October 28, 2012

Getting Ready For The Cold…


Seasons usually get dumped on us overnight, which isn't always bad, but the unpredictability of them finally settling in can be frustrating

As usual, our cold weather snuck up on us quickly. My focus, when building the coop, was how to keep it cool, as I sweated through the Memphis summer. Now, here it is the last week in October and we are seeing nights dropping into the upper 30's. I know for a lot of folks that temp is not bad at all but it will get frigid here.

When we were researching information about coops I saw a few folks were putting ceramic heaters or other sources of heat in their coop. In the back of my mind I was thinking that I would be getting one about this time.  Friday night Liz and I sat down at the computer to see what other coops were using, and really investigate ceramic heaters versus the deep litter method.

The old saying goes "the more you learn the more you find out what you don't know". It seems that the best heater to get is no heater at all. The message was clear and simple mainly from the coop owners up north. Provide a good shelter, draft-free (not too air tight), deep litter and let the girls snuggle and generate their own heat.
What you don't want them to do is go in and out of hot to cold environments and catch cold.

Let them adjust to the environment.  After all, they do have their own high-end, top quality down-filled coats

There's a duck!

When I was a kid I had ducks. From what I remember, we had a small fenced in area for them and a small shelter. I know we had these ducks for a few years before we gave them away to live on a farm. Winter seemed to not be a problem. One year we had a  record snow around Christmas. Daffy, pictured above, loved the snow.

This weekend we took care of a few open gaps on the side boards of the coop and added a lot more litter than we had been using. In the coop we mainly used straw. In the run, we used a combination of straw, wood chips and leaves. The girls had a blast when they returned to the run from their daily outing in the yard. They where like kids jumping into a pile of hay. In a matter of minutes, they had spread out the piles and created little nest to take their naps in. In the late  afternoons we will throw in some cracked corn and crushed oyster shells for a boost of nutrition and to help their digestive system do its part in keeping their bodies warm.

So again, we are new to all this, are not experts and encourage you to also research the topic. We also welcome your comments on chickens in the winter.


As I get ready to publish this post I'm thinking about the East coast,  getting blasted with a little bit of everything. Hopefully everyone has had time to get prepared for whatever comes. Stay Safe!


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