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Trying something new tonight

Discussion in 'Managing Your Flock' started by JimWWhite, Jan 2, 2010.

  1. JimWWhite

    JimWWhite Chillin' With My Peeps

    It's been miserable cold here in the Carolinas today and it's supposed to be no higher than 32 F for the next three days followed by high 30's for the week. It's also supposed to be down in the low to high teens for the next week at night. So this morning we decided we were going to try adding some heat to the coop. Since the coop is almost a hundred feet from the nearest power supply we thought we'd try something different. We set out to Lowes this morning to buy a couple of those 5 gallon water jugs like the thosed used for gasoline. But on the way we decided to go by the Post Office and when we were cutting through the back of the parking lot behind the Mexican eatery we spotted two of those five gallon white jugs that used to hold frying oil that restaurants buy. They were just laying by the curb. Both had the screw-on caps and they had sturdy handles and they were in great shape. So in the back of the pickup they went and we aborted our approach to Lowes and saved ourselves another $150. Yeah, I know two five gallon water jugs don't cost $150, but when we go to Lowes we can't seem to get out of the place without spending at least that much. Hey, I've got the receipts for the coop and run to prove it...

    Tonight at 8:00 I checked the temp on the remote themometer in the coop and it read 32.5 F. I'd already locked the Gals (19 Gold Comets) up for the night so they were already on their roost and were huddled together keeping warm. I filled both of the jugs we found with hot water from the bathtub and topped each one off with a full kettle of boiling water from the stove. Then both of the jugs were placed in the center of the coop which is 4'X7'X4' inside. By 9:00 the temp was up to 35.9 F and just now when I checked it the temp was 36.5 F. The outdoors temp is already down to 21 F and falling. I doubt that they will hold the temp until morning but it's better than nothing... I hope. I'm hoping that I don't end up going back over to Lowes to buy a 100' extention cord and a heat lamp because that'll be a $150 trip... [​IMG]
     
    Last edited: Jan 2, 2010
  2. chookchick

    chookchick Chillin' With My Peeps

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    Aug 18, 2008
    Olympia WA
    Hey 32 sounds not bad to me! Very interesting--keep us posted on what you find in the morning!
     
  3. PandoraTaylor

    PandoraTaylor RT Poultry n Things

    Jun 29, 2009
    Alaska
    [​IMG]

    Awesome find
     
  4. JimWWhite

    JimWWhite Chillin' With My Peeps

    At 7:15 this morning the temp inside the coop was 32.5 F and the outside temp was a balmy 15.5 F... I've not gone outside and opened up the coop yet so I suspect my 19 GCs are sitting out there squawking and carrying on to be let out and that's probably keeping the temp up above freezing. I'm mixing them up some of their pellet food, powdered milk, and hot water to put out when I open the door. I hate this cold. I don't know how you folks up north deal with this for four to six months like you do.
     
  5. JimWWhite

    JimWWhite Chillin' With My Peeps

    Just an update on the hot water method I've been trying. Last night at 9:00 I refilled one of the 5 gallon jugs with very hot (under boiling) water and placed it on top of about two inches of shavings on the floor of the coop and quickly shut the door. The outside temp was already at 26 F and the inside temp was showing as 35 F on my remote thermometer. When I rechecked it an hour later at 10:00 before turning in the temp inside the coop was an even 40 F and the temp outside was 25 F. When I checked it this morning at about 5:15 the coop temp was 36 F and the outside temp was 18 F. Big difference between inside and outside. Before leaving for work I went out to the coop and felt the water jug and it still had a little warmth to it. Not much but probably around 50 F or so I'd bet. It wasn't cold by any means.

    It seems this may be a way, at least here in the Carolinas, to provide a little bit of warmth without having to run electricity and hook up a heat lamp or some other heat source. It's crude but it seems to work. One thing we're going to do this weekend is to add some insulation to the walls and ceiling of the coop. I think the shavings provide a good bit of insulation already for the bottom. I'm probably going to Lowes and get one or two of those 1" styrofoam 4x8 sheets they sell with a foil backing on them. They're supposed to have an R5 factor so that should help retain heat as well. Last weekend I put in weather stripping around the two doors and I know that helped a bunch.
     
  6. pkeeler

    pkeeler Chillin' With My Peeps

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    Jul 20, 2008
    Shamong
    Where is your thermometer in relation to the water?
     
  7. big red chicken

    big red chicken Chillin' With My Peeps

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    Mar 18, 2009
    Greenville NC
    I'm dealing with the exact same thing. I wasn't prepared for this at all!! I worry so much about my chicks, they are only 9 wk old. and they are inside a box like with a light. It continue to blow so I'm thinking that it's may be a fire hazard. (the light) so I just don't know what to do. [​IMG]
     
  8. JimWWhite

    JimWWhite Chillin' With My Peeps

    Quote:My temp sensor is mounted on the back wall of the coop about 3' up in the middle of the back wall. My coop is 4'x'8'4'. The Gals roost on the right half of the coop and I place the water jug on the left side. It's about 30" or so from the temp sensor.
     
  9. thedeacon

    thedeacon Chillin' With My Peeps

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    Nov 14, 2008
    Midwest
    It may still be less expensive to use the extention cord. The cost to heat that much water won't be cheap.
     
  10. pkeeler

    pkeeler Chillin' With My Peeps

    559
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    Jul 20, 2008
    Shamong
    I'm dealing with the exact same thing. I wasn't prepared for this at all!! I worry so much about my chicks, they are only 9 wk old. and they are inside a box like with a light. It continue to blow so I'm thinking that it's may be a fire hazard. (the light) so I just don't know what to do.

    If they are fully feathered, well fed, and have unfrozen water, they should be fine. Carolina Chickadees do just fine and they don't even have dry housing and all day access to food and water.​
     

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