    Problems can develop even without crowding -- a classic, and not uncommon, scenario is that a hen has a partial prolapse while laying and the other hens start pecking at the bloody tissue, and sometimes it doesn't take real long for it to become lethal or unrepairable. (Get in the habit of looking at hens' backsides each time you enter the coop, once they start laying, so that you will *notice* signs of a prolapse as soon as possible and be able to isolate the affected hen til she heals)

    But the more crowded/stressed/bored chickens are, the more likely for them to start pecking at each other, and as soon as someone draws blood, all bets are off and it'd be real good if you noticed sooner rather than later.

    I think chickens are wonderful, but they are very unChristian at times [​IMG]

    Pat​
     
  8. rancher hicks

    rancher hicks Chicken Obsessed

    17,582
    745
    416
    Feb 28, 2009
    Syracuse, NY
    just how common is this?
     
  9. patandchickens

    patandchickens Flock Mistress

    12,521
    85
    341
    Apr 20, 2007
    Ontario, Canada
    Depending on what 'this' refers to, I'd say somewhere between nearly-ubiquitous (in the sense that if you keep chickens, you can expect that at some point you WILL have to intervene in some way to remove a bloodied chicken so things do not progress further) to not-uncommon (if you're talking about things actually progressing to death -- in most well-kept flocks with a good amount of space available, the usual scenario for chickens killing another chicken is what I described above where a hen has a partial prolapse, which is not at all uncommon, and gets pecked to death before you know it).

    YOu can generally step in in time, and head things off from getting worse, assuming you are paying attention; but it is a regular normal part of chicken behavior and the more crowded/stressed they are, the more often and severely it is apt to arise.

    Pat
     
  10. vermontgal

    vermontgal Chillin' With My Peeps

BackYard Chickens is proudly sponsored by