Wanna give a newbie some Winter-tips?

Discussion in 'Managing Your Flock' started by augustmomx2, Sep 3, 2009.

  1. augustmomx2

    augustmomx2 Chillin' With My Peeps

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    Aug 31, 2008
    Central Indiana
    I live in Central Indiana and our Winters get fairly cold. I have 3/4 of an acre, in the city, 10 regular-sized girls. Our run is approx 25*10 and our coop is approx 8*5 (which is not insulated, but vented well). This is my first Winter with the girls any any advice or tips would be greatly appreciated.

    I just want to make sure early on, in case I need to purchase any items. That way I can buy them slowly so dh won't know how much I actually spend on these chickens! [​IMG]
     
  2. WilczenskiFarm

    WilczenskiFarm Chillin' With My Peeps

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    May 6, 2009
    Pembroke, MA
    I'm with you... I want to be prepared too. We decided to insulate the walls/ceiling and make hinged doors for the 2 windows that we have just hardware clothe on right now. I was thinking of making them out of plexiglass so that light can still come through. Any other ideas/advice would be appreciated!

    Oh and can anyone tell me how to do the avatar thing:)
     
  3. Imp

    Imp All things share the same breath- Chief Seattle

    Insulation is a good start. Most chickens do OK in the cold, as long as they have a dry and draft free coop. If you are looking to spoil them you can add supplemental heat. If you want to keep up egg production you may need to add extra light. Keeping water thawed is a concern, and there are many threads on water heaters.
    Chickens can get frostbite when it's very cold, and some report that frigid temps have killed their birds.
    People have different experiences with their chickens in the winter. Some people have their chickens play in the snow, mine are afraid of the white stuff.

    As far as adding an avatar. What's the difficulty? Usually it's the the pix is too large. I'll add a link for resizing the pix. and some instructions for posting pix. Hope it helps

    http://www.shrinkpictures.com/

    https://www.backyardchickens.com/forum/viewtopic.php?id=504

    Imp
     
  4. WilczenskiFarm

    WilczenskiFarm Chillin' With My Peeps

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    May 6, 2009
    Pembroke, MA
    lol! Thanks! ya - I always seem to have problems with resizing! arrggg!!![​IMG]
     
  5. Imp

    Imp All things share the same breath- Chief Seattle

    Quote:Took me several weeks to figure it out with my current avatar too. [​IMG]

    Imp
     
  6. patandchickens

    patandchickens Flock Mistress

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    Ontario, Canada
    You will enjoy having a heated waterer or waterer base, to keep the water from freezing. Makes life simpler. Now is a good time to start deciding exactly what you wish to make/buy in this regard [​IMG]

    Insulation isn't a bad idea; you don't *need* it, strictly speaking, where you are, but it will make the chickens happier and management easier. Don't forget to insulate the ceiling, and cover it all with something peckproof.

    If the run has a top, make sure it is very well braced so it won't collapse in heavy snowfall (yes, even if it is netting or wire, because they WILL catch wet snow accumulating)

    And make sure that your ventilation openings are configured so you will have an adequate amount that are well-suited to wintertime use, in terms of placement, size, and adjustability. See link in my .sig for more information on the subject. Much easier to make any changes now than in a January snowstorm [​IMG]

    Good luck, have fun,

    Pat
     
  7. augustmomx2

    augustmomx2 Chillin' With My Peeps

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    Aug 31, 2008
    Central Indiana
    Looks as though I have some work ahead of me! My vent holes are quite large so I'm going to need to make some adjustments in regards to those. I also need to insulate...my run is fairly well braced [​IMG]

    Thanks!
     
  8. A2SciTeach

    A2SciTeach Chillin' With My Peeps

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    Aug 13, 2008
    A2 MI
    Arrange your coop so you can get at the waterers and feeders quickly to avoid losing heat in the coop. That was a problem for me last year, I took too long getting in and out and the temperature drop was fairly dramatic. Also, make sure you have a windbreak so the cold wind doesn't just sweep into the coop bringing snow in which will eventually melt and create more moisture. If you have a warming tunnel that prevents a direct access to the outdoors that can also keep heat in the coop.

    I use the deep litter method, helps the heat stay in. I use a red heat lamp (250W) that I turn on if the temps go below zero. Coop is caulked, ventilation is at the top. I had zero condensation last year with that set up.

    Are your chickens cold hardy? If you already have fluffy, small combed, big chickens they should be able to withstand very low temps without supplemental heat.
    [​IMG]
     
  9. buddy#2

    buddy#2 Out Of The Brooder

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    Aug 25, 2009
    Perry County, PA
    I made a shallow box out of 3/4" board. 10"x10" square, 3" tall which makes inside 1 1/2" deep. Cut a tapered hole in the top for a 1 gallon waterer with the red base (thats what I use, plastic is flexable and can break ice out easy). Make sure base sits in hole without many gaps. Place cloth or something in bottom, then a "HOT HANDS" heat packet (18 hour works best), place waterer into hole. Will keep water liquified for 10 hours. I get 2 to 3 weeks of freezing weather a year, sometimes more. "Hot hands" aren't that expensive and I don't have electric at my chicken houses.
     

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