Worrying about my girls in the cooler weather

Discussion in 'Coop & Run - Design, Construction, & Maintenance' started by srfjeld, Oct 7, 2011.

  1. srfjeld

    srfjeld Chillin' With My Peeps

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    May 13, 2011
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    My girls are about 6 months old and fully feathered. The weather is getting cooler and wetter here in Portland and I just worry about them being cold. It's my first time as a chicken owner so I'm sure I'm being ridiculous. They'll be okay, right? They've got a little hen house to go into each night. And a small covered run (3x7) for the day time. I've been thinking of putting plastic or something around the bottom part of their run... maybe 3 feet up to keep the wind out. Is this too much? Do I just need to leave it alone?
     
  2. Fred's Hens

    Fred's Hens Chicken Obsessed Premium Member

    I see you have large fowl, cold hardy breeds. Excellent.

    Believe me, chickens are tough and don't mind the cold nearly as much as they dislike the heat. Use the cooler days and cold nights to allow nature to take its course. These cold nights serve a purpose. Just as a horse grows a shaggy, winter coat, the chicken grows down and feathers, if exposed to pre-winter cold. They will be incredibly fluffy and warm inside that down coat. They also huddle to keep warm. They tuck their heads under a wing to protect it, when sleeping. The crouch down and cover their feet with their warm bodies to protect them.

    All you see is a a big fluff ball on the roosts. They are fine. Don't short-circuit this feather growing period. Feed them well and they'll be just fine. Your coop should protect them well and provide for ventilation of the humid gasses.
     
  3. smokinjay

    smokinjay Out Of The Brooder

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    Aug 11, 2011
    I will put up plastic in Dec. and keep good ventlation going.
     
  4. srfjeld

    srfjeld Chillin' With My Peeps

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    May 13, 2011
    Portland
    Thank you for your words... they make me feel better. [​IMG]

    Their coop is a cozy. You can't see it in the photos but each side has a triangular vent under those eaves.

    [​IMG]
    [​IMG]

    Their door stays open all the time and their roost is just above the door to the left. Should I start closing it on really cold nights?

    Here is their run... it has a metal corrugated roof now.
    [​IMG]
     
  5. Fred's Hens

    Fred's Hens Chicken Obsessed Premium Member

    You'll want to shut them in for two reasons.

    One, soon it will be too cold to leave open. More important, you do not want a coon, skunk, weasel or other critter attacking your defenseless birds at night. Chicken wire will NOT keep them at bay. Cute setup, BTW.
     
  6. smokinjay

    smokinjay Out Of The Brooder

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    Aug 11, 2011
    I would want at-least cover over the run!
     
  7. Tracyree

    Tracyree Chillin' With My Peeps

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    May 6, 2011
    Fred's Hens :

    You'll want to shut them in for two reasons.

    One, soon it will be too cold to leave open. More important, you do not want a coon, skunk, weasel or other critter attacking your defenseless birds at night. Chicken wire will NOT keep them at bay. Cute setup, BTW.

    I don't see chicken wire? I see hardware cloth on the bottom and maybe a larger opening hardware cloth or fencing around the top?​
     
  8. Tracyree

    Tracyree Chillin' With My Peeps

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    May 6, 2011
    Quote:She said she has it covered now, the picture is outdated.
     
  9. GardenState38

    GardenState38 Chillin' With My Peeps

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    Apr 13, 2011
    Fred's Hens :

    You'll want to shut them in for two reasons.

    One, soon it will be too cold to leave open. More important, you do not want a coon, skunk, weasel or other critter attacking your defenseless birds at night. Chicken wire will NOT keep them at bay. Cute setup, BTW.

    x2

    I have a similar coop/run set up and always keep the coop door closed at night once they've gone in for the evening.

    Adorable coop!
    I can sure sympathize--I am a first-time chicken keeper and am so worried about my girls in the cold and wet weather! It was very difficult for me to transition them out to the coop--Deep down, there's an irrational part of me that wants to keep them in the house, roosting on the sofa [​IMG]
     
  10. GardenState38

    GardenState38 Chillin' With My Peeps

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    Apr 13, 2011
    Quote:I don't see chicken wire? I see hardware cloth on the bottom and maybe a larger opening hardware cloth or fencing around the top?

    Unless there is a hardware cloth apron or buried border around the run , I'd still be worried about predators digging under the run, getting in and gaining access to the coop through the open door. Even where I live, where the most likely predators are only cats or rats, I'm still worried and try to keep my coop like Fort Knox at night, when the girls are defenceless. Judging by the OPs's comments, she'd probably feel the same.
     

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