Winterizing my coop?

Discussion in 'Coop & Run - Design, Construction, & Maintenance' started by btruegs, Aug 25, 2014.

  1. btruegs

    btruegs Chillin' With My Peeps

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    May 1, 2014
    Spokane WA
    Hey guys!

    I know it's not winter yet, but need some help preparing my coop. I'm in spokane, so winters get pretty dang cold here, and summers are pretty hot. During the winter, it often gets 20F or lower. I read that you should not use the 250watt infared heat bulbs for chicks because they get too hot, but to use a 75 watt. Is this correct?

    Also,

    I was wondering if i should close the ramp going in and out of the coop and just let my girls out every once in a while? do i need to seal up the gaps?

    Thanks so much!!!
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  2. tcstoehr

    tcstoehr Chillin' With My Peeps

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    Mar 25, 2014
    Canby, Oregon
    Chickens are well able to tolerate whatever low temperatures Spokane can throw their way. Don't bother with insulation. But do give them protection from driving winds. Your coop needs ventilation which implies a free flow of outside are coming in, but that doesn't mean your chickens should be exposed to any cross drafts. Do not install any heat lamps, let your chickens adjust to the cold day by day. Leave the pop-door open and let the chickens come and go as they see fit. About plugging gaps... probably not necessary so long as protection from predators and cross-drafts is present.
    People in colder areas than Spokane over-winter their chickens in three-sided coops, with a completely open front side.
     
  3. RJSorensen

    RJSorensen Chicken George

    We get at or below -20F and use no heat, but also no draft(s). Your weather should be more than ok for your birds. Up in the Dakotas they see -40F and worse. That means that you are 60F warmer… than the upper heartland. Your birds will be fine. I like to seal up cracks, but that is up to you. I like to control my ventilation, and don't count cracks as part of it. Close the ramp at night or not as you feel or see the need. Birds always tell you what they need, if you will just watch them.]

    Best to you and your birds,

    RJ
     
  4. btruegs

    btruegs Chillin' With My Peeps

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    May 1, 2014
    Spokane WA

    Thanks for the help guys! that's cold! i was asking about the heat lamp because i read if you have one on it helps with egg production.
     
  5. RJSorensen

    RJSorensen Chicken George

    Some folks use a 40-60 watt bulb to extend the daylight hours, to increase egg production, but never a heat lamp. I think they try to make a 14 hour day, to coach a few more lays out of them. I just let nature do what she does, a few more or less does not make a difference in my setup.

    I just raise birds for the enjoyment of it. Not for profit… I do understand the extra lighting works however, what ever works for you and your management style.

    Best to you and your birds,

    RJ
     
  6. growyourbrew

    growyourbrew Chillin' With My Peeps

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    Jul 17, 2012
    You should be just fine without heat. Our winters can drop to -40F. Our coop is not insulated (but big -converted from a greenhouse) and the door is always cracked open for free outdoor access. We use the deep litter method and the chickens are just fine. We do however, extend daylight hours with an extra light (not for heat).
     

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