wet sand in coop- are my chickens warm enough?

Discussion in 'Coop & Run - Design, Construction, & Maintenance' started by TeriS, Dec 1, 2011.

  1. TeriS

    TeriS Out Of The Brooder

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    Jan 28, 2010
    Fort Wayne, Indiana
    I live in Northern Indiana and we just put sand in the coop in the fall. Before that, they had starw on the dirt floor. With all the rain and now some snow, their sand floor is wet. They have straw in the nesting boxes. I have left their pop door open to help ventilate, and they have a heat lamp that comes on from 3am-8am, mostly for the light. The walls have clear plastic on them, but I am afraid that they might be too cold and wet. What should I do? Help, please!
     
  2. elmo

    elmo Chillin' With My Peeps

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    If the birds themselves are dry (and are fully feathered adults), and are not forced to roost in cold drafts, they can withstand very low temperatures. But I would be more concerned about humidity in the coop, which can make frostbitten combs more likely.

    Do you have adequate ventilation high above roost level so the moist air can exit?
     
  3. TeriS

    TeriS Out Of The Brooder

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    Jan 28, 2010
    Fort Wayne, Indiana
    I will need to knock out a few boards near the roof for ventilation. I had some out last winter for ventilation, but then the racoons got 1/2 of my chickens this summer and we foam insulated those boards in. We'll have to knock 2 back out. Will they be ok, then? The sand just seems so cold and wet. Doesn't seem as warm as when we had straw in their coop last winter.
     
  4. 7L Farm

    7L Farm Chillin' With My Peeps

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    In my three sided coop its all sand. Sand is great but when old man winter shows up I cover the sand with Pine shavings. Then when summer arrives I rake it up & put the shavings in my compost pile. Sand stays cooler in the summer. Its very hot here.
     
  5. TeriS

    TeriS Out Of The Brooder

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    Jan 28, 2010
    Fort Wayne, Indiana
    So would you recommend that I put some straw on the floor, or just leave it sand for the winter- lows around 0 to -20 during the middle of winter, and highs range from 10-20 or so......It's our first year w/ sand in the winter.
     
  6. WoodlandWoman

    WoodlandWoman Overrun With Chickens

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    I'm sorry you lost chickens to raccoons. They're very resourceful, agile and strong.

    When you put in ventilation openings, cover them with 1/2" hardware cloth. That's what we do. We use screws and washers to attach it, not staples. Staples can be pulled or pushed out much easier. Some people use strips of wood and screw those down.
     

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