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#1 2009-08-17 01:01:15

Ruthc
A.C.E. Addicted
From: Elk Point, Alberta
Registered: 2009-02-24
Posts: 1222

Winter coops

I know I know............but it is coming :hide:
This is my first year with birds and I seem to have acquired quite a collection - I think it was mostly my evil incubator that kept magically filling itself.  I am just curious how many have insulated coops for overwintering?  None of mine are and I'm starting to wonder if I should throw some itchy pink (with some panelling of course) in there or if they will be OK with heat lamps and on really cold nights a small heater?  A lot of them are going to be in my old barn which is log but the roof is very old (and needs to be redone) and there is no insulation or anything in that.

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#2 2009-08-17 01:19:06

Prairie Chick
I Love A.C.E.
From: Qu'Appelle, Saskatchewan
Registered: 2009-02-24
Posts: 6528

Re: Winter coops

my main coop is insulated and i will be insulating the roosters coop for winter, i would hate to see my babies cold.


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If you get, give.  If you learn, teach.... Maya Angelou

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#3 2009-08-17 01:20:16

Prairie Chick
I Love A.C.E.
From: Qu'Appelle, Saskatchewan
Registered: 2009-02-24
Posts: 6528

Re: Winter coops

BUTTTTT i did hear that we are suppose to have a mild winter :praying:


----------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------
If you get, give.  If you learn, teach.... Maya Angelou

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#4 2009-08-17 02:30:38

Dom
I Love A.C.E.
From: Lac La Hache, BC
Registered: 2009-07-15
Posts: 2128

Re: Winter coops

Yes, this is our first winter too! I was just planning on putting our birds with the layers or CGs, since both those coops are already heated.
Good luck!

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#5 2009-08-17 04:06:32

marshasmall
A.C.E. Addicted
Registered: 2008-08-06
Posts: 767

Re: Winter coops

Hint for insulating - sheeps wool - works great, cheap - I have 3 bags if you want it.  I use it here and treat it like ichy pink with paneling.  Another easy way in the shiny silver bubble wrap the oil companies use on flowlines - its great insulation and the birds leave it alone.

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#6 2009-08-17 04:36:07

SheriM
Active Member
From: Canora, SK
Registered: 2009-02-11
Posts: 188
Website

Re: Winter coops

I've been thinking about winter too.  By the time the cold weather arrives, I hope to be down to 9 or 10 hens and a couple of roos.  I have two options.  The coop the laying hens are in now is not insulated.  It's an old wooden granery and isn't quite draft proof, either, but I could fix that.  It's approx. 11 x 14 ft.  The other option is my former bunny barn.  It's an old single car garage about 11 x 22 ft.  the walls are insulated, the ceiling is not.  Which would be the better choice?  I'm worried that either of these buildings would actually be too large for that small number of birds.  Oh, BTW, the bunny barn has a dirt floor and I would bed deeply with straw.  The coop has a wood floor and would also be deeply bedded, but I'd probably use shavings in there.


SheriM, Mountainport Farms, home to 50 some-odd goats, 4 Great Pyr. LGDs, 1 crazy Australian Shepherd, 2 cats, a rabbit, a chinchilla and a dozen chickens.  (Oh, and two humans!)

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#7 2009-08-17 04:38:43

toybarons
I Love A.C.E.
From: Parkland County, AB
Registered: 2008-08-05
Posts: 3116

Re: Winter coops

In the winter we have heat lamps going in each of our coops and heated water dishes. Because our coops our in the barn we have 6mil plastic panels which we attahed to the inside coop walls so the heat stays in the area the birds are in. We also put the same panels over the insode of our windows to keep drafts out.

This year I have rebuilt the west side wall and will be insulating that wall as it's the one that takes the worse punishment from the weather. I insulate with any stuff I can recycle. Insulated board, pink, straw.


Taking things a day at a time.

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#8 2009-08-17 08:48:14

klorinth
I Love A.C.E.
From: Winnipeg, Manitoba
Registered: 2009-02-22
Posts: 1566
Website

Re: Winter coops

I've found a place that has used 3" foam panels. That is my choice. Add to that lots of straw and shavings for the floor and some good ventilation... Hopefully that will be enough to keep them all healthy during the winter freeze. Of ya, and the passive solar gain during the day from their enclosed sunporch(think greenhouse)... still to be built of course. :D I can't seem to keep anything simple. I can't get power to the coop though so it has to be built well.


Norrbottenspets, Akbash, Dark Cornish, Cuckoo Marans, Buff Chantecler, White Chantecler, Partridge Chantecler, Ameraucana, Beltsville Small White Turkey, Shetland and Texel Sheep.

"If there is a way to overcome the suffering, then there is no need to worry; if there is no way to overcome the suffering, then there is no use in worrying." Shantideva

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#9 2009-08-17 11:55:12

Ruthc
A.C.E. Addicted
From: Elk Point, Alberta
Registered: 2009-02-24
Posts: 1222

Re: Winter coops

Some great ideas here - I work for an oil and gas company so I think I am going to see if I can find some of that silver insulating wrap that might be kicking around.  I will also be using a deep straw or shavings base and will have heat lamps in there.  By the number of birds I have around here numbers won't be an issue as far as generating "some" body heat. 
I am going to try and over winter my ISA brown laying hens as well and hope that I get at least some egg production over the winter from these girls. 
I hope we have a milder winter this year - wouldn't take much to beat last winter.  I know that I am going to loose a lot of heat through my roofs as my "coops" are all old farmstead sheds with the exception of the old coop on the side of the barn which was actually built as a coop.  Never the less the roofs on them are not the greatest.  I have some lumber wrap that I am going to put over the roofs for this winter to close off any holes but replacing or putting new tin or shingles is going to have to wait for next year.

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#10 2009-08-17 16:06:48

skyandmtns
A.C.E. Addicted
From: Golden, BC
Registered: 2009-06-01
Posts: 436
Website

Re: Winter coops

We are in the process of putting in new pens in an older barn.
biting the bullet and  putting in  heavy pink insulation.
Took out any old hay that had lodged around the wall frame- dont need air pockets or mice.
One back wall was insulated as had some goat pens in there  but noticed it had settled some so Allan is making 2x2's to restrip that and add more insulation and then  2x4 the rest with pink insulation-He put in a couple  old sliding windows high up  for cross vent (it is on north wall)
He built one great brooder room earlier-next to it. We are insulating  each unit seperately.
We use heat bulbs over roosts when nec and over waterers so  dont want to waste the heat.
If I wasnt insulating I would resheet and caulk walls so there were absolutely no drafts.
We set up air flow so it goes across  room high and out and  carrys out moist body heat if nec-we use old slider or top opening on a chain for this.
In our layer house in  its own bldg we put a window that lowers on a chain and in winter we can adjust this really easily  as it is right by the door-it actually opens into a small feed storage alcove that had a chain link door on so if a wind comes up from the north  and catches us off guard  it cant blow into the birds.
We use timer lights on the layers and they  produced heavily from last Dec and still are although I turned lights off in June.
We will have to  cover the stair well leading to the loft  which has an open door -this will  use a lot of plywood but next year we can use the wood  as we carry on remodelling the rest of the bldg .
We expect to winter about 40 Silkies and  some Dominiques-Buff Orps and   hopefully??? some  BLW  etc in the incubator.
grace


Silkies - White    Australorps   -Miller Hatchery Isa Browns
  A Boarding Kennel
A Doberman-A Pom-A Border Collie-A Malti/Poo-three cats--A hard working DH- and Twin 15 yr old Great Grandaughters who really like their animals

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#11 2009-08-17 19:03:31

sheeplady
Active Member
From: St. Paul Alberta
Registered: 2009-06-08
Posts: 268

Re: Winter coops

there is a new insulation out that is formaldehyde free and that is what you should be using if you are buying insulation. sheeps wool does work well if you have enough of it. Sheri M I think the old garage.

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#12 2009-08-17 19:36:34

Schipperkesuue
A.C.E. Addicted
From: Carnwood, Alberta
Registered: 2009-07-15
Posts: 1020

Re: Winter coops

A good way to raise the temperature in your coops in the winter is to have rabbits in there too.  Those furry bodies put out a surprising amount of warmth.  Last year I had a small insulated coop with 3 rabbits and I found my water did not freeze unless it was colder than -10 degrees celcius.

This year the barn is not insulated, so we will see what happens.

The rabbits are in wire-bottomed hutches, suspended from the roof of the barn.  The chickens scratch and dig, regularly turning the manure and aerating it.  I have even seen raised beds under the rabbits to collect the droppings, where red worms are raised for fishermen and people who have compost bins in their home.  One guy said he makes more money from the worms and manure than from the rabbit meat and chicken eggs combined.

Sue


Foxhill Farms:  Home of Jet Kennels outstanding registered Schipperkes as well as Rare American Blue and White Rabbits, a variety of chickens, an ever increasing number of hungry turkeys, 3 cats, 2 Keeshonden an Australian Cattle Dog and a very patient and tolerant husband/bunny warmer!

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#13 2009-08-17 19:41:10

Schipperkesuue
A.C.E. Addicted
From: Carnwood, Alberta
Registered: 2009-07-15
Posts: 1020

Re: Winter coops

Oh, and one more thing, instead of putting plywood over the insulation I used white coroplast (tenplast) and taped the seams with white duct tape.  Worked great, paint free, clean and easy to wash and disinfect.

Sue


Foxhill Farms:  Home of Jet Kennels outstanding registered Schipperkes as well as Rare American Blue and White Rabbits, a variety of chickens, an ever increasing number of hungry turkeys, 3 cats, 2 Keeshonden an Australian Cattle Dog and a very patient and tolerant husband/bunny warmer!

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#14 2009-08-18 17:29:56

klorinth
I Love A.C.E.
From: Winnipeg, Manitoba
Registered: 2009-02-22
Posts: 1566
Website

Re: Winter coops

Schipperke,

What is coroplast/tenplast? I would love to have something other than plywood to sheath the inside of my coop. Plywood is expensive. Are you talking about a plastic sheat of some sort?

I also like the idea of having the rabbits inside the chicken coop. In the winter that is. Would make the manure issue much easier having the chickens mixing it into shavings. The worm beds is also a great idea for the summer. How about having the worm beds behind the coop? Rabbits sit above the beds all summer. Then move the rabbits inside the coop for winter and cover the worm beds with a thick mulch layer. Repeat next summer. Does that make sense?

Sheeplady,

Which insulation are you talking about? Icynene and the soy based spray foams are free of formaldehyde. I would assume the cotton batting is,and Roxul(spelling?) is as well... not sure what else.


Norrbottenspets, Akbash, Dark Cornish, Cuckoo Marans, Buff Chantecler, White Chantecler, Partridge Chantecler, Ameraucana, Beltsville Small White Turkey, Shetland and Texel Sheep.

"If there is a way to overcome the suffering, then there is no need to worry; if there is no way to overcome the suffering, then there is no use in worrying." Shantideva

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#15 2009-08-18 20:22:48

Lynn
Growing Member
From: Edmonton, Alberta
Registered: 2008-12-01
Posts: 61
Website

Re: Winter coops

I have a nice 12 x 10 insulated (6"walls)room in the old barn and plan to keep about 5 0r 6 chickens. What temperature do I need to keep that at if I want them to still lay.  I have a light on now with a timer for 16 hours of daylight.  I'll have a electric water bowl as well. 
Also, how cold should it get to before not allowing them out?

cheers
Lynn

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