Winter Checklist

MattH

In the Brooder
Jun 3, 2015
62
2
49
Culpeper, VA
I have a few things I would like to get some info on. My run gets very muddy after rain, or snow. I don't think this is good in freezing temperatures. Also I have 2 windows in my coop. One is 12"x12" on the opposite side of the roost in the coop, but direct in line with the roost. The other window is 2"x24" and is eye level with the chickens when they are on the top roosting pole. This is bad in winter months correct? Should I close these windows up and make some vents up higher in the ceiling for ventilation? Also, I am using cedar chips for my deep littler method. This will work right? Everyone always swears by pine chips. Any info is appreciated. Thanks.
 

howfunkyisurchicken

Crowing
9 Years
Apr 11, 2011
9,281
812
361
Tn
If drafts can blow across the birds while theyre roosting, I'd close them up.
Chickens have sensitive respiratory systems (actually, most small animals that those cedar chips are aimed at do, I don't know why they market them as small animal bedding) and the cedar chips irritate them. And could potentially end up being really detrimental to their health. I'd nix the cedar too. I don't use shavings (except when I have to, which isn't often). This time of the hear I use hay, which we cut and bale from our field for our other livestock anyway. During the summer I used lots of grass clippings (my favorite, they smell wonderful) and in the fall I scoop up dry leaves and sticks. Eventually all that stuff gets mixed together and turns into amazing compost for my garden :)
 

MattH

In the Brooder
Jun 3, 2015
62
2
49
Culpeper, VA
Ok I will switch to pine shavings. Sucks because it is has below zero here lately, and my deep litter method is getting pretty thick.. Hoping this keeps some warmth for them. I will cover the windows I have Cut some new small vents up high and cover them with rat wire.
 
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donrae

Hopelessly Addicted
Premium Feather Member
9 Years
Jun 18, 2010
31,453
4,069
581
Southern Oregon
If you've been using cedar and not had any issues, I wouldn't go through the trouble of pulling it out. What you have is likely already broken down some, and any issues from the oils should have already made themselves known. If you've got a good deep litter going, I wouldn't mess with it. Just going forward, avoid the cedar.
 

MattH

In the Brooder
Jun 3, 2015
62
2
49
Culpeper, VA
I just added a whole new bag to the coop this evening. I will leave that in there and from here on out I will use like shavings. Leave the cedar I have in the mix already and just add pine.
 

MattH

In the Brooder
Jun 3, 2015
62
2
49
Culpeper, VA
I went out this morning to open the coop door and noticed the combs on some chickens had a little frost bite. This sucks. What can I do?
 
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