Think it's too cold for your chickens? Think again...

wyododge

Chirping
8 Years
Sep 30, 2011
485
17
90
Wyoming
We have giants, astrolorps (sp), white and silver laced wyandots, white and partridge rocks, NH reds.

We actually started our selection process on the breeds page right here then went to the different sellers to see what they had. We ended up not with what we really wanted, but was available. We were looking for cold, medium to high producers, and what my wife thought looked cool. I wanted turkins, but was over ruled... they are so cool! Then we just kinda perused around the site did some searching, asked around, and basically we just had to get what was available.
 

Mrs MIA

Chick Magnet
11 Years
Mar 3, 2008
7,988
62
303
Quote:Turkens are amazing birds, and did really well in the cold despite their naked necks.
Very resistant to disease I hear. The list you have works very well in the colder climates, and if you have NH red roos, put them over your wyandottes for sexlink chicks.


I had one Jersey Giant, and she was not the best producer. Neither are the Ameraucanas and BC Marans. Australorps are wonderful dual purpose birds, and occasionally you get a broody... like Orpingtons, you can pack a bunch of eggs under their petticoats!


Already below freezing tonight. Ack. I am SO not ready. But my birds are!
 

Newwell

Chirping
8 Years
Oct 3, 2011
199
0
81
Little Piece of Heaven in OR
After reading many, many of these postings, I am no longer concerned about my feathered-children experiencing their first winter in the NW. My biggest concern was the humidity, but as long as I maintain a reasonable humidity level and adequate ventilation, my chickens should be fine. The winter weather here is average 31 degrees with very high humidity. Thanks for the great posts everyone (esp. Mrs. AK B-B).
 

SkyWarrior

Songster
9 Years
Apr 2, 2010
1,731
7
163
Wilds of Montana
Quote:I have an uninsulated barn. I've had EEs, BRs, RIRs, BOs, and Marans that have made it through successfully during last year's cold Montana winter. Geese and ducks too.
 

wyododge

Chirping
8 Years
Sep 30, 2011
485
17
90
Wyoming
It was really damp here last night, HEAVY dew by about 9pm. Bedding was really damp this morning...

I left the coop closed up, put the window in, closed the shutters to see how things were going to work. FAIL... I know I can leave everything open but we get an absolutely fierce wind out of the north, and that was the only place I could put a window without cutting into 18" wide 9' long old growth pine boards. I just could not do it. We changed all the bedding today, but that wont really matter unless it was at it's capacity, which is possible. We changed it last in july.

May have to think about a few things and how I am gonna solve that little moisture conundrum.
 

wyododge

Chirping
8 Years
Sep 30, 2011
485
17
90
Wyoming
Quote:As far as humidity goes, just keep in mind that you will never reduce the humidity in the coop lower than the relative humidity outside. There is a ventilation test on my page that I just happened across. Really slick way to 'see' your ventilation. It's all the way at the bottom.

FWIW, it was raining (2" in 36 hours which is about 1/5th of our annual rainfall) and about forty degrees with about a 20MPH wind the other day here and birds were in it all day, runnin and picken worms, and chasin grasshoppers. They were in heaven. You haven't a care in the world up there (when it comes to cold).
 

Mrs MIA

Chick Magnet
11 Years
Mar 3, 2008
7,988
62
303
Quote:Oh, yes... moisture is the killer.
Finding that balance with ventilation/insulation can be tough sometimes. Chickens put off a lot of moisture. I usually leave pop-doors and windows open, but covered with a towel to keep drafts out. Hopefully others will have some suggestions for you? Maybe you can post some pictures of your coop...
 

Mrs MIA

Chick Magnet
11 Years
Mar 3, 2008
7,988
62
303
Quote:I have an uninsulated barn. I've had EEs, BRs, RIRs, BOs, and Marans that have made it through successfully during last year's cold Montana winter. Geese and ducks too.

And you guys get COLD!
 

wyododge

Chirping
8 Years
Sep 30, 2011
485
17
90
Wyoming
Mrs. AK-Bird-Brain :

Quote:Oh, yes... moisture is the killer.
Finding that balance with ventilation/insulation can be tough sometimes. Chickens put off a lot of moisture. I usually leave pop-doors and windows open, but covered with a towel to keep drafts out. Hopefully others will have some suggestions for you? Maybe you can post some pictures of your coop...


There on my page thingy. It is kinda hard to explain, but you know timber framing. there are three large logs that protrude into the coop. We put OSB inside on the girts and up against the Logs but there is a two inch gap floor to ceiling on all three on both sides of the logs. Then we left the OSB short of the front wall and on the ceiling about 12". We essentially have an envelope of air that circulates around the coop. (the barn leaks like a sieve) There is ventilation during the day when the roof is warm, but at night, in still cold settled air, It has to be minimal. But I am not sure if it was wetter in the coop then the relative humidity of the outside air. Everything outside was soaking wet, but in the coop it was only damp.

I might just staple a towel over the window and have a dark cave. But it will be a dry cave. Our barn in the picture faces south so it gets good sun.​
 
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Newwell

Chirping
8 Years
Oct 3, 2011
199
0
81
Little Piece of Heaven in OR
I was reading someone's post about using louvered attic vents for ventilation. I don't think direct wind gets through them, but air flow would probably still be provided if there were 2 of them. They are stationary louvers (example from Amazon: http://www.amazon.com/Construction-Metals-Whtgable-Glff121-Louvers/dp/B000FCEQW6). We bought a couple of plastic ones for a garage, so now we might get them for the chicken coop. I might consider these instead of wire covered windows with shutters. We are still in the process of building and have not done the windows in the peaks yet. Plans were 11x11, so 12x12 isn't that much different.
 

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