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What Changes do I need to make to my Coop and Run for winter?

Discussion in 'Coop & Run - Design, Construction, & Maintenance' started by dadschicks, Dec 2, 2013.

  1. dadschicks

    dadschicks Out Of The Brooder

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    Jun 29, 2013
    Los Gatos, California
    We are new chicken owners with 4 hens approx 23-24 weeks old. Three of the four are laying regularly, the fourth, an EE has not laid yet. Anyway, we live in Northern California, so we don't suffer the snowy winters that many of you experience. Still, not sure what changes I need to make to the coop to ensure the girls aren't cold during the winter. What type of temps can they handle without heat lamp, etc.

    We have a small coop with two nest boxes and an extended run off that. I let them out in the run during the day so they can go in and out and lock them into the coop at night to keep them safe from predators. There is little or no shelter in the run since the trees have been pruned back for the winter. I am guessing that on cold rainy days that I will leave them in the coop, but will they be warm enough? Do I need to change ground cover? I currently have sand in my coop, dirt in the run and shavings in the nest boxes.

    Any help you can provide would be appreciated.
     
  2. Yay Chicks!

    Yay Chicks! Chillin' With My Peeps

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    Apr 15, 2010
    Forest Grove, OR
    Chickens can tolerate cold well. You don't need to provide heat for them, especially where you are.

    Are you able cover your run with anything to keep the ground dry? You might find that they will be happier if they can go out even during rainy weather.

    Good luck!
     
  3. dadschicks

    dadschicks Out Of The Brooder

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    Jun 29, 2013
    Los Gatos, California
    Have to think about what I could do to cover at least part of the run. Would it help to put straw or some other groundcover so if it's wet it won't be muddy?
     
  4. aart

    aart Chicken Juggler! Premium Member

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    Nov 27, 2012
    SW Michigan
    My Coop
    I would let them decide if they want to go out or stay in the coop...unless you have a real muddy mess in the run that they need to be kept out of.

    Sand is good for the run too as it drains well.....as long as the area of the run itself drains well.
    If you have puddles from runoff or just low areas, best to remedy that first.

    Straw can get moldy and nasty pretty quick, large chunk pine mulch might work.

    Tho chooks pretty much scratch thru whatever you put anywhere.
     
  5. dadschicks

    dadschicks Out Of The Brooder

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    Jun 29, 2013
    Los Gatos, California
    Thanks aart!
     

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