Help! Preparing my chicken coop for winter..

HazenHensSeptember 18, 2011

Hello, I have read so many things off the internet and its hard to know what is best! I live in Washington State in the Pacific NorthWest, about 45 minutes south of Seattle. I got two chickens as day-olds in March and have added two since. I now have four full grown (or nearly) hens and this will be my first winter with my girls. I have a coop with attached run that is about 2 feet off the ground and has a door that can be closed. There is about 1 inch between the frame and the roof that is for ventilation. What precautions should I take? It typically stays in the mid to low 40's and often gets down to mid to low 30's in the heart of winter here, with very few days of snow. How should I insulate the coop? The highest point in the hen house is about 2.5 to 3 feet.. is this too low to hang a heating lamp? I would assume so.. dang! Well any positive comments are appreciated! Thanks!

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It sounds like your girls aren't roosting if they only have 2 1/3-3 ft of height, so if the walls are draft free and they have bedding on the floor to keep their feet warm you may not need any additional heat during the short freezing temps. Their body heat may be enough to keep them warm but it depends on the overall square footage of the coop.
My neighbor has a large coop and run, without additional heat, and her chickens were happily outside scratching around in the snow and ice we had a couple years ago (Portland).

The link below is my favorite place to discuss chickens, ducks, etc. I used to have quail and the members there are happy to share their knowledge!

Here is a link that might be useful: Backyard chickens

    Bookmark   September 18, 2011 at 8:15PM
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Thanks annz! Yes, we have bedding and draft-free walls! They do roost about 8 inches up. The hen house itself is about 5x4, pleanty for four birds!

    Bookmark   September 18, 2011 at 8:24PM
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Our winters can go way below freezing, and I have no heat in our coop, but mine is a large (about twenty by forty) poultry building. They will need some sort of ventilation in any but the most horrifically cold days you won't get there. With adequate bedding, they should be fine.

    Bookmark   September 18, 2011 at 11:35PM
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