Winterizing Your Coop

Discussion in 'Coop & Run - Design, Construction, & Maintenance' started by bugdoodle06, Oct 3, 2008.

  1. bugdoodle06

    bugdoodle06 In the Brooder

    May 26, 2008
    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![​IMG]
  2. spook

    spook Songster

    Apr 21, 2008
    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, 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!!​
  3. lauralou

    lauralou Songster

    Dec 10, 2007
    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.
  4. KrisRose

    KrisRose Songster

    Mar 9, 2007
    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 [​IMG].
    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.
  5. Birch Run Farm

    Birch Run Farm Biddy up!

    Sep 5, 2008
    Mine become snow birds. There was 12 feet of snow here last winter.

  6. KrisRose

    KrisRose Songster

    Mar 9, 2007
    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 [​IMG]!!!
    Probably figured the dust baths I provided in their coop was more to her liking!
    P.S. Pretty flock.
    Last edited: Oct 3, 2008
  7. chickiebaby

    chickiebaby Songster

    Jan 2, 2008
    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.

  8. greenmulberry

    greenmulberry Songster

    Jul 17, 2007
    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.
  9. bugdoodle06

    bugdoodle06 In the Brooder

    May 26, 2008
    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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