Winterizing coop not working out

SilkieSisters

Songster
Sep 4, 2018
115
204
116
Northeast Ohio
I live up north where the winters get pretty brutal and the snow lasts until March or April. Until now the snow has been on and off so the hens are still able to go outside some days (they dont like coming outside in the snow). In November I completely cleaned out the coop and tarped the walls and installed a ventilator in the roof to keep it dry inside. I really wanted to do it right this year in the coop during winter. I got rid of the heat lamps and got a red light for the night and white light for the day. I also got a flat panel radiator specifically for coops for when it gets below freezing. However, the hard snow and cold hasn't started yet for the long run and the coop bedding is already stinky and really dirty . . . damp and soggy. I know this isn't good for them and I don't know what Im doing wrong. Maybe there's too many of them, but it doesn't get this wet this fast in the other seasons and I know how dangerous wet bedding is in the winter. Any suggestions on what I can do?
 

rosemarythyme

Free Ranging
Jul 3, 2016
5,910
10,910
642
Pac NW
My Coop
My Coop
Photos of set up?

Also helpful to know the exact measurements of coop, the number of birds, the exact amount of ventilation and where it's located. Sounds like the ventilation system you have is either insufficient or not working properly, or just not enough for number of birds in the coop. More birds = more poop = more moisture, especially if there's not good ventilation to let that moisture out.
 

aart

Chicken Juggler!
Premium member
Nov 27, 2012
71,021
71,819
1,557
SW Michigan
My Coop
My Coop
Any suggestions on what I can do?
We are of no help at all until we know:
-your flock size(numbers, ages, genders),
-your coop(size in feet by feet with pics).

...and...
Where in this world are you located?
Climate, and time of year, is almost always a factor.
Please add your general geographical location to your profile.
It's easy to do, (laptop version shown), then it's always there!
upload_2019-12-8_16-58-41.png
 

MilesFluffybutt

Songster
Nov 16, 2016
362
419
171
Vermont
Keeping chickens in winter climates is rough. I'm in northern Vermont so I get your struggle. It sucks keeping chickens in the winter here - it's significantly more work.

I've tried all the things you've mentioned above, and honestly, you're best bet is to clean the coop regularly. I clean mine every two weeks and I scoop the poop boards every other day. I have Sweet PDZ and First Saturday Lime mixed in with their bedding and as the poop board litter, but it only does so much.

As the folks above me touched upon, you're always going to have moisture - from their water, from their breath, from their droppings. I think wrapping your coop would keep more moisture in.

What's important is that the birds have a dry and draft-free coop. Consider re-purposing the traps as a windbreak.
 
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PirateGirl

Chicken Lover, Duck Therapist
Premium member
Mar 11, 2017
7,000
17,461
612
South Park, Colorado, USA
Is the drinking water in the coop or the run?
How many chickens in what size coop?
How often do you add dry bedding?

A few things I do (or don't do) to keep the coop dry is to only provide drinking water outside, do not overcrowd the coop, do not lock them in the coop and allow them the choice of going in/out on any day, if I know there's a snowstorm coming that is when I choose to scoop out any wet/soiled bedding and top it off with fresh dry bedding because I know the birds will spend more time inside and track moisture in the coop via snow on their feet. These are some of the things that have worked for me, hopefully some or all of them may help you.
 

chickens really

Crazy Call Duck Momma
Premium member
Sep 8, 2015
59,287
101,964
1,617
The Funny Farm....Alberta, Canada
Is the drinking water in the coop or the run?
How many chickens in what size coop?
How often do you add dry bedding?

A few things I do (or don't do) to keep the coop dry is to only provide drinking water outside, do not overcrowd the coop, do not lock them in the coop and allow them the choice of going in/out on any day, if I know there's a snowstorm coming that is when I choose to scoop out any wet/soiled bedding and top it off with fresh dry bedding because I know the birds will spend more time inside and track moisture in the coop via snow on their feet. These are some of the things that have worked for me, hopefully some or all of them may help you.
Water in the Coop doesn't cause issue...:frow
I know because mine has always been inside..
 
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