What temp/conditions should I close up the coop

Discussion in 'Managing Your Flock' started by fatcatx, Sep 19, 2013.

  1. fatcatx

    fatcatx Songster

    This is our first winter with peeps and I'm not sure if/when to close up the coop. Winters are mild here. We may get a few quick cold snaps a little below freezing but nights typically stay at 32 to 38 degrees with days in the 40s and 50s. (No snow - just fog/rain storms.)

    Our VERY small coop has vent holes along the top under the roofline and a few screened windows (no glass) around their roost ladder with hinged doors to close them up . I plan to close them when it rains but would like to leave them open as much as possible for ventilation and light.

    How well will they tolerate wind? Any draft a bad draft or just colder temperatures? We can get crazy windy storms here, with and without rain. I'm thinking I should close the windows up at night since they will be roosting near them and open in the mornings, but if I could leave them open, I would prefer that - one less chore in the morning chaos. Any thoughts appreciated.

    All our birds are cold-hardy breeds if that matters.
  2. my sunwolf

    my sunwolf Songster

    Apr 22, 2012
    Southwest Virginia
    My Coop
    It's hard to judge for your individual chickens, but I will say that they do not tolerate cold (below 40˚F) winds directly on where they are roosting very well. If I were you I would close any windows near the roosts permanently for winter, unless you have a temperature break or a very sunny day without wind. If you want to leave more windows open, you can close the north and west windows and try leaving the south and east ones open.

    Without wind, they will tolerate temps down to 0˚F with few problems, if they are cold hardy breeds.
  3. donrae

    donrae Hopelessly Addicted

    Jun 18, 2010
    Southern Oregon
    Lock the windows up if it's going to storm, if the wind will be on the roosting areas. Otherwise, your winters are mild enough they're fine.
  4. chfite

    chfite Songster

    Jun 7, 2011
    Taylors, SC
    We have similar weather here. I don't close the coop. My ventilation is set so that there is no draft and my coop is shielded by a building and several trees.

    If your coop is out in the open, closing it as needed to keep the rain out would be a good idea.

    Chickens have good insulation compliments of all the feathers. They can stay warm in rather low temperatures, if there is no draft.

  5. fatcatx

    fatcatx Songster

    Thanks all for the advice! I will keep an eye on the wind forecast and only worry about the breezy or especially cold nights.

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