Winter in the midwest

Discussion in 'Managing Your Flock' started by Sade, Jan 13, 2018 at 1:18 PM.

  1. Sade

    Sade New Egg

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    Greetings everyone,
    I am new to this site, but have been reading a lot of the articles. I have a question regarding my 12
    Wyandotte hens. I bought them as day-olds and they are now 10 months old. I live in Northern Indiana and it has been very cold lately. We built a 4 foot wide by 6 foot long by 4 feet tall coop for the ladies and also built a 8 foot wide by 16 foot long by 6 foot tall run for them. We have the run and their dust bath area (which is under the coop) wrapped in reinforced clear PVC plastic tarps. My question is, can I put their heat lamp that I used when I first got them as day-olds in their run (not the coop) to give them a little more warmth during the day? I have wood chips on the floor of the run to help keep it cleaner (no muddy feet) and to help protect their feet from the cold ground. I am not putting heat in the coop because I am doing a deep litter system using pine shavings and do not want their to get burned or have a fire start. Any help would be great!
     
  2. bobbi-j

    bobbi-j Chicken Obsessed

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    As long as they are protected from the elements, they should be fine. What kind of ventilation do you have? That's very important. Without it, you stand more of a chance of frostbite and respiratory problems.
     
    Farmer Connie likes this.
  3. Sade

    Sade New Egg

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    We have two 6 inch circular vents towards the roof of the coop that face east and west. We also have the north and south sides of the coop that have an open area between the walls and roof that has 1/4 inch hardware cloth across it to keep animals out. In the summer we had the north and south side vents open, but since most of our snow and winds come from the north, south, we put breathable foam in the north and south sides to keep them from getting too much of a draft. The front door of the run is currently covered, but not completely. Air can still get into the run. I also put petroleum jelly on their combs and wattles to protect them from frostbite.
     
  4. Soon2BChixMom

    Soon2BChixMom Chillin' With My Peeps

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    Hi Sade. I am in Indiana too! :frow
    I am not using a heat source of any kind, but have kept part of the run covered for a dry area to retreat to and a break from the wind.
    Come on over to the Indiana thread and say hi! I usually go to the end of a running thread to see what has been going on more recently.

    https://www.backyardchickens.com/threads/indiana-bycers-here.730582/

    Maybe post some pics of your set up.
    Is this your first year with chickens?

    :welcome
     
    Last edited: Jan 13, 2018 at 3:39 PM
  5. Sade

    Sade New Egg

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    This is my first year for chickens. I have 4 Golden Laced Wyandottes, 4 Columbian Wyandottes and 4 Cuckoo Marans.
     

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    Soon2BChixMom likes this.
  6. Soon2BChixMom

    Soon2BChixMom Chillin' With My Peeps

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    I think as long as you provide them with a dry area and a windbreak they should do well as long as they are all healthy. From what I have read, it is the ill ones that might need extra warmth.
    You could try putting some bales of hay or straw around the sides of the run that get the most wind.
     
  7. Sade

    Sade New Egg

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    So far, all 12 are healthy. I have a few that went through a mini molt and lost some feathers on their necks and back by their tail feathers, but those are starting to grow back. It is nice and dry in the run and coop and the plastic really keeps the wind off them. With it being clear, they can see out and the run stays toasty during the day when the sun comes out. They will not leave the run when there is snow on the ground. But I have added more perches in the run for them to climb and roost on and to help keep them from getting bored.
     
    Soon2BChixMom likes this.
  8. aart

    aart Chicken Juggler! Premium Member

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    My Coop
    Nice run!
    Coop is very tight for 12 birds.

    No need for heat in run.
    Clear plastic should allow it to warm up nicely, if we get any sun.
    Got some here today!
     
  9. Mrs. K

    Mrs. K Overrun With Chickens

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    I agree with AArt. You may eventually have problem behaviors due to the size of your coop. Being raised together is not a guarantee that they will be nice to each other. But some breeds, some birds tolerate close quarters better than others.

    By adding a wind protected area outside, that is the best thing you can do. Chicks older than 3 weeks do not need an additional heat source. They need dry bedding, wind protection, clean food and water, which it sounds like you have covered.

    Mrs K
     

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