What else should I do to prepare for winter?

Discussion in 'Managing Your Flock' started by Moosetails, Sep 11, 2012.

  1. Moosetails

    Moosetails In the Brooder

    Apr 12, 2012
    Anchorage, Alaska
    I think I'm ready, but I'm worried that I've missed something and my four Cuckoo Maran's will have a hard winter. It won't be long before the temperature will fall below freezing here in our northern climate. The night-time temps have been in the low 40's this week.

    I've insulated the 4' x 3' coop and have installed a red heat lamp and put it on a timer. Next week, I plan on purchasing a heated water can. I've started cooking oatmeal so they have warm food in them to start their day.

    I'm not sure what to do with the ground in the 12' x 3' run area. Should I leave it bare, frozen dirt or throw down a bale or two of hay? Should I enclose the run with a tarp or other material to keep the snow out? Is there anything that I haven't thought about?[​IMG]

    Thanks in advance,


  2. 7L Farm

    7L Farm Songster

    Jul 22, 2010
    Anderson, Texas
    I don't live where it gets cold but every year I read about coops catching on fire from heat lamps. Make sure you tie the lamp down. Don't just use the clamp tie it so it won't fall. There's a lady from Alaska that has a thread about Think its to cold for chickens think again. Maybe, someone will come along & direct you to this thread. I can't help with the cold I fight the heat here in Texas. I think my chickens would like some cold weather right now I know I would.
  3. mickey328

    mickey328 Songster

    May 4, 2012
    Northern Colorado
    Sounds to me like you've made good preparations! Chickens actually generate a lot more heat than you might think...plus their feathers are excellent insulation. 7L Farm is right...be very careful with your heat lamp...make sure it isn't near anything combustible and that the chickens can't come into contact with it or any wiring. It doesn't have to be "warm" in there...just not freezing.

    For the run, I'd put some sort of bedding...but then be prepared to have to replace it when you clean areas of snow. They can deal with the hard ground and a little snow, but it's better if they don't have to wade through it. A tarp over at least part of it would make it easier on you. Also I would make sure they have a "flat" roost available...ie a 2 x 4 with the 4" side for roosting. That way, if they want to they can flat foot it and hunker down to cover their feet with their body. We have both a flat and a round roost so ours have their choice :)

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