Winterizing your coop

Discussion in 'Managing Your Flock' started by Justafarmgirl, Nov 28, 2010.

  1. Justafarmgirl

    Justafarmgirl Out Of The Brooder

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    Nov 6, 2010
    Carroll County, MD
    Hey, my coop is rather small for all my chickies- they all have plenty of room, I mean, but I don't see them spending all winter under the heat lamp. What can I do to winterize my chickens? They're about 8 weeks old and the first really chilly winds have come in, so snow will soon follow. I was thinking about getting one of those cat pet beds and hooking it up to an extension cord(You know, the ones w/ an electric blanket mat thing in a slip) and leaving it under some sawdust for them. I've been monitoring the coop temperature, and it doesnt drop below 70 unless its VERY cold out- but they are very fond of free ranging.

    Should I let them out when theres snow on the ground? Should I monitor them while they're out? Will they go back into the coop when its too cold? Should I expand the coop to be larger for the winter? Health concerns to look out for? SHOULD I KNIT TINY CHICKEN SWEATERS!? D: Don't say yes, or I will probably do it [​IMG]

    What do you guys do to winterize your coops?
     
    Last edited: Nov 28, 2010
  2. AkTomboy

    AkTomboy Chillin' With My Peeps

    Apr 21, 2009
    DJ, Alaska
    Do a search on here about your topic. Most of people even up here in Alaska dont add heat to the coops. If you do a search you will find loads of threads on the topic. [​IMG]
     
  3. BobwhiteQuailLover

    BobwhiteQuailLover Country Girl[IMG]emojione/assets/png/2665.png?v=2.

    Sep 25, 2010
    Wisconsin
  4. swimmer

    swimmer Chillin' With My Peeps

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    Aug 17, 2010
    Utah
    My opinion is putting a an electric pet bed under shavings is a huge fire risk. As is a heat lamp. Chickens are more winter hardy than you think. Keep them dry, and out of drafts and they will be fine. 70 degrees isn't cold. We've had below zero temps in the past few weeks with over two feet of snow. I use no heat.
     
  5. Pastor Mike

    Pastor Mike Out Of The Brooder

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    Oct 13, 2010
    Redmond Oregon
    We will be using 6 mil Plastic sheeting to curtain the run except the top foot for ventilation. The 3x3x3 house will have the heat holding ability to keep our girls warm without the heater. Way to dangerous to heat a pine chip coop. Their body temp is high enough to raise the temp in the coop all by themselves. Make sure to have the 2x4 roost horizontal so they cover their feet and keep them warm.
     
  6. swimmer

    swimmer Chillin' With My Peeps

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    Aug 17, 2010
    Utah
    We put the 6 mil plastic around the chicken run and keeps it nice and dry.
     
  7. Justafarmgirl

    Justafarmgirl Out Of The Brooder

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    Nov 6, 2010
    Carroll County, MD
    Quote:Thanks!!!!! *Heads on over*
     
  8. Barry Natchitoches

    Barry Natchitoches Chillin' With My Peeps

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    Sep 4, 2008
    Tennessee
    deleted: posted on the wrong thread
     
    Last edited: Dec 4, 2010
  9. Judy

    Judy Moderator Staff Member

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    Feb 5, 2009
    South Georgia
    The way to winterize chickens is to turn the heat off and leave the door open. I winterize my coop by covering some of the large hardware cloth areas of the walls with plastic. But then the challenge here is summer heat, not winter cold.

    The problem with heating a coop is they get used to a warmer temp and don't grow as good of a winter coat. So when they power goes out they are in trouble.

    The need good ventilation at the top of the coop so humidity goes out, and no drafts on the roost, and a wide enough roost that they can cover their feet well.

    Granted, 8 weeks is still young, but they are probably close to fully feathered, especially if they are free ranging. My one week old chicks have been out from under mama in an unheated and breezy coop for long periods every day. It has been around 30 nearly every night of their life; yesterday their water was partly frozen, and we will be in the mid 20's next week. No heat.

    Some chickens hate snow, others wander around in it. I do feel they should have their choice.

    This should be required reading for any new chicken owner who lives where it snows: https://www.backyardchickens.com/web/viewblog.php?id=1642-winter-coop-temperatures
    She
    lives in Canada and is REALLY good with coops, among other things.
     
  10. NottinghamChicks

    NottinghamChicks Chillin' With My Peeps

    I am in NH and I cover the backside of the run which is 6ft tall with real heavy plastic ( except for the top 12") to block where the main storms roll in from. The other three sides get clear plexiglass just on the bottom 3 ft to give them windbreak and stop most snow from blowing in.

    They go in as they wish during the day but at night I of course lock them up tight in the coop portion. The walls are bare 2x4 covered in T111, but I did insulate the roof inside. Still plenty of air (no condensation on the windows) and very comfy for them. No heat for them! [​IMG]
     

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