Winter questions- located in WI

Discussion in 'Coop & Run - Design, Construction, & Maintenance' started by Busia77, Sep 16, 2016.

  1. Busia77

    Busia77 In the Brooder

    Apr 17, 2016
    Few questions as I start thinking about winter prep-

    1. Do I need to heat my coop?
    2. Do I need extra light for my laying hens?
    3. How do I know how much ventilation I need? Coop is insulated.

    I'm in WI, I know these questions depend highly on the type of winter in the area.

    Thanks for any advice!!

  2. kk5263

    kk5263 Hatching

    Sep 24, 2012

    We live in central Ontario Canada
    We do not heat the coup and it is not insulated.
    We use light bulbs in a old pot to heat waterer, 60W till it gets about 5 -10 below 0 Celsius when it gets colder then switch to 100W
    We do put a light on a timer to make the day longer. Some say turn it on in the morning, if you have roasters its not a good idea.
    We have gaps not a real tight building so ventilation not a problem.

    1 person likes this.
  3. Howard E

    Howard E Songster

    Feb 18, 2016
    In almost all situations, no heat is needed in a chicken house. Birds can adapt to almost all extremes of winter climate if you help them out.

    First of all, and this is largely ignored these days, is it helps if you selected birds that are cold hardy. In general, that means small combs and wattles. Frozen or frostbite on combs and wattles is the main concern. They come with built in insulation in the form of feathers. It also helps if they are in condition for winter and are given sufficient feed to fuel their metabolism. Get all that right, and your birds can handle a lot. To give you an idea of how extreme of weather birds were expected to survive in, one old school way of providing them water was to expect them to eat snow. That was a routine practice once upon a time. Even today I notice the wild birds in my backyard eating snow on really cold days when all the water is frozen.

    Next point, dry is warm, so to help them stay warm, they need to be kept dry. That requires ventilation to let moisture escape. The moisture comes from the birds themselves. Old school standard rule of thumb was 1 SF of ventilation per 10 SF of floor space. In general, if the coop is tight enough to prevent the wind from blowing through, no insulation is needed at all. So well ventilated, with minimal drafts. Sounds implausible on the surface, but can be done.

    As a substitute for artificial light, a lot of south facing windows to let in natural light from the winter sun, combined with an interior that is painted white to reflect natural light around, goes a long way towards keeping them laying and in good shape. Enhancing natural light extends the day as much as possible, keeping them feeding etc.

    So dark, damp and drafty is bad. Well lit with natural light, dry and well ventilated is what you want. (What they want).
    1 person likes this.
  4. I have a well ventilated, insulated Coop..It is 12x12...I do run a heat lamp in my coop once the temp really drop at night to -10..I am in North Central Alberta and it gets cold...My floor is a raised wood floor with Lino. I have a deep layer of sand also in the Coop and Run...
    My water never freezes and my hens lay eggs all winter...Every morning I open the pop door so they can go outside if they choose to walk around in the run?

    Do what makes you feel right for your Chickens...

    Good luck

  5. Hokum Coco

    Hokum Coco Crowing 5 Years

    Dec 6, 2012
    New Brunswick,Canada
    Last edited: Sep 16, 2016
    1 person likes this.
  6. aart

    aart Chicken Juggler! Premium Member 5 Years

    Nov 27, 2012
    SW Michigan
    My Coop
    1 person likes this.

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