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Will this coop be ok in cold temps?

Discussion in 'Coop & Run - Design, Construction, & Maintenance' started by DarlingLouie, Jan 5, 2014.

  1. DarlingLouie

    DarlingLouie New Egg

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    Dec 17, 2012
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    I live in Tennessee and it usually does not get THAT cold here, but we are about to have a couple really cold days. (For us) as low as 4°. I've been reading a lot about whether to heat or not and to make sure the coop has good ventilation and is draft free...etc. We just have a cheapo coop/run from tractor supply (I will try to add pictures of the coop) that we've covered with painters drop cloth plastic sheeting and a tarp. We stapled the plastic wrap to the outside of the run, but not the end with the door. That is still open with chicken wire. And then covered the coop with the tarp to help reduce drafts. The floor of the coop is just a wire bottom raised above the ground so there is probably a draft coming from there too? We have a heated dog bowl in it so their water doesn't freeze. I'm not sure how to tell if the coop is ventilated well without being drafty. I'm afraid there might be moisture in there because my barred rock has a little bit of frostbite on her waddle. I thought this was weird since it doesn't get that cold here, but I read that could happen at night if there is moisture in the coop?

    Should I use any heat with this set up? These temps are not common for our area and was wondering if that means my birds are not acclimated to them. Does anyone have any suggestions for this coop/run setup to make it dry and draft free? Sorry so many questions. I'm overwhelmed by everything I've read about it.

    [​IMG]

    These are the pics of the coop from the tractor supply website.
    [​IMG]

    [​IMG]
     
  2. mrmole

    mrmole Out Of The Brooder

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    Jan 13, 2013
    how old are your birds?? how many do you have in there. if they are not to young and fully feathered they will bundle up to stay warm and most likely stay warm in there coop. if your really worried you can put a few jugs of hot water in the run side at night to add a little heat but I would think they should be ok. you just dont want to add to much moisture to the coop.
     
  3. DarlingLouie

    DarlingLouie New Egg

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    Dec 17, 2012
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    I have two hens that are a little over a year old. That is a good idea with the jugs. Just a little bit of warmth.
     
  4. annagarret

    annagarret Chillin' With My Peeps

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    Feb 23, 2013
    Memphis Michigan
    My Coop
    I think that looks great....the smaller the space with a small flock the better for body heat,

    I have 3 hens and this is my coop. I get nervous they will peck at each other but it hasn't happened yet [​IMG]

    [​IMG]



    chicken
     
  5. teach1rusl

    teach1rusl Love My Chickens

    How are your girls doing? Our temps are still dropping here...I woke up to about 2 degrees (we'd been in the 40s yesterday) and it's dropped over the past few hours, down to neg. 2 when I last looked - and the wind is gusting terribly, so I hate to think what windchill is...
    I would leave one area of plastic open on your run, in a section opposite the winds, if you guys are dealing with that. The moisture will be an issue if not. Put LOTS of straw in there if you have it - straw makes a much better insulator than flaked bedding. If you're using a heated dog bowl, that will give off a little heat (not noticeable to you maybe, but it's kept my coops a little warmer). It may be too late for this cold spree, but you might look into the cookie tin heaters for future use - I've done the same with a clay planter pot - just to have handy if ever needed again...
     
  6. aart

    aart Chicken Juggler! Premium Member

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    Nov 27, 2012
    SW Michigan
    My Coop
    Just make sure that the humidity can escape the coop.
    If you see frost forming on the inside of walls, then it's too humid and you need to open some ventilation.
    Frostbite is due to humidity in freezing temps...not just the cold.
     
  7. annagarret

    annagarret Chillin' With My Peeps

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    Feb 23, 2013
    Memphis Michigan
    My Coop
    Ok,thanks for advice
     
  8. DarlingLouie

    DarlingLouie New Egg

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    Dec 17, 2012
    Tennessee
    They seem to be ok this morning. We went from the 50s yesterday to 6 right now. Tonight it's supposed to get colder yet. I will go get straw today! Thanks for that advice. I noticed this morning that it seems to be very breezy in the coop part. This is probably from the floor being raised and open to the ground below? It's just wire and the breeze sweeps right under it. Should I cover that with something? Towels or wood or something.

    Thank you so much for your advice! These are our first chickens and we want to make sure we are doing everything we can to keep them safe and healthy! We lost our silkie the other day to a possum. :( I know these things happen but it was very upsetting. We are learning as we go I guess.
     
  9. hoghead

    hoghead New Egg

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    Sep 9, 2013
    Just lost one of our silkies! Grand children's favorite. Scared of this -6 degree weather and getting colder.
     
  10. teach1rusl

    teach1rusl Love My Chickens

    Awww...sorry bout your silkie Hoghead [​IMG]

    And yes Anna - I would cover the wire with an old sheet/table cloth/towel...or just stuff the floor with 6 inches of straw.... We'll be lower tonight too. But then we're up into the teens tomorrow, and back to normal winter temps by Wednesday...
     

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