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You are Here: Home -> Forums -> General Discussion about Chickens -> Heat and insulation around outside of raised coop

Topic: Heat and insulation around outside of raised coop (5 messages)

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Heat and insulation around outside of raised coop (5 messages)
Posted By Message Posted On Report
HOLLY
Score: 0
SHOREHAM, VT
I live in rural Vermont and just got my second batch of McMurray chicks (26 of them). They are all doing well, just a week old, but I am wondering how warm one has to keep them after 4 weeks?

Also, our chicken coop is raised about a foot off the grown and skirted with hardware cloth. Is it advisable to cover the hardware cloth with something windproof in the winter?

Thanks.
10/25/2015 10:04 AM report abuse

PATRICES
Score: 34
KALISPELL, MT
Survived our first winter in Montana. Girls did well even when it got to -22.
I'm not really sure how much extra heat they will need. I do know that you'll have to get them used to being outside gradually by giving them short periods outside after they are fully feathered. I would think that once they are 8 weeks old they won't need additional heat at all, but that's a guess.

My coop is in NW Montana. It is not insulated. It is not heated. It is raised about 2 feet above the ground. I do plan on putting plastic around the bottom of the coop as well as wrapping their run in plastic. That way they'll have a snow free, wind free area to run around in during the day. The water and food will be outside. I have 2 8" by 3' openings covered with hardware cloth just under the eaves. I also have a 1' by 2' opening in the access door in the rear. The way the coop is oriented means no wind will get into that opening so it too will stay uncovered all winter.

The biggest problem in the winter is not keeping your chickens warm. It is keeping them dry. Humidity will cause them to get cold and frost bitten combs. You need lots of ventilation but it should be up high where the chickens won't be in a draft. Hot air rises, but that is also the air that will have the most moisture in it. My roosts are made from 2 by 4's with the 4" section up. That way they can sit completely on their feet and keep their feet warm.

Nights around here are already going down into the mid 20s. I still haven't closed the window on the coop. The chickens are loving it and laying lots of eggs. This morning when I let them out they went wading in a big pan I have in their free range area that holds and inch of water. That cold water didn't bother them at all. I also toss a little scratch out on the ground. It gets them moving around after a night in the coop. They love it as a treat.
10/28/2015 2:36 PM report abuse
HOLLY
Score: 0
SHOREHAM, VT
Thanks. We have never had baby chicks shipped this late in the year, but they are really growing fast and the wing weathers are helping them lift off the ground! I was just concerned because after the pen gets down to 70, it will be 20 outside!! I, too, am a snowbird to Arizona in the winter, so I guess my co-owner will be in charge. The chicks will be about 8 weeks old when I leave-and probably laying when I get back!
10/29/2015 9:18 AM report abuse

PATRICES
Score: 34
KALISPELL, MT
Survived our first winter in Montana. Girls did well even when it got to -22.
What part of Arizona? We used to go to Yuma, but had to move up to Mesa for better doctors. Normally we're in AZ by mid October, but Gary broke his hip in August. We have been waiting until he's healed. We're headed out of here on Monday, taking a detour to Seattle before heading south.
10/29/2015 12:22 PM report abuse
HOLLY
Score: 0
SHOREHAM, VT
Hi,
We have a home in Tempe, AZ, so not too far from you. Our chicks are doing well, although one died. They are growing really fast and are hopping/flying around their pen. By 8 weeks, we hope to get them into the big chicken coop for the winter and then introduce the OLD hens slowly when they are all about the same size. We have never had chicks arrive this late in the season, so we will see how they winter over at this size.
Thanks for the info.
11/3/2015 8:20 AM report abuse