The Garden Coop in Massachusetts

Discussion in 'Coop & Run - Design, Construction, & Maintenance' started by ippolitima, Sep 12, 2010.

  1. ippolitima

    ippolitima Out Of The Brooder

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    Sep 12, 2010
    Hi everyone. I am new to keeping chickens and am being very optimistic about my building skills and planning to build The Garden Coop. The coop itself has a mesh roof and then there is a raised plexiglass roof to keep rain out. I understand the need for ventilation but I'm wondering if this will keep the (three) chickens warm enough during winter in Massachusetts.

    Thanks!
    Michele
     
    Last edited: Sep 12, 2010
  2. ondreeuh

    ondreeuh Out Of The Brooder

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    Jun 9, 2010
    The plans for the coop say that in very cold weather you can cover up some (not all!) of the wire roof with something (plywood would probably work great) to keep all the heat from escaping. If your chickens are cold-hardy they will do pretty well even in freezing temps as long as there aren't drafts (so close that pop door at night). Remember that chickens release a lot of moisture in the air and moist cold air is more dangerous than dry cold air (both for spreading illness and causing frostbite), so you really want to make sure there is still plenty of ventilation.

    Some people wrap their coop in tarps in winter to limit the amount of snow that blows in and to make a windbreak. I'd do that in MA.
     
  3. ippolitima

    ippolitima Out Of The Brooder

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    Sep 12, 2010
    Thanks for the response! Our chicks are 4 weeks old and growing so fast. I feel bad keeping them in the basement in a plastic box. (I've been taking them outside (supervised) during the day here and there.)

    The nights here are getting cool. What are some good guidelines for when I can put them outside in their new home?

    Thanks!!
    Michele
     
  4. chicky_mommy

    chicky_mommy Chillin' With My Peeps

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    Sep 10, 2010
    Northeast Corner of CT
    I am from CT and have been raising chickens in RI and CT for 13years now.

    When we had small numbers (1-5birds) we didn't put them out full time until they were fully feathered, aka we only put them out durring the day.

    When we had large numbers(6-15birds) we started putting them out full time at 6-7weeks.

    The one time I can remember us having more than 15 we had 35babies and we put them out full time from the begining and just had a board that we used to keep them in the nest boxs at night for the first 6weeks then put a light bulb in the main coop until they were fully feathered, but that was also summer time so I don't know that I'd try that this time a year.
     
  5. ippolitima

    ippolitima Out Of The Brooder

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    Sep 12, 2010
    Ok so probably a dumb question but when is fully feathered?
     
  6. ChickensAreSweet

    ChickensAreSweet Heavenly Grains for Hens

    They are fully feathered usually by around 6-8 weeks. The feathers on the head come in last. When the chicken is covered in feathers, it can regulate its temperature.
     
    Last edited: Sep 26, 2010

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