Winterizing Chicken Coop

Discussion in 'Managing Your Flock' started by BuckinghamFarm, Oct 2, 2016.

  1. BuckinghamFarm

    BuckinghamFarm Just Hatched

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    Oct 2, 2016
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    Hey everyone! This is my first post! I've been roaming around this site for a while now and figured id reach out and ask a few questions, and hopefully some experienced users can reply and help me out. Ive done some research, but id like to get some personalized information/clarification on a few weather related questions. I lost a flock last year to a critter and am a little paranoid on losing this flock due to weather or anything else for that matter. I rebuilt the coop over the summer and put hardware cloth everywhere from underneath to the roof and about 24" around the perimiter along with rocks. I currently have 6 Rhode Island Reds that are about 15 weeks old. As we come into the colder months id like to get some input from everyone on BYC as to what I should do to winterize my coop. I know I need to keep the coop draft free, but how would I get fresh air in there and still keep the drafts out? Also, should I set up a different watering system? (watering pipe is on the right) Should i be ok dropping a heating element in the pipe and a motor to move the water around? Will the poultry nipples freeze? Should i put a red lamp in there? Any input would be greatly appreciated. I can provide more pictures if needed. Thanks in advance!!! -Ricky



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  2. redsoxs

    redsoxs Chicken Obsessed

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    Greetings from Kansas and :welcome! Great to have you aboard. You'll get lots of winterizing ideas in these links https://www.backyardchickens.com/a/winter-chicken-keeping
    And https://www.backyardchickens.com/a/...led-look-at-the-question-of-supplemental-heat
    For ventilation could you place a narrow shim under the nesting box lid? That would provide ventilation but not cause a draft. I don't think light is needed. Your coop is small and your little ladies will be toasty without heat. Best wishes on your poultry adventure!
     
  3. bobbi-j

    bobbi-j Chicken Obsessed

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    :welcome

    Telling us your location (or at least a general idea) would help us know your climate so we can better help you. I'm in MN where we can get into the teens and 20's below zero at times. My coops are more shed-like. I leave the windows out until it's below freezing, and the pop door is open unless it's in the teens below zero. Both coops have vented soffits to help remove moisture from the air. That is the biggest thing there - remove the humidity. I would recommend not putting a lamp of any kind in your coop. For one thing, that coop looks pretty small - there is a chance the chickens could accidentally hit it, knock it down and cause a fire. Also, if they are out if the elements, and your coop is well ventilated and draft free, they are better off with consistent temperatures. They will acclimate and grow their down coats which will keep them nice and warm both inside the coop and out of it.
     
    Last edited: Oct 2, 2016
  4. Mrs. K

    Mrs. K Overrun With Chickens

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    Truthfully, I would clean out the shed to the right of the set up and use that for the coop. The little coop is ok for brooding chicks but unless it is much bigger than it looks, it is not big enough. It looks about 3 ft x3ft? With the shed, you could open up ventilation well above the roost. I like my chickens heads to be 15 inches below the ceiling. Keeps them much dryer. Dry chickens are warm.
     
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  5. Beekissed

    Beekissed True BYC Addict

    If you are wondering about your water freezing I'm guessing you live where you have a winter, which means you'll need an actual coop. Right now all you have is a nesting box and a run with roosts. You can't really winterize that kind of setup unless you tarp or plastic the whole thing to keep out the snow/rain/wind.

    Like another poster stated, the shed next to your run would be a better option, with a few large windows cut out for light and ventilation.
     
  6. BuckinghamFarm

    BuckinghamFarm Just Hatched

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    Oct 2, 2016
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    thanks for the reply! I live in Connecticut. Our winters are in the teens and sometimes around 0 at night.
     
  7. BuckinghamFarm

    BuckinghamFarm Just Hatched

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    Oct 2, 2016
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    yes, the coop is quite small. I do plan on lining the run with contractors plastic to keep the elements out.I was planning on using the shed as a actual cool, but can sacrifice the room yet. Now, if i use the plastic to line the run would i leave a couple inches at the very top exposed so air can get in?
     
  8. BuckinghamFarm

    BuckinghamFarm Just Hatched

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    Oct 2, 2016
    Southern Connecticut
    yes, i am worried about the water freezing in the winter. I live in CT and over the winter is does get quite cold here for the winter. I plan on using a 5 gallon bucket hooked up to a thermocube with a couple horizontal poultry nipples with a heating element and a water pump to keep the water moving around. thoughts?
     
  9. aart

    aart Chicken Juggler! Premium Member

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    Using shed is good idea regardless of climate.

    If you live where t frequently goes below 32F, those vertical nipples are going to stand up even with a heater.
    They look a little low too.
    Here's what I use, has worked great down to -12F....and weeks on end of 24/7 <32F.
     
  10. Beekissed

    Beekissed True BYC Addict

    So air can get out....most definitely. And a couple inches at the bottom along one side, above the bedding, for the same reason....good air in the bottom, stale and humid air out the top. Will help you avoid frostbite if you can get some gentle air movement of that type going. You might also consider some DL in that run for more winter time heat and health for the gals. As long as you maintain good ventilation it will work wonders in there.
     

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