straw in the coop?

Discussion in 'Coop & Run - Design, Construction, & Maintenance' started by RichtmanRanch, Jan 4, 2014.

  1. RichtmanRanch

    RichtmanRanch Chillin' With My Peeps

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    Dec 23, 2013
    Minnesota
    Hi All,

    Its about to get historically cold here in Minneapolis(-25 degress). BRR! Anyhow, I have 4 hens in a elevated 4x5 coop (part of run is under the coop. It is on the smaller side, but we try to let them out as much as we can when it gets in the mid 20's and higher.

    We have a heat lamp and wood shaving on the floor of the coop. on these cloder -12 degree nights the coop has been around 20 degrees. But I put a thick layer of straw down today to help with insulation. However they are eating it! They will need to be in for 3-4 days before it gets warm again. I know they are pecking at it cause it is new and fun, but do I need to worry about crop impactions? I have given them straw in the run to keep their feet of the cold ground, they seemed to eat it out there too. Just curious what others experiences with it have been. I may give them some oatmeal with extra water and a little olive oil to help lube em' up...
     
  2. mxmarg

    mxmarg Chillin' With My Peeps

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    Mar 9, 2012
    SCentral Sconny
    Hey there!

    I'm in Wisconsin with a -22 low for tomorrow and a real feel of -46. Sounds like we have a similar deal, my coop is a 4x4x4 space elevated over a run and part of a "chicken tractor" that holds 3 chickens.

    What wattage are you using in your heat lamp? We've never used one in there and I'm terrified of setting the thing on fire. But you've had luck with yours so what wattage are you using? THANK YOU!!!

    I've got piles of straw in there since the beginning of winter, on the platform underneath as well. What goofballs you have that are eating it! Offer grit is all I can think of!
     
  3. mxmarg

    mxmarg Chillin' With My Peeps

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    Mar 9, 2012
    SCentral Sconny
    Also, has your light been uncovered? In that 4x4 space, like yours, a light it will light everything up like daytime in there and I'm worried about it keeping them up all night because it would feel like daytime. Although that's preferable to 3 frozen chickens.
     
  4. RichtmanRanch

    RichtmanRanch Chillin' With My Peeps

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    Dec 23, 2013
    Minnesota
    sorry to say this, but it is nice to know someone else out there is worried and struggling with the cold along with me. We have a 100W ceramic heat bulb. It doesnt emit any light but we have a 40W bulb set to come on at 5am and go off at 8am. The heat bulb is in the brooder lamp safely secured to the celling. But I won't lie, there is not a day that goes by that I dont worry about a fire. Sound like we have a similar coop set up. I tried a red heat lamp in there tonight and they were more active and somewhat confused, so I took it out and put the ceramic bulb back in. I found it in the reptile aisle in pet smart. When we first put in the bulb back in November, I was checking on it frequently, but I have come to trust it.

    As a last resort, although my husband is not a fan of it, we may bring them in. It is not ideal, but preferable to frozen chickens.

    they seemed less interested in the straw after a few hours. Good luck with the cold, I'll be thinking about all the animals out there.
     
  5. mxmarg

    mxmarg Chillin' With My Peeps

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    Mar 9, 2012
    SCentral Sconny
    Good to know about the reptile light bulb! I might find myself venturing out for that tomorrow. I'm glad we found each other!

    Husband came in after we put the 40 watt bulb out there at about 5pm and said, "you're not going to like this, but the rooster is crowing." sigh. What are you going to do?
     
  6. jmysgrl08

    jmysgrl08 Out Of The Brooder

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    May 22, 2013
    Aylett, VA
    Call me crazy but I think if the little chickadees and finches can handle the cold (11 degrees last night) my big fluffy Chickens who have each other to snuggle with will be fine.
    Another thing to consider is if your chickens have become dependant on the heat in their coop and the heat goes out (for any number of reasons) you could loose your flock. Because of this we are letting nature do her job.
     
  7. RichtmanRanch

    RichtmanRanch Chillin' With My Peeps

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    Dec 23, 2013
    Minnesota
    well my girls survived the night, but we still have two very cold days ahead of us. :( But the worst of it has passed
     
  8. mxmarg

    mxmarg Chillin' With My Peeps

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    Mar 9, 2012
    SCentral Sconny
    All made it through over here too! After I wrote the last entry we went out and got a reptile heat bulb. It sort of shoots a beam of heat so anything directly underneath or close to it would be a few degrees warmer. The rest of the coop was the same temp as the outdoors. I was this close to putting them in a dog crate in our 20ish degree mud room but hugsband put his foot down.
     

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