warmers made of rice in coop at night

Discussion in 'Managing Your Flock' started by bluegiantsc, Oct 8, 2012.

  1. bluegiantsc

    bluegiantsc Chillin' With My Peeps

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    I know there are so many "how to winterize my coop" threads, but I think it pretty much have it handled. .

    My question is, can I use a rice heater? Its a sack full of rice that you put in the microwave for a few minutes and it stays warm for a while. I was thinking about making 2 of them, and have them a few pounds each. That way I could put them on either side of the coop. The coop is well ventilated, so I don't think the moisture would be a problem. Its about 6 inches off the ground with a plywood floor and about 5 inches of pine bedding.

    I was thinking that I could put it under the bedding so it would radiate a little heat for them. I know they're going to dig down into the bedding a little, because they're already doing it.
    I was also thinking of getting a bale of hay and putting some hay on top of their bedding, so if I put the rice warmers in, I could put them under the hay?
    So would that be alright or would it be a waste of time?

    What do you guys think?

    Thanks!
     
  2. Caribear

    Caribear Chillin' With My Peeps

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    I don't see why you couldn't do that, but I don't know how much good it would do. In my experience those rice warmers don't stay warm for all that long. But if they were well insulated with hay, they might last longer. I would try it out, and if it doesn't work those rice warmers are nice to have around the house anyway.
     
  3. bluegiantsc

    bluegiantsc Chillin' With My Peeps

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    Thanks! I think I'll give it a try. I have jersey giants, so they're pretty cold hardy. They were fine last year, but we had a really mild winter. I feel like this year is going to be a cold wet one.

    I have another question though. Right now, where their run is at, it gets very muddy. There is no grass left because they've scratched it all up. So its just bare dirt. I usually let them out when its really wet so they can get out of the mud. I plan on moving their coop/run to another place that isn't as muddy and has more grass. But I know the grass will be short lived. I also plan on covering their run with a tarp or some kind of roof, will that keep most of the run dry? The place where their new run will be, has better drainage than where their run is now. I know that will make a difference too.

    I just don't want them in a cold wet run during the winter. I was just out there and its damp and gross. Should I cover the ground with hay or something? If not hay, then what could I cover the ground with to help it stay less muddy? Would pine needles work? Or, I have this big compost pile, its filled with leaves and grass clippings from this summer, other stuff we've raked or dug up from the yard. What about that?

    I didn't have this issue last year because their run was in another spot, but I've moved it since. And they were 100% free range last year, and were never in their run. So they didn't have to be in the mud that was in there. Now, they aren't 100% free range, just a few days a week, so they're in their run A LOT more.
     
  4. Caribear

    Caribear Chillin' With My Peeps

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    I don't think a roof will help all that much. I have a covered run for my birds, and it still turned to mud the last time it rained. But I guess it depends on how big the run is and how well it drains. I would still put up a tarp just to keep the rain and snow off of them though. I think putting something in to cover the ground will help. I am planning on doing sand here in the next couple weeks, depending on when I can get it hauled in. I would think that the yard clippings would work well too, and they will turn it into some lovely compost for the spring.

    Hopefully someone with a little more experience can chime in here too, since I am still pretty new to chickens myself.
     
  5. donrae

    donrae Hopelessly Addicted Premium Member

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    Honestly, in your area even a cold wet winter will be way less than other areas of the country where the birds do just fine with an adequate coop and no drafts. If you can keep them dry and out of the wind they can tolerate very low temps.
     
  6. bluegiantsc

    bluegiantsc Chillin' With My Peeps

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    Oh yeah, cold wet winters in my area are NOTHING compared to winters in other places!
     

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