Winterizing Your Coop

bugdoodle06

In the Brooder
11 Years
May 26, 2008
22
0
22
I was wonder what folks do in the winter for their chicks?
Do you still let them free range?
Put down more hay or wood chips?
How warm is too warm at night?
What is the lowest temps that chickens can still be comfortable in?
Thanks for your info!
 

spook

Songster
11 Years
Apr 21, 2008
3,515
27
244
North Central Florida
1. Do you still let them free range?
2. Put down more hay or wood chips?
3.How warm is too warm at night?
4.What is the lowest temps that chickens can still be comfortable in?
Thanks for your info!

1. No, I do not let my girls out in the winter, only for a short while on exceptionally warm days after the ground is covered with ice and snow.

2. Using the deep litter method helps insulate and it creates a composting type effect, which means some heat.

3. I do not heat my big girls house at all, the Cochin's only because they are young and in the house right now. I fear loosing my power (which happens frequently for me) and it (I feel) that they would not be feathered or ready for such an event if I heat their coop.

4. Lowest temp, well, COLD..lol. Seriously, as long as you don't have much in the way of breeze or draft, yet enough exchange of oxygen is critical. We have plastic hanging down 1/3 of the way of the door to help keep warmth in when we go to tend them.

Also we have a "sun porch" with a dirt floor, and when the sun is shinning and warms up that southern front of the hen house, so they can get out and hang out in sun. We used the thick clear plastic that you find at Walmart on a roll in the fabric section, its a great insulator from cold winds too (works great on your house windows).

Good luck and sorry for the long winded reply! Have a wonderful day!!​
 

lauralou

Songster
12 Years
Dec 10, 2007
1,845
79
227
Central Virginia
Here in VA our winters aren't very severe.

But yesterday I replaced the panels over the screened in windows, leaving only a small area at the top open for ventillation.

I plan to continue to free range during the winter. I doubt that I could keep them inside the fence if I wanted to.

Last winter, our chickens seemed comfortable in even the coldest weather. I think it got down into the teens during the day a few times, and single digits at night. Also, they really enjoyed playing in the snow. It wasn't much snow, though. Just a couple of inches.
 

KrisRose

Songster
12 Years
Mar 9, 2007
1,354
10
171
Davison, MI.
1. Mine don't free range in winter. My chickens have the option to outside or not, their pop door is open so they can go into the run, but they usually stay in the coop.
2. I also use the deep litter method in winter. Mostly because I don't want to go out in the cold and clean a coop
.
3. I don't worry about the coop being too warm in winter.
4. My chickens were fine down to about down to 15 degrees F. This is the lowest temp were they are still running around scratching. But this could also depend on the breeds of chicken you have. Any lower and they looked a bit unhappy but they managed. I have a flat paneled heater and/or a red heat lamp to help.
In your first sentence you say "chicks" but I am assuming you mean adult chickens.
You will get a variety of opinions. Use the ones that work for you.
 

KrisRose

Songster
12 Years
Mar 9, 2007
1,354
10
171
Davison, MI.
My neighbor Chickflick also cleaned snow out of her run and a couple of areas in her backyard. Her chickens went out and enjoyed a couple of sunny, windless days. I cleaned out my run once and a BO came out, did a 360 and went right back in the coop
!!!
Probably figured the dust baths I provided in their coop was more to her liking!
P.S. Pretty flock.
 
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chickiebaby

Songster
12 Years
Jan 2, 2008
1,445
3
171
western mass
They can survive and thrive in just about any conditions, with simple shelter, proper ventilation, food and water, and protection from local predators. That is, honestly, all they need. There are about as many ways of keeping poutry as there are people on this board, so find a few people you trust and listen to them. There are numerous threads on this subject; search words like cold, winter, winterize, temp, etc.

Best!
 

greenmulberry

Songster
12 Years
Jul 17, 2007
365
2
139
Iowa
I never close the pop hole to my coop so the chickens can go outside if they please any time of year.

Even on the coldest days, most of them would still come out and hang out under the coop at least, where there is not snow. We had days last winter where the high was something silly like 2 degrees F, and some of the chickens still came out.

This summer I covered my run with a roof to keep the snow out.My chickens hate the snow.
 

bugdoodle06

In the Brooder
11 Years
May 26, 2008
22
0
22
Thanks for all the good info. I am in Southern MO and this is my first year with the peeps! I have some that are 9 months old and some that are about 34 weeks.

Does the egg production slack off in winter?

They are just now starting to really lay...
 

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