This'll be my 1st winter with chickens, how to keep them warm?

Discussion in 'Coop & Run - Design, Construction, & Maintenance' started by Bluenrose, Oct 2, 2014.

  1. Bluenrose

    Bluenrose Out Of The Brooder

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    Jun 4, 2014
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    Hello, this'll be my very first year with chickens, I had gotten these guys this last may. We hand made their coop with a small run attached. They've been free ranged with being put up at night. But I'm in west michigan and we get rough, sub zero temps, with a ton of snow. I'm not sure how chickens could survive outside but I'm sure there's a way since there's hundreds of farmers out here. To keep them warm should I just wrap plastic around their fencing? How do I keep their water from freezing? What kinds of roofing should I have so that snow doesn't break it with it's weight? Any advice would be very much welcomed :) [​IMG]

    I usually just leave the door's opened during the day, but during winter should I do the same? Will they go into the snow? I have a door on the coop itself to, it has a hole in the front big enough to let them walk in/out when they please, should I keep that shut all winter? Or should I put thick plastic over the top part so that sun can still get into it?

    Sorry for all the questions just I'm so worried about them.
     
  2. iwiw60

    iwiw60 Overrun With Chickens

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  3. thomasboyle

    thomasboyle Chillin' With My Peeps

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    Your chickens will do fine in the cold weather. Some like snow, others don't. Wrapping the coop is a great way to keep the wind out, and if you put a roof over the run, it keeps the snow out too. I wrap my run, and found that my water no longer freezes during the day. The wrapped run stays warmer than the outside air too, acts as a greenhouse if you have a roof over it.
     
  4. WYNot

    WYNot Chillin' With My Peeps

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    As long as they have a place in the coop that is not directly in a draft they are generally fine with the cold. They need a place that is dry, clean, well ventilated without being drafty, fresh food, and fresh water. I will admit that I did put a heat lamp in our coop a couple of times last year with our five hens when we had sub zero weather for multiple days at a time. HOWEVER, it was more for the wife's (and thus mine) peace of mind than for the hens' benefit. As long as they had food, fresh water, and a clean, dry, draft free place to roost, they are fine. They didn't mind the cold, many of those sub-zero days they were out in their run scratching around. What they did not like though was the snow. On many occasions I would go out in the morning to open their door so they could get into the run and several of them would poke their heads out, look around, and promptly go back inside. They would go to extreme lengths to not have to walk in snow.
     
  5. iwiw60

    iwiw60 Overrun With Chickens

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    [​IMG] Happy wife...happy life!! [​IMG]
     
  6. WYNot

    WYNot Chillin' With My Peeps

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    Ding, ding, ding! Give that poster a prize!

    Exactly.

     
  7. iwiw60

    iwiw60 Overrun With Chickens

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    I just call 'em like I see 'em!! [​IMG]
     

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