Winter time ideas

Discussion in 'Coop & Run - Design, Construction, & Maintenance' started by jjsasfai, Oct 7, 2013.

  1. jjsasfai

    jjsasfai Out Of The Brooder

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    Jul 25, 2013
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    I love our coop and I think the hens do to, but Fall is here and winters are just around the corner. What heating source is best to use that wont be a fire hazard? Im in Texas, it ranges anywhere from 40s and 50s F for the highs to the teens at night.
     
  2. Hokum Coco

    Hokum Coco Overrun With Chickens

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    New Brunswick,Canada
    This is how I care for my birds on the east coast of Canada (Indian name for COLD.)

    My floor are planks with a layer of tin for rodent proofing. On top of the tin I have a piece of vinyl flooring cut one foot longer than the length and width of my coop (roughly). Six inches squares are cut out of the 4 cornes of the vinyl flooring. This allows the friction fitted flooring to travel up the walls six inches around the perimiter of my 4x8 salvaged metal coop. Shovel out the heavy stuff into a wheel barrow. Pop out the vinyl flooring hose it off pop it back in.
    Easy Peasy!
    I have been around the sun 63 times.

    It is not my first "Rodeo!"

    Nobody "I know" heats a chicken coop.

    Healthy "cold hearty" chickens die from heat not cold.

    I live in Canada last year was subject to -40º (C or F take your pick) no light or heat in coop NO PROBLEMS.

    Chickens have been raised on this continent for over a hundred years without heat.

    If you feel you must supply heat to your chickens I suggest keeping your chickens in the house that way you can huddle with your birds when the hydro goes out.

    Chickens will die from cold if not given the chance to acclimatize. Hydro is more apt to go out in an ice storm or blizzard when subject to below 0º temperatures in my opinion.

    How would you supply heat then to your un-acclimatized birds ???

    Diary of last winter cold snap check out the link:

    https://www.backyardchickens.com/t/738994/chickens-arctic-conditions-prolonged-period

    I have used all types of litter for coops.

    I have not tried sand (sand gets good reviews on this site).

    Of all the things I tried to date wood pellets have been the best. (I tried wood pellets as a last resort when pine shavings were not available.) They are super absorbent and swell up and eventually turn to saw dust. The droppings just seem to vanish and turn to dust when it comes in contact with wood pellets .

    Replace my litter and clean my coop every October after I harvest my garden.


    Works for me in my deep litter method.

    I do add to pellets from time to time.

    I have anywhere from 10 to 15 birds housed in my 4x8 coop.

    Through the winter months it froze harder than concrete with -40º temperatures. The poop froze before it could be absorbed by the pellets and there was like a crusty layer of poop in certain areas where they collectively took aim (no smell, messy feet or flies @ -40º). Come April things started to look after themselves.

    Oh I might add I do have poop boards 3½" below my roost that I clean every 2 to 3 days (excellent for catching eggs laid through the night).

    In my nest boxes I fold a feed bag to fit (nest boxes are 1 ft³). When a bag gets soiled; fold a new one; pop out the soiled; pop in the new.

    Easy peasy!.

    Chicken coop is salvaged 4x8 metal shed.




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    I house a variety of birds in hear ¼ inch plywood veneer between birds and the elements no heat no light no insulation no problems!
     
  3. jjsasfai

    jjsasfai Out Of The Brooder

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    Jul 25, 2013
    Texas
    Love your coop! I think I'm more concerned about my bantams....they are just so tiny. Also, our coop is made out of fencing and pallets so more wind goes through it. My husband wants to put them in the closet in our garage...I HATE the idea so Im looking for an idea that would be a compromise.
     
    1 person likes this.
  4. barnaclebob

    barnaclebob Chillin' With My Peeps

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    Sep 24, 2012
    If your coop is drafty then a heater wont help much. Don't risk burning your house down and just find a way to eliminate drafts.
     
  5. yogifink

    yogifink Chillin' With My Peeps

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    Pinebluff, nc
    My Coop
    Don't worry about the temperature, concentrate on getting rid of the drafts. Maybe line the coop with some cardboard, foam board or plastic.
     
  6. Alaskan

    Alaskan The Frosted Flake

    If you use foam board, you will have to cover it, the chickens will eat it.

    My bantams have done fine over the winter with no heat.

    But, I would try to cut down on the drafts. I would scrounge for scrap plywood to put up. Even if you end up with just enough plywood to make a five sided box around the perches, that is actually all that you need.

    So....just make sure the perching area is free from drafts, and they have some areas that they can forage in where they won't get wet.
     
  7. yogifink

    yogifink Chillin' With My Peeps

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    May 16, 2013
    Pinebluff, nc
    My Coop
    Quote:Thats good to know about the foamboard. I didn't realize they would eat it. Hungry chickens, #facepalm, lol.
     
  8. ChickensAreSweet

    ChickensAreSweet Heavenly Grains for Hens

    You can make them a huddle box inside the coop. Basically a box where they can be totally out of the wind and cuddle with each other to keep warm. This can be a cardboard box or wooden (or even a covered kitty litter pan with some shavings in it -or sand for easy kitty litter scooping).

    https://www.backyardchickens.com/a/ourlittleflocks-chicken-coop
    Here is one example of huddle boxes.

    Also you may like the Sweeter Heater (they are expensive) as they are touted to be less of a fire hazard. I have always wanted one but have never bought one yet. I agree with the other poster (?s) who said that if there are drafts then a heater won't help. They require a draft-free place to sleep or they may die.
     
    Last edited: Oct 7, 2013
  9. jjsasfai

    jjsasfai Out Of The Brooder

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    Jul 25, 2013
    Texas
    Thank you for the replys! Im seeing a pattern of needing an airtight box for huddling in the winter. Perhaps an igloo type dog house would do the trick?
     
  10. Alaskan

    Alaskan The Frosted Flake

    If you are in the 40s in the day and the teens at night, that is my summer, and I wouldn't do anything.

    If your coop is truly open air, I would tack up one sheet of plywood so the wind doesn't gust right over their perch, and then be done.
     
    1 person likes this.

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