Winterize Your Coop, Feed and Water is Important.

Discussion in 'Managing Your Flock' started by Heme, Nov 26, 2014.

  1. Heme

    Heme Chillin' With My Peeps

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    Hi Friends: Lauren here with information to help you maintain and keep the Girls Happy.

    Light: Yes 12-14 hours light each day help maintain the laying cycle and keep production up. The use of infrared (RED Coated) bulbs up to 300 Watts in a reflector lamp work well. Not only can you provide light, you gain warmth necessary for the comfort of the flock. White light is not preferable but a decent alternative.

    Water: Considering you use a Pale, Bucket, or Fount; freezing temperatures could cause Ice Formations and the birds cannot get their normal amount of fluids. You can purchase various heaters such as immersed devices, heat-tape, or commercial hot-plates, however; a cheap alternative is a 40-60 Watt incandescent bulb inside of a 1/2 Cinder Block. Screw a bulb into a ceramic bulb socket (one like used in an attic or crawl space) that is affixed to a small 2" x 2" section of wood flooring or scrap ply-wood. Take Lamp cord (16-18 Gage) screw to terminals and run under or through the coop with the opposing end attached to a male-plug. Place the light inside of the cinder block and cover with sheet metal or several layers of heavy-duty aluminum wrap. The wrap prevents and water leaking from the water container to come in contact with the warm bulb. Moisture won't effect the 110VAC wired connections or socket under normal circumstances. The lit bulb is just warm enough to maintain the water temperature and keep it from freezing.

    Air Circulation: A coop should never be air tight. If the coop is in an open area, it is best to cover the wind-side to help reduce the chill. Cover the two sides may help prevent the cold from chilling the Girls and boy friend, but advisably use a rollup canvas that can be lifted when you have a sunny day or the temperature is above freezing. Only cover the remaining open side if you experience blustering snow and windy conditions; and remove when clam and warming conditions exist.

    Clean: To prevent distressed birds, do your usual maintenance. Remove waste materials, replace aged water with fresh aerated water with added nutrients, vitamins and minerals. Add additional floor material to the coop. Mix top soil with Contractors sand in a bucket, add Diatomaceous Earth to control mites (1 cup per bucket of soil mix). Spread soil evenly on coop floor and let the Girls do their dusting as usual.

    Insulation Effect: Over the dirt floor of the coop, pile a layer of straw or hay. The Girls love to rearrange the materials and they find goodies to eat at the same time. The advantage of a pile of hay allows the hens to lay on the surface and retain body heat. Hay or Straw also absorb and collect waste from the hens and make it easy to rake, collect, and remove the unwanted.

    Hope this helps: Sincerely Lauren
     
  2. iwiw60

    iwiw60 Overrun With Chickens

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    Central Oregon

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