Winter Question

Discussion in 'Managing Your Flock' started by EncinitasHens, Oct 26, 2010.

  1. EncinitasHens

    EncinitasHens Out Of The Brooder

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    Hello there. I live in Encinitas, California (in north San Diego County coastal). It doesn't get terribly cold in the winter but there are times in dips into the 30s at night and early morning. It never really freezes. Is there anything special I need to do for my ladies? I have 6 hens. They free range during the day and are cooped at night. Their coop is not insulated but I use wood shavings in their nesting boxes and on ground. Do I need to get some sort of insulation for them? Should I be feeding them anything special in the winter? I am not too worried about egg production. I just want to make sure the ladies don't get cold.

    Thanks,

    Hilary

     
    Last edited: Oct 26, 2010
  2. chicmom

    chicmom Dances with Chickens

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    In your area, I would maybe close the windows at night if your coop has them. Or close the pop door to keep the drafts out. That would be about it though.

    Here in Ohio, we've gotta worry about frozen water, frostbite, and it does get so severe.
     
  3. gritsar

    gritsar Cows, Chooks & Impys - OH MY!

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    [​IMG]

    I think your girls will be fine. Just take care of any drafts, make sure you have good ventilation at or near the roofline and you'll be good to go.
     
  4. woodmort

    woodmort Chillin' With My Peeps

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    As long as your birds have a shelter to get into they will be fine. We're regularly into the low 30's this time of year and I haven't shut the coop windows yet. When it gets midwinter here and down to 20 below inside the chicken house my birds would think they'd died and gone to heaven if the coop were 30.
     
  5. greathorse

    greathorse Chillin' With My Peeps

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    I really believe that closing windows in your climate is a bad idea. My birds have tolerated negative 20 more than one time with no ill effect and no heat in the coop.
     
  6. swimmer

    swimmer Chillin' With My Peeps

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    We had blowing snow yesterday and it's cold, snowing and blowing right now. Coop windows still slightly open. They have no idea what heat is. Yesterday I opened the coop door to 4 inches of snow and off they went to hang in the new snow.
     
  7. woodmort

    woodmort Chillin' With My Peeps

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    Quote:Yeah, I have double hung windows in my coop--during the summer they're open at the bottom, during th winter I open them at the top. Since the eaves overhang the windows, very little snow gets in but air comes in just fine.
     
  8. greathorse

    greathorse Chillin' With My Peeps

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    I cant emphasize enough the need for venilation in a coop. I agree you dont want a direct draft on your birds but keeping a window open and vents in the top somewhere is critical to winter health for birds.
     
  9. chick4chix

    chick4chix Chillin' With My Peeps

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    Welcome Encinitas Hen! [​IMG]
    I live in Carlsbad (practically next door), and have 6 hens in a catawaba style ark, attached to one end is a large, fenced run/open area for them to forage and dustbathe etc. They are absolutely fine all winter. The only thing I do is put a tarp over the ark when it's raining - and if it's really blowing wind and rain (like last winter) I put bungie cords around the ends of the tarp to keep it from blowing water in, and the tarp off. I keep dry straw in the bottom and pine shavings in the roost and nest boxes. They did not need insulation- because they all snuggle together in the top of the ark- what is the size of your coop with the roost?
    Even if it's raining I open the end of the ark to the run, and let them decide if they want to come out or not- if it's just misting they'll come out and dig for worms- if it's raining hard- they will stay inside the bottom of the ark and wait for it to stop, or just go upstairs to bed early if it doesn't stop.
     
  10. EncinitasHens

    EncinitasHens Out Of The Brooder

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    Jul 31, 2010
    Thank you for all of the replies. My coop is well ventilated so I am not worried about that. It holds up well in the rain. My friend built my coop and he did a great job. I just wanted to make sure I didn't need to get a heater for them.

    Thank you again [​IMG]
     

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