Wintering chickens in the garage

Discussion in 'Coop & Run - Design, Construction, & Maintenance' started by becy, Mar 24, 2015.

  1. becy

    becy Out Of The Brooder

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    Mar 24, 2015
    ...is something I want to look into for next season. I'd also like to move my chicks from the rubbermaid brooder to a garage set up prior to putting them into their permanent outdoor coop so I'm thinking about getting started on something now. I will have 3-4 bantams to house over the worst of winter (-0* temps and snow), mid-Decmber through mid-March. I may even only want to garage coop them during the worst cold and/or snowy snaps, leaving them out otherwise. I think this would make them easier to care for, most notably keeping their water from freezing.

    I have a couple of questions. First, will the birds need a box (house) to roost in, inside a garage? I plan to construct a small stall of sorts in the corner on the south wall near the south facing window. I would give them roosts and the floor will be matted/bedded but they will not have access to outside during this time. The garage has water/electric and is insulated, though it is not heated and gets well below freezing. Before I built an insulated box to enclose them, my exposed water pipes always froze out there.

    Also, would enclosing the stall in window screen cut down on the dust from this set up? This is not a fancy garage but the lawn mower, power tools, and all my gardening stuff live there. I'm not sure 3 or 4 bantams would create that much dust but I truly don't know. But then conversely, if it cut down on the dust in the garage, would it just be concentrating the dust in the birds' living environment?

    I am not worried about them getting cold, I am worried about keeping the water from freezing when it's -30F and I know I can take better care of them inside when the winter gets really bad. Does anyone have any thoughts or words of wisdom?
     
  2. SIMZ

    SIMZ Chillin' With My Peeps

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    I've done this in the past. I used a large rabbit hutch with perches (probably 6-7 X 3) and it worked really well. I sometimes let them "free range" in the garage, which wasn't the best idea. I didn't have a box, but provided a nest box for the hens to lay eggs. Chickens are dusty, but it's a garage, right? As long as they'll be safe from predators I think just about whatever you come up with will work well. Remember that the more room you give them the better.
     
  3. becy

    becy Out Of The Brooder

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    Mar 24, 2015
    Thanks for the info, SIMZ. How many birds did you keep inside and for how long?
     
  4. SIMZ

    SIMZ Chillin' With My Peeps

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    It was 4. One bantam rooster and 3 hens. It was last winter when it was so crazy cold, so they were in most of the winter. What I had them in was too small & short (only about 3 feet high) to keep them in without some out time, but it probably would have been fine had it been taller with extra roost space. The garage they were in wasn't heated, but never got below about 20 even in the coldest temps.
     
  5. TalkALittle

    TalkALittle Chillin' With My Peeps

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    I've had two bantams in my garage since January. There is a nice thick layer of dust coating my husband's summer car and everything else in there. Now that the weather is getting better I need to pull the car out and take the leaf blower to the garage.
     
  6. becy

    becy Out Of The Brooder

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    Mar 24, 2015
    Hmm, perhaps a tarp would help? Over the tools/small engines that is! I guess I should plan to leave them outside as often as possible Thanks for the info. I'm new at this :)
     

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