Winterizing our coop

Discussion in 'Managing Your Flock' started by TaylorChicks, Nov 3, 2013.

  1. TaylorChicks

    TaylorChicks Out Of The Brooder

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    May 6, 2013
    We have eight hens. Their breeds were all chosen with cold weather in mind, so they are all supposed to be hearty for winter. We have a 16x12 run with an 8x5 coop. Right now, the coop does not have a roof, but it is under the roofed half of the run. The girls like to roost in the rafters, even though we put a roosting ladder inside for them. Do we need to put a roof on the coop itself for winter? Should we use a heat lamp? We live in MI. Half if iur chickens are 18 months old and half of We have eight hens. Their breeds were all chosen with cold weather in mind, so they are all supposed to be hearty for winter. We have a 16x12 run with an 8x5 coop. Right now, the coop does not have a roof, but it is under the roofed half of the run. The girls like to roost in the rafters, even though we out a roosting ladder inside for them. So we need to put a roof on the coop itself for winter? Should we use a heat lamp? We live in mi. Attached are pics of our coop as it is now. Half if iur chickens are 18 months old and half of them are 6 months old. Attached are pics of our coop as it is now.

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    Last edited: Nov 3, 2013
  2. Smithyard Farm

    Smithyard Farm Chillin' With My Peeps

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    Hi There! I am in NH... and have a roof over our run kind of like yours. I had a few ladies that would stay outside and not go into the coop. they did end up with a very very sight case of frostbite on a comb or two. I am planning on rolling out chicken wire across the top next weekend to keep them off the roosts out there. I have a heat lamp that is plugged into a thermal cube only comes on when it is 20 degrees out. They are fine though. its me that worries. Half the time the lamp wa son and some of the birds wee way over on other side anyway.

    I would think about a roof though.. so it not s drafty with the winter winds. nice coop!
     
  3. jetdog

    jetdog Chillin' With My Peeps

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    I would say definitely put a roof on the coop, mine were roosting in the rafters also so I put up some chicken wire to keep them out.They had no choice but to go in the coop to roost, I wouldn't use a heat lamp just make sure there are no drafts.
     
  4. bobbi-j

    bobbi-j Chicken Obsessed

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    On the MN prairie.
    I'd close the gap between the coop and run roof. Most of my chickens prefer rafter-roosting and I don't see a problem with it. I'm in MN, by the way. You do not need a heat lamp. That can be more detrimental than helpful. By providing artificial heat, they do not become naturally acclimated to the cold weather. If your power goes out, those chickens have no defense against the cold. Excess moisture is more the enemy than the cold.

    Smithyard Farm - your chickens being on the other side of the coop when the heat lamp was on should tell you something. They're too warm! Honestly, they have built-in down coats and don't need the extra heat. [​IMG]
     
  5. WalkingOnSunshine

    WalkingOnSunshine Overrun With Chickens

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    I wholeheartedly agree--you aren't helping your birds by heating the coop. Think of how you feel when you come into the heated house after being outside in your winter coat--you want to take that coat off, you're too hot. Well, the birds can't take their coats off. They need to be allowed to acclimate to the cold weather slowly and naturally, as the temperature naturally dips into winter. Then they'll be fine with no heat down to -20F. To top it off, heat lamps are horrible fire hazards, and have burned down more than one coop.

    As long as they have a place to stay dry and out of the wind, they'll be fine. Too snug a coop is worse than too drafty a coop, because then there's no way for moisture to escape and you get frostbite and ammonia build-up.
     
  6. TaylorChicks

    TaylorChicks Out Of The Brooder

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    May 6, 2013
    Thanks so much for the input! A roof for the coop will be our solution. Enclosing the space at the top is a great idea. That way, they can still rafter roost and it will still be tall enough in there for my boys to get in to clean. And we can take it back down in the spring. Perfect!
     

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