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temperature requirments & nipples

Discussion in 'Coop & Run - Design, Construction, & Maintenance' started by NNYLeghorns, May 30, 2010.

  1. NNYLeghorns

    NNYLeghorns Hatching

    May 30, 2010
    Norther New York
    Hello to all,

    This is my first time posting but been researching on here for days. This site is AWESOME!

    I live in Northern New York State, temperature gets to -30F, and was wondering if insulation would be sufficient enough warmth and a single heat lamp 60"x43"x48". Can I do without heat lamp? At what temperature can they not go outside because of the cold?

    Also, about the nipples if you were all wondering, where can I find the nipples to use in construction of homemade water bucket?

    Thanks for all the help in advance
    Last edited: May 30, 2010
  2. ADozenGirlz

    ADozenGirlz The Chicken Chick[IMG]emojione/assets/png/00ae.png

    Oct 18, 2009
    Quote:I live in Connecticut and temps don't get much below the teens very often here and we use a 250 watt, red heat lamp in our coop in the winter. I think it is important that you get cold hardy birds for your location. There are varying opinions on whether you can do without a heat lamp even with cold hardy birds, but at thirty below, I would use one.

    As for nipple waterers, I bought mine at FarmTek, here's the link: img/smilies/welcome-byc.gif" alt="welcome-byc" />">http://www.farmtek.com/farm/supplies/ProductDisplay?catalogId=10052&storeId=10001&langId=-1&division=FarmTek&productId=17664

    I assure you, you WILL spend many, many more days researching on this site! Welcome!
  3. funfeatheredfeet

    funfeatheredfeet In the Brooder

    Apr 30, 2010
    The Beautiful Ozarks
    Hi! I bought 12 nipples from QC Supply (google the site online). It was the best price I found and cost me $20.00 included priority shipping. Great business, fast delivery! My chickens took to them in just a few days. Good luck!
  4. patandchickens

    patandchickens Flock Mistress

    Apr 20, 2007
    Ontario, Canada
    If you are contemplating a heatlamp -- or if you *aren't*, but will get down to -30 F outdoors -- I would definitely suggest insulating. With a heatlamp, it will save you $$, and without a heatlamp it may make the difference between live/happy/healthy chickens and not-so-much-so. Don't forget to insulate the ceiling as well... but also don't forget to leave plenty of winter-usable ventilation, as you will need vents open EVEN IN THE COLD, really truly. (See my ventilation and cold coop pages, links in .sig below)

    I'm not saying you couldn't get chickens to survive without insulation, but it would be SO worthwhile that I don't see much point in skipping it.

    Most people open the popdoor for at least part of the day no matter how cold it is. The chickens can decide whether to go out or not. The more 'winterized' your run is, with windbreaks and such, the likelier they are to go out.

    You know you won't be able to use nipple waterers in wintertime, right? You will either need to carry out buckets of liquid water several times a day, or run a heated waterer or heated waterer base for a conventional vaccuum waterer. Do you really WANT to be investing in TWO entire separate watering systems, one for winter and one for summer...? [​IMG]

    Good luck, have fun,

  5. CityChook

    CityChook Songster

    Apr 9, 2008
    Minneapolis, MN
    My Coop
    [​IMG] from MN

    If you go to the blue bar above and find "search," you can do key word searches for TONS of cold weather information.

    We will get temps into the -25F range. And in MN, once it gets cold, it tends to stay cold for a long time.

    Insulation and heat are highly subjective. There are folks here in MN who don't have either. But if you have the option, I'd recommend using both.

    The more chickens you have, the more body heat they will generate. However, while logic says that you should pack as many chickens into your square footage as you can in order to keep them warm, the opposite is actually true. In the winter they won't want to go outside much (mine HATE snow which is a bummer since it's on the ground for 5-7 months a year) and if they are crowded inside they will start picking on each other. So build a little bigger if you can. 4 sq/ft each inside is a MINIMUM and I recommend going twice that.

    You are not going to be able to keep a nipple water system going except for summer. I hook up a heated dog water dish in October and disconnect it in April. Otherwise the water gets iced in about 10 minutes.

    Insulation is going to be your friend. With or without a heat source. Embrace it. And Pat's right, insulation in the ceiling is important, so don't skimp there. Keep your ventilation HIGH, away from your roost, and make it close-able for when a storm blows through or temps honestly do get down to -30F. I close up all vents once temps go below -15F, but keep them open for anything warmer. Venting that warm, moist air will be vital for avoiding frostbite problems. Cutting big holes in the top of your coop will feel illogical when your goal is to keep it warm inside, but you need to do it.

    I run two heat sources - one ceramic heat emitter (ebay or reptile section of petstores) for 24/7 warmth over their roost. When the temps dip below 0F, I turn on a red heat lamp as well. I try to keep the coop around 10F, but after temps drop below -15F it gets very hard to do. Choose cold-hardy breeds.

    Deep litter will be your best insulation for the floor. I use about 9 inches of pine shavings in the winter. Make sure you cut your doors higher up on the walls, not at floor level if you want to do deep litter.

    Spend some time searching the coop forum. There is soooo much information available. And have fun.
  6. jmagill

    jmagill Songster

    Mar 9, 2009
    Western Wyoming
    Quote:I have a nipple waterer and have no problem with it during the winter. No heat or insulation in the coop. I just dropped an aquarium heater in the bucket and it worked like a charm. WY mountains at 6500 feet.
  7. CityChook

    CityChook Songster

    Apr 9, 2008
    Minneapolis, MN
    My Coop
    Good to know, jmagill. I have no experience with aquarium heaters, so thanks for that.
  8. NNYLeghorns

    NNYLeghorns Hatching

    May 30, 2010
    Norther New York
    Thanks for all the info you guys. I think i will try the nipples anyway and also the aquarium heater(which I already have). Will be insulating everything and putting in vents that can be shut in the deep cold.

    Thanks again all.

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