Winterizing coop in Maine

Discussion in 'Coop & Run - Design, Construction, & Maintenance' started by zman, Oct 19, 2009.

  1. zman

    zman In the Brooder

    30
    0
    32
    May 1, 2009
    Fairfield
    Ok..so as the winter gets closer...I am trying to figure out the best way to keep my girls warm in my coop. My coop (houses 2 girls at the moment) and is about 3.5Wdx3.5Lx4H.. I want to make sure my girls are warm enough, but I am very afraid of putting a lamp in the coop and causing a fire. I have been debating about hay bailing around the sides of it for insulation, but I would like some other views..thanks!![​IMG]
     
  2. What breed are your hens?

    Your climate is nearly identical to ours. Lots to consider and winter seems to be coming early this year. The hens might benefit from modifying the coop to a 'huddle box'- it's the ultimate refuge when you have only a couple of birds. The bales seem like a good idea, I assume they will not come in contact with the fibre because they can get interested in taking it apart *eyeroll*.

    This is what we did-

    https://www.backyardchickens.com/web/viewblog.php?id=7693-seasonal-concerns

    I'm sure you will get lots of great suggestions from those in the northeast and Canada...[​IMG]
     
    Last edited: Oct 19, 2009
  3. NurseNettie

    NurseNettie Songster

    926
    0
    149
    Feb 13, 2008
    Northern Maine
    Where in Maine are you? We're in Aroostook County. Moved here 1 1/2 years ago- last winter was our first full winter with chickens (anywhere, that is). Our coop is a room in the back corner of the barn, with a small door exiting to an enclosed run. We enter the coop through a door from the barn. So-- it has 2 exterior walls, and 2 interior walls ( though, their interior in the barn, so just as cold, but more protected.

    We never used a heat lamp in the coop last year, and had no fatalities ( we had one hen that died outside in the run- we found her huddled in a hole next to the barn wall, and assume she was ill or injured, but don't think the cold created this) A few got some frostbite on their combs, but also went outside daily- so I'm assuming the cold and wind created that.
    Most of the exterior walls of the coop have a layer of that thin foil-backed insulation stapled to them. The ceiling does also ( it was done by the prior owner.). The large window gets a double layer of tarp to prevent wind/ drafts. Several sections of the same walls had no isulation, and there was some draft getting in, which I've patched up this year using plastic/tyvec feed bags, stapled floor to ceiling in those sections. We use deep litter bedding, and add during the winter.

    The only lighting we use is a flourescent fixture at ceiling height on a timer, to give them 14 or so hours of "light" - it comes on early morning, then off at sunrise time, and a couple hours in the evening ( more for our convenience so we can feed/water/ and do a last egg collection for the late layers, to prevent those eggs from freezing)

    We do have a second coop this year- an outside "shed" attached to the barn ( that the previous owners had used as their laying house), which isn't as tight as the barn. I've been tarping and filling drafty holes all summer, and hubby is building a second insulated waterer box for this coop. The shed coop has a dirt floor, whereas the other one is a wooden floor that is above ground level. It will be intersting to see which one seems warmer over the winter.

    ( here's a link to the insulated waterer box hubby made last year for the barn coop- and will be doing the same for the other side

    https://www.backyardchickens.com/forum/viewtopic.php?id=106303

    Quote:
     
  4. zman

    zman In the Brooder

    30
    0
    32
    May 1, 2009
    Fairfield
    I live in the waterville area. I have a Houdon and an Aracuna, lost my polish. I am possibily looking at getting another bird or two. I think I will post pictures of my coopand see what people say.
     
  5. NurseNettie

    NurseNettie Songster

    926
    0
    149
    Feb 13, 2008
    Northern Maine
    If you have room, and can use the eggs, a few more hens will help keep the warmth in the coop, without a doubt. If you can post pics or a description of your coop, I'm sure that'll help.
    The most important thing is to have a draft free coop- they will keep themselves warm pretty well.

    Quote:
     
  6. jamz

    jamz In the Brooder

    41
    0
    22
    Mar 22, 2009
    Southern Maine
    I'm in Maine too, my first winter with birds.. but I built em a pretty big coop. The big things seem to be no drafts yet well ventilated.
     
  7. The ruler of the roost

    The ruler of the roost In the Brooder

    17
    0
    22
    Jul 10, 2009
    Carson City, NV
    Great suggestions overall, my input would be to use Vaseline (or off-brand) on your chickens combs - this prevents / reduces frostbite. You'll have to put it on each time temps get down to freezing (should this be an issue where you live).
     
  8. mvm

    mvm Hatching

    2
    0
    6
    Oct 19, 2009
    We are winterizing as well.... and trying to arrange for a reliable neighbor to care for our girls while we are way over Thanksgiving-- anyone have any solid leads on solar powered coop lighting as well an automatic door opener/closer we might look into? We too are in Maine (southern, Eliot) and this will be our first winter with the 6 girls- thanks!
     
  9. zman

    zman In the Brooder

    30
    0
    32
    May 1, 2009
    Fairfield
    here are some pictures. In the one of the of the coop on the outside, I have some boards around the bottom, they were a temporary stop to the underneath of the coop, where the silly girls were laying eggs...I didn't fit [​IMG] Now they have figured out to lay inside...which you can see the door on the back where I get the eggs from. The whole thing is constructed with 2x4 and 1x6 rough pine, three tab shingle and so forth. Oh yeah, I included the girls as well!! Thanks for the ideas!!

    [​IMG]
    [​IMG]
    [​IMG]
    [​IMG]
     
  10. card5640

    card5640 Songster

    365
    0
    129
    Mar 27, 2009
    Bangor area, Maine
    I do use a flood light for light and heat on the coldest days, I have bales around the ouside edges and cover their play yard in plastic to keep the wind off them. Heated waterer. I put dirt in a dish pan and change it once in awhile so they can dust bath, I save dirt inside so it doesnt freze in a 5 g bucket. Mine did good with no frost bite. Have deep straw in playyard and coop. Works for me.
    Denise Orono Maine
     

BackYard Chickens is proudly sponsored by