When/How to Winterize?

Discussion in 'Coop & Run - Design, Construction, & Maintenance' started by Nyna, Aug 20, 2007.

  1. AtRendeAcres

    AtRendeAcres Songster

    May 23, 2007
    Clarion County
    Freezing Water!

    I read this on a post somewere

    2 cinderblocks side by side

    inbetween the holes put a heat bulb
    (of course you would have to run electric)
    water won,t freeze
  2. karri25

    karri25 Songster

    Feb 5, 2007
    Good idea!!!!
  3. In South Dakota it gets cold here too. Last year I hauled water to the chickens when it was frozen. I put up about three heat lamps for the girls, and put straw one the floor. I think I will go to town this year and get some chips for the girls before I put straw down. I have a feeling this winter's going to be long. We've had lots of rain this August, and a lot of fog. We should have snow by October, so this means I gotta get my butt in gear and get out to the hen house. We should keep everyone up to date on our weather and the hens. Good luck with your winters everywhere!
  4. Nyna

    Nyna Songster

    Jul 3, 2007
    Western Montana
    Thanks, it's great to hear everyones input. I have cold hardy breeds I believe. All Standards. Buff Orphingtons, Buff Orphinton Partridge Rock X and some Cochin mixed in there I think. I want to put some dry wall inside. I think that will help. The solar idea is great, but I don't have a south window. My only window is to the East. I will look into that radiant heat thing too. I wanted to put a infrared heat lamp in there. should I put it over their roost? Should I put a second one over their laying boxes? How close? About their drinking water, I heard you can get a galvanized poultry waterer and put a heating pad underneath it and it won't freeze. I think they make heaters especially for that at pet stores. Yep, it's getting cold already. This morning I felt bad! I went and checked on them and it was like only 45 degs. outside and I didn't close their window last night. I guess I should hurry up and start lining things out for then. I think I will make some shudders for their window. That is a good idea. Well, we will keep in touch Northerners! [​IMG]
  5. horsewishr

    horsewishr Songster

    Jul 7, 2007
    West Michigan
    We're planning to run electricity to the coop. I was thinking about using an infrared light for heat, but I have a question. If the coop is warm and comfortable, will the chickens stay inside all day, instead of going outside??? I really don't want a 24/7 indoor poop party all winter long.
  6. chickonaroost

    chickonaroost In the Brooder

    Jun 13, 2007
    South Eastern Indiana
    I heated my small coop last winter with one heat lamp over the roost and one reguler 60 watt bulb over the waterer. The water never froze, even at our lowest temp of -10 F.
    And horsewishr, they left the coop during the day even on the coldest day to peck and scratch in the run. (Plus the poop party is fairly frozen and easy to scoop out).
  7. Smoky73

    Smoky73 Lyon Master

    Feb 8, 2007
    I have a few things to say about the coop in winter.

    First of all, Chirpy, seeing you are in Colorado too, I know what kind of weather you will have so I will just describe what I have done and dont do anymore.

    I have had chickens for about 5 years now. Our coop was very insulated in the walls. Everything was great but, we built the coop out of old wood (outside) and all used windows and doors. The doors do not close tightly anymore so the coop is far from draft free.
    We did not insulate the ceiling though and that is just wood and metal roofing.

    Anyway, the first few years we would put heat lamps in all the coops so that they would be able to huddle under the heat lamps if they got to cold. We always had sick birds and frostbite. If you add heat to the coop in this form, it makes condensation in the air when it mixes with the cold, which of course, condensation is moisture, promoting frostbite and dampness. It made the birds have alot or respiratory problems and frostbite.
    Also, we had an electrical short in the coop this year and hubby had to rewire. Turns out the mice chewed through the wires so he rewired everything on the outside of the walls so it would be easier to fix and the mice wont feel the need to chew it up. Anyway, in the process, the mice have destroyed the insulation in the walls, so its pretty much all gone. So my point is, if you have mice, and you will, after several years, it will probably be non existant anyway.

    Last year was the first year we did NOT use heat lamps, AT ALL. And you know what? We had NO frostbite, NO sickness. And yes, it got down to below zero again, like it does every year. I fill waterers in the morning with nice warm water, and I use waterer heaters. Hubby has built them himself out of the cookie tins and 40w light bulbs and this works great for 1 gallon waterers. We did buy one expensive waterer heater though for the standard girls' 5 gallon waterer.

    Oh and I do not use the deep litter method.

    I do put plastic up over all the windows in the coop

    My birds do not go outside at all if there is ever an inch of snow out there so I just close up the doors when there is "white stuff". Its not that I don't want them outside, its just that they just won't go out on their own anyway.

    By this time though next year, I will have a large morton building for their winter quarters which will be heated to about 40° all winter so should be alot nicer for them and for me. Wont have to worry about hauling water from the house to the coop every morning LOL.

    Hope that helps someone. [​IMG]
  8. horsewishr

    horsewishr Songster

    Jul 7, 2007
    West Michigan
    Quote:OK, I'm confused. I thought you were going to say heating is bad, since you had the best results without heat???? But you'll be heating next year? What type of heater will you be using next year? And how will it be different than heat lamps, which supply dry heat?
  9. Tweety

    Tweety In the Brooder

    Jul 30, 2007
    We bought a heated pet (dog) bowl at Petsmart for around $15.
  10. Smoky73

    Smoky73 Lyon Master

    Feb 8, 2007
    I can see how I didnt make sense.
    The reason I do not do heat lamps anymore is that the heat is centralized around the light bulb which makes one area in the coop alot warmer than a nice uniform heat throughout in my opinion. When I did it before, the birds would huddle near the lamp, which can be like 95 directly underneath it which gave such an extreme in temp from when they walked away from it to eat or drink, it was below freezing still and the change in temp so much is what was making them sick I think.

    But, the building I will have will have central heat, forced air, like your house does...for me, it will run on propane heat so should be a more uniform consistant temp throughout and the birds will not be going outside at all. It wont be heated so its WARM, but just enough to keep the waterers from freezing around 40 or so.
    Thats how I am figuring it anyway. I could be wrong in my thought process, I wont know till I do it but I would think a constant even temp would be better than warm areas and cold areas. I could still go with no heat at all, but would have to then use waterer heaters which I am trying to avoid. If I cannot get it consistant temp, then I would rather go with no heat than use the heat lamps.
    Last edited: Aug 23, 2007

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