Winter is Coming..

Discussion in 'Coop & Run - Design, Construction, & Maintenance' started by Corona Ranch, Nov 22, 2016.

  1. Corona Ranch

    Corona Ranch Just Hatched

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    Hey all!
    I need some advice on caring for my flock this winter. It's my first year with more than 3 hens :).
    I live in central Florida where the summers are hot and very humid and the rest of the year it really isn't all that cold, by most standards (being a Florida native I think 55 and below is cold lol). The coop I have for my chickens is really our back porch converted into a coop (works really well against predators) so it's open on all sides except the bottom half and the side that is attached to our house. Now, the coldest it ever gets at my house is lower 30's during the night. Should I temporarily board up my coop for the winter? Or will my girls be fine? What temperatures can they tolerate? I have Barred Plymouth Rocks, Buff Orpingtons, Australorps, Ameraucanas, and some New Hampshire Red mixes.
    All the articles and magazines I've read have been written from the stand point of someone who see's snow every winter. lol

    Thank you!
     
  2. azygous

    azygous Chicken Obsessed

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    I live in Colorado where the winters are pretty harsh. A few years ago, I went with a bunch of people and toured an old abandoned farm out on the prairie. The farm house and all the outbuilding were intact, and it was easy to see that this building was for the horses, that one was for the goats, and another was the chicken coop.

    Be aware that the wind and blizzards on the prairie are just awful. But the one thing all the buildings had in common was they were three-sided with the open side facing south. This provided shelter from the winter wind and blowing snow while providing maximum ventilation.

    That's how many people manage their animals even today, especially in places that have tropical and sub-tropical climate. There's no need to enclose your coop. All you need to do is provide a windbreak against the prevailing winter wind. All other exposures can be open.

    Check out this thread on open air coops https://www.backyardchickens.com/t/126634/open-air-coops for more ideas.
     
    Last edited: Nov 22, 2016
  3. N F C

    N F C dem crazy bones Premium Member

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    Until this spring, I lived in north central FL (not far from Gainesville) and we had temps similar to what you describe. I agree with @azygous that as long as your chickens are protected from the wind and are dry, they should be fine. All their feathers are good insulation, they just can't take being cold and wet.

    Good luck to you!
     
  4. Corona Ranch

    Corona Ranch Just Hatched

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    Oh my goodness thank you for the feedback! I was super worried when the temps dropped below 40 the other night lol. We have a lot of trees around my house so they dont get much wind if there is any.
    Thank you again [​IMG]
     

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