We are getting our first deep chill for the season. Temperatures will have a hard time getting above freezing even in the daytime sun. Lows will be in the single digits F. and may even go below ZERO F. and this will continue for 3 to 4 days. Me, I’m fine, the wood stove is cranking, I’ll make some hot cocoa add a splash of Butterscotch Schnapps, maybe 2 splashes and sit by the stove while I sip it.
My wife is very concerned about the chickens, I am too, just not as much. All of the wild birds, the turkeys down to the chickadees don’t have a heated coop.
What is the problem??
They are our pets. So we take better care of them.
I’m not moving them into the big house. This is what I have done, The side vents on the coop have been Blocked as have the vents at the roof on the front of the coop. The back of the coop has the same vents as the front, these I have left open because everything I have read about coops state that ventilation even in the winter is a must. This picture shows the front vents before I blocked them. If you click on the picture it should enlarge.
To keep the chickens water from freezing I have an eight inch cement block with a light bulb in it. A 40 watt bulb has been working wonderfully. I replaced the 40 watt bulb with a 60 watt bulb 2 nights ago and the coop was 26 degrees F. while it was 18 degrees F. outside. Last night I put in a 100 watt bulb ( all of these bulbs are incandescent light bulbs ) and the coop low was 28 degrees F. while it was again 18 degrees F. outside. You can see the switch to the left of the coop door. This picture shows the cement block and waterer without the shavings.
If you enlarge the cement block picture you will see a small hole in the front of the block that I drilled so I could see if the light bulb was on. The cap under the waterer is so tight that no light gets out. I also have inserted my instant-read thermometer into the hole to see how hot it was inside.
We will see how it goes tonight. Right now it is 8:00 pm and the coop is 24 degrees F and outside it is 14 degrees F. I think with just the back vents open and the run door closed for the night, there won’t a draft and the light bulb will work well. The cement block is rather warm to the touch on the sides and the water is luke warm. They’ll be fine.