Winter & Other Random Questions . . .

Discussion in 'Coop & Run - Design, Construction, & Maintenance' started by Naptown Chicks, Dec 20, 2012.

  1. Naptown Chicks

    Naptown Chicks Out Of The Brooder

    Apr 1, 2012
    My Coop
    This is my first winter with my girls (I still call them that, even though I'm 99.999% sure my light brahma is a rooster (I also have two BPRs)), and I feel for them with the weather we've been having. Additional info: Their coop was built with insulation, but they've pecked most of it off. Also, I leave the small door open; the windows are shuttered, but I'm sure a draft gets through. I'm in Indianapolis - the weather is all over the place (today alone we had thunderstorms, a wind advisory, and a winter weather advisory - it's snowing now); it rarely dips into the single digits in the winter. It's been super rainy; their run is uncovered and it's really muddy. They don't go inside their coop during the day, so we put a little shelter in the run, which they do seem to use.

    Winter Questions:
    1) Should I close the door to the coop after they go in for the night? Do I need to wake up with them to open it?
    2) Should I put a heater in the coop? If so, what do you suggest? I'm worried a heat lamp would be too hot/a serious fire hazard.

    Random Questions:
    1) One of my BPRs had broken feathers and blood around her comb the other day. Either she got in a fight with a hawk or falcon or (more likely) the light brahma was nipping at her during a particularly violent mounting. She seems fine now, but in the future, is there something I should treat the area with?
    2) I can't get my hens to lay in their boxes, is this a big deal? I tried the golf balls when they first started, but they just pulled them into the main area where they were laying (points for cleverness for them - I haven't added a ledge yet to the end of the boxes so this isn't possible).

  2. Okay for random question number two I had the same problem so One day not to long after she started laying I picked here up and walked here over to the nesting boxes and plopped her in it first she looked around then jumped out but once she knew what it was for she layed in there ever since
  3. And for the winter question number one
    What I do is close the door every single night it dosent matter if its summer I still close it just in case a raccoon gets in there and yea I open it up after I wake up but I love being out there early in the morning wearing my PJ's
    And u should put plastic on the shutters so the wind dosent get in there well I guess it's just a option cause thats what I do but I don't know if I am even hung to put a lamp in there
  4. willowbranchfarm

    willowbranchfarm Chicken Boots

    Oct 3, 2011
    My Coop
    For winter question number two. If you put a heater in their coop it will make them less resistant to the cold so from then on you will always have to put a heater out. Ive never heated my coop. Chickens will snuggle together and keep warm.
  5. Hahaha that's so true mine all snuggle together on one side of the roost wayyyy to cute
  6. Naptown Chicks

    Naptown Chicks Out Of The Brooder

    Apr 1, 2012
    My Coop
    Thanks everyone! Any more opinions on the window/door situation?
  7. Judy

    Judy Chicken Obsessed Staff Member Premium Member

    Feb 5, 2009
    South Georgia
    You can use an antibiotic cream orointment on minor injuries, as long as it doesn't have a "caine" drug in it (such as cetacaine, benzoxaine, etc.) or use some Blu-Kote or a generic of it. It is mostly gnetian violet, which is an antiseptic. It also stains everything bluish purple, which discourages the others from pecking the injury. If your roo injures the girls that badly when mating, you may have to remove him.

    Most setups are more secure against predators if you close the coop door at night, but a lot of folks don't. Personal choice. depends somewhat on how secure their yard or run is, and your predator situation. We have plenty but they seem to prefer wild food sources.

    You don't need heat, but you do need ventilation, which will allow humidity to escape and help prevent frostbite. Leaky windows aren't really the way to do this. See here:

    And for your mud problems, this may help:

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