Winterizing with hay bales and or dog house

Oct 1, 2021
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Wondering if it would work/be a good idea to stack hay bales on the outside of the coop to provide a bit more insulation since our coop is very old and way too big for the number of chickens. Someone recommended building a box or dog house type of thing to put inside so the chickens can roost in there at night and use their body heat to stay warm. While it sounded like a good idea, I no longer think it is. It would have to have a bottom so the warm air doesnt escape and the bottom is going to be completely covered in poop and it would be a nightmare to try to clean it every day. I also don't think chickens are going to be going into a box to sleep with a floor. We get some pretty frigid weather at times and are trying to make due with what we have.
 

DobieLover

Easily distracted by chickens
Premium Feather Member
Jul 23, 2018
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way too big for the number of chickens
Impossible.
You want to make the coop very dry with LOTS of ventilation but with no drafts directly on the birds. There needs to be a large amount of fresh air exchange so the moist, ammonia laden air can escape the coop and dry air can enter.
Having open ventilation year round that is over the heads of the chickens with fresh air coming in low promotes good air exchange.
Send the flock to roost with full crops and their metabolisms will generate a lot of heat during the night while they fluff their feathers to trap the heat against their bodies.
Aim for as dry a coop as possible (no open waterers inside the coop) with a thick fluffy bedding on the floor for them to hang out in during the day when they don't feel like going outside and they will do well. Always give them the option to go out. They will still go out in sub-zero weather as long as the wind isn't howling and it's not snowing.
 

NatJ

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Mar 20, 2017
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Someone recommended building a box or dog house type of thing to put inside so the chickens can roost in there at night and use their body heat to stay warm. While it sounded like a good idea, I no longer think it is. It would have to have a bottom so the warm air doesnt escape and the bottom is going to be completely covered in poop and it would be a nightmare to try to clean it every day.

Heat mostly goes up, so you would not really need a floor if you tried that.

I also don't think chickens are going to be going into a box to sleep with a floor.
You are probably right, although chickens usually are willing to go sleep in a coop instead of outdoors, so they might.

We get some pretty frigid weather at times and are trying to make due with what we have.
How cold does it get?

If you are worried about wind blowing on the chickens, maybe you could make a few partitions or extra walls so the roosting space is more sheltered from wind (sort of like a partial coop inside the existing coop.)

If you are able to post pictures of your coop, that can help people make better suggestions.
 

aart

Chicken Juggler!
Premium Feather Member
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Nov 27, 2012
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If you are able to post pictures of your coop, that can help people make better suggestions.
Yes, please.

also....Welcome to BYC! @chickenandduckowner
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.
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