winterizing coop

Discussion in 'Managing Your Flock' started by westchics, Jan 5, 2015.

  1. westchics

    westchics New Egg

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    Apr 30, 2014
    Stevenson, AL
    With the weather fixing to drop off cold here in north alabama...what do I need to do for my girls in the coop? What are the dos and donts...we have made a warmer to keep water from freezing. Heat lamps? Extra shavings? We don't need to put water and food inside coop right? thanks in advance for your help...
     
  2. bobbi-j

    bobbi-j Chicken Obsessed

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    On the MN prairie.
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    How cold is "cold" in Alabama? Here in MN, we've had "highs" below zero the past several days. As long as they have food, water and are sheltered from the weather (but have good ventilation), they'll be fine. Chickens do a lot better in cooler weather than hot. You do not need heat lamps. Extra shavings are fine if that makes you feel better. Mine were out scratching around the other day at -11. Think dry, rather than warm. No, you do not need to put feed and water inside the coop.
     
  3. westchics

    westchics New Egg

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    Apr 30, 2014
    Stevenson, AL
    Cold here in Alabama is 20s and below. Highs in 20s and lows around 11 to 13. So not as cold as what you have but still cold to us down here. I will add some hay and shavings to the coop and use plastic to the run to block wind down low and leave top open for ventilation.
     
  4. bobbi-j

    bobbi-j Chicken Obsessed

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    Mar 15, 2010
    On the MN prairie.
    Sounds like a good plan. They'll be fine. If it's a sudden drop in temps, they may slow down laying for a few days.
     
  5. FrozenWings

    FrozenWings Out Of The Brooder

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    I have learned, it is not so much the areas in which you live or how cold / hot it gets, but rather the type of birds you have. If you have smaller less fatty birds, and birds with larger combs, like Leghorns; Then yes they will be a greater risk to colder temperatures and frost bite.

    Direct wind drafts, moisture, and sub-zero temperatures will kill all chickens. However if your birds are protected from those three elements most popular breeds will survive several days of below zero temperatures. Water is also important, as it help the birds regulate their temperature.

    My flock has experienced -13 F degrees with no heat. No deaths, but some frost bite was had. I had a friend watch my flock while we moved and they had experienced -25 F temperatures. Although they had heat lamps in a larger coop, we lost two. Not sure why they died, as under the heat lamps it's at least 20 F degrees warmer than outside, perhaps they were crowded from the heat. I felt horrible for everyone and my birds.

    Since we moved close to my friend we decided to do a coop with heat. All my birds productivity has slowed in winter no matter what coop I have them in, although that is my next problem to solve. Heated coops keep me up at night worrying about fires, IMO, low risk if done correctly. Non heated coops keep me up worried about my birds. I personally love opening their coop shutters when it's 0 F and snowing outside and seeing them taking dust baths, and just hanging out in 40 F temps. It's my way of thanking them. I know some say I am actually doing them harm, I sort of agree, but they just look happier!

    Oh yea and lots of treats!

    -Frozen Wings

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  6. nayeli

    nayeli Chillin' With My Peeps

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    Jan 18, 2014
    I haven't done anything yet. I'll add more bedding and double check that there is no water getting in. I would close the coop door but they are still going out as cold as it is so if they want to go out than I will let them and if they want to get out of the elements than they have their coop!
     
  7. RonP

    RonP Chillin' With My Peeps

    Keeping the humidity low is more important than keeping the temps high.

    Just worry about keeping the water liquid, and air draft free.
     

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