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Winterize in northern Wisconsin

Discussion in 'Coop & Run - Design, Construction, & Maintenance' started by dpears28, Dec 8, 2013.

  1. dpears28

    dpears28 In the Brooder

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    Mar 27, 2013
    Superior, Wi
    Hi there. I am a first time chicken farmer as my family calls me. I got my chickens this spring and am experiencing my first winter. We have 16 total birds. One bronze breasted turkey, 2 Swedish ducks, 13 chickens. (D'uccle, Dominique, Rhode island cross, just to name a few) We have a lean to built on the end of our two car garage. I think it was once a dog kennel. We use a deep litter method and feed and water them twice daily. We use a cool whip container to scoop our food and give them two scoops of crumbles and two scoops of scratch. We also give them food scraps when we have them. We have not winterized the run which as I've been reading might be something I should do. Our coop is "insulated" with tarps and 3/4 inch thick sheet insulation. We have a solid door to get in and out of. I'm looking for more tips and help on how to give my birds the best they can get this winter. Temps have been -25 already and I worry they aren't getting enough to eat and potential frost bite. Would really appreciate any information this community has to give. Thank you so much.
     

  2. jetdog

    jetdog Songster

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    Jun 18, 2013
    Massachusetts
    For what reason why wouldn't you let them have a feeder so they can eat at their own will they will only eat when they are hungry, I wrapped my run with clear shower curtains, blocks the wind and lets the sunshine in, keeps the snow and rain out and everything dry.I think the wind does more harm to them than anything else imo.
     
  3. dpears28

    dpears28 In the Brooder

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    Mar 27, 2013
    Superior, Wi
    Hi, we weren't feeding our chickens "freely" out of financial reasons. They eat the feed faster than we can afford to buy them. I know that sounds cruel. We don't ever let them go hungry as we feed them two times a day and their bowl is hardly ever empty. Just want to clarify. My run is open. Just chicken wire with netting over the top. Do you cover the whole run in plastic or is the "roof" of your run covered?
     
  4. Muffinburgler

    Muffinburgler Chirping

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    Feb 8, 2012
    Watsonville, CA
    I'd replace that chicken wire as soon as you were financially able to. Chicken wire won't keep your birds safe from any kind of predator. Also maybe consider buying a different type of food so they slow down their eating, like pelleted crumbles. You can also give them your table scraps so they stay happy and your trash can empty.

    I'm not from a place that gets cold winters, but from what I've learned on this site, wrapping the entire run in plastic would keep the snow and chill out. If that's too much plastic, just covering the roof and maybe along the bottom to keep blown snow out would be fine.
     
    Last edited: Dec 15, 2013
  5. jetdog

    jetdog Songster

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    Jun 18, 2013
    Massachusetts
    Mine has a roof and is covered on 2 sides with heavy canvas and a shower curtain on 1 side, the 4th side is against the garage so no need to do that side.
     

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