Winterizing question

Discussion in 'Coop & Run - Design, Construction, & Maintenance' started by Trixieflower, Sep 11, 2011.

  1. Trixieflower

    Trixieflower Out Of The Brooder

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    Aug 4, 2011
    East Quogue, NY
    At what night time temperature does the coop need to be winterized? What I am wondering is when does my DH need to cover the screens with plexiglass so the girls aren't feeling too chilly at night. We live on the east end of Long Island. Night time temps have just started to dip into the upper fifties, so we are wondering when we need to tighten things up. This will be our first winter with 2 SLW's 2 Patridge Rocks and 2 EE's...thanks!
     
  2. teach1rusl

    teach1rusl Love My Chickens

    We're dipping into the low and mid 50s at night here, so I've gone ahead and closed put the plexiglass/lexan in the bantam coop windows. I've been closing the windows in my big coop at night too, although I open them during the day (can't do that in my bantam coop). You COULD wait until it hits the 40s, but my windows are right there at the roosts, and they were huddling a bit.
     
  3. superchemicalgirl

    superchemicalgirl HEN PECKED

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    I actually leave all my windows open unless it's a blizzard or below -30 (and then I still keep them cracked). They need the ventilation more than they need to be "warm" in my opinion. Just make sure they have a windbreak, so the wind isn't directly blowing on them. Also make sure your roost is nice and wide so they can cover their toes. I lost only one chicken in the winter, and she fell off the roost and hit her head on the side of the poo board, so it wasn't related to the cold. I also let them out of the coop every single day unless it was actively snowing. And that includes below -30.

    They're a lot more hardy than you would ever think.
     
  4. Trixieflower

    Trixieflower Out Of The Brooder

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    Aug 4, 2011
    East Quogue, NY
    Our roost is a 1 1/2" wood dowel, like what you would have in your closet. Does it need to be wider or flatter to keep their feet warm enough?
     
  5. teach1rusl

    teach1rusl Love My Chickens

    I hadn't thought about the ventilation aspect. Both my coops have ventilation built in up high. Trixie - does your coop have regular ventilation (besides the windows??).
     
  6. superchemicalgirl

    superchemicalgirl HEN PECKED

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    I use 2x4s with the fat (4) end up. Works great. I think anything wide enough that you don't see toes sticking out when they roost is fine. If you see toes sticking out, they can't keep them warm.

    I sincerely apologize that this is the fastest picture I can find to illustrate my point... but ... here it is:

    [​IMG]

    Look Ma, no toes!

    [​IMG]
     
  7. WoodlandWoman

    WoodlandWoman Overrun With Chickens

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    Chickens take cold weather much better than they take hot weather. The cool spring and fall weather is their favorite, here.

    Does having the windows open cause any draft on the chickens when they're roosting? Do they have draft free areas to hang out in on the floor when the windows are open? Sometimes keeping chickens out of drafts in a small coop is more challenging than in a larger coop.

    If drafts aren't a problem, then you mainly need to keep them open long enough that sudden warm days don't over warm the coop. However, you can leave them open indefinitely.

    This is very important, though. Do you have any other ventilation openings cut into the coop? Chickens need ventilation in the winter, too. It releases the extra moisture that can build up in the coop. That keeps their lungs healthy and keeps them from getting frost bite. Plus, they need a certain amount of fresh air for oxygen and to release excess carbon dioxide. If you haven't cut any other ventilation openings in the coop, don't close any windows until you do.
     
  8. Trixieflower

    Trixieflower Out Of The Brooder

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    Aug 4, 2011
    East Quogue, NY
    Yes, there will be adequate ventilation in the eaves of the coop. Closing up the windows will not make it air tight by any means. It is a small coop and the two main windows I am asking about are directly behind and across from the roost. I am sorry I cannot post a picture, but am a newbie still and am not allowed to yet, according to the site rules.
     
  9. JanetR

    JanetR Out Of The Brooder

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    May 12, 2011
    Long Island NY
    Hi Trixie. [​IMG] I'm in East Hampton, where are you? I'm new to chickens too. You'll get all the info you need here. I've got the 4" wide roosts to keep the toes warm, and plan to keep a south facing window open for ventilation.
     
  10. Trixieflower

    Trixieflower Out Of The Brooder

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    Aug 4, 2011
    East Quogue, NY
    Hi Janet. We live in East Quogue. Our girls are 17 weeks...looking forward to some eggs soon. I'm going to try to post a picture of inside the coop. The south facing window is right behind where they roost at night. The low Friday is supposed to be 39, so I am a little nervous about them being too chilly.
     

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