It's a new forum, we will get to slowly know each other.
Energyvet, best of luck to you. My chickens heal alot of my woes.
Until I have to clean up the coops....
But I probably have waaay more than most peeps here.
Yes, you know me waaay too well. I was afraid of getting too enthusiastic here, as I am not familiar with this website.
It seems us newbies will be the hands that mold this into what we want it to be, ooh.. where did you get the COLORS in the siggy?
sigh, I am gonna look like a fool til I get a few hours in here.
Well the husband (soon to be ex- ) is moving out this week-end. That's all I will say about that. I am thinking about putting together my own coop as those pre made ones are pretty but small. When I get the size I'm looking for, they start to get a little pricey. So, since I'm the daughter of s carpenter, I thought I might try my hand. How insulated do I have to get? I can put plywood together, but what about the cold?
Our coop isn't insulated, the girls have done just fine the last two winters.
I have electricity out there, they have the heated watered in the winter to keep it from icing over in the winter and I have some little soft orange LED Christmas lights on a dusk to dawn timer it the covered run so I can see any activity out there from inside the house at night.
This past winter, I added a large seedling may to the coop floor. Yes, the girls had radiant floor heating! . The seedling may just heats up 10-20 degrees above ambient temp, so... It takes the edge off the cold temps ESP at night.
They loved it... They would go outside to scratch around in the snow, then head in and dig their feet into the warm sand on the floor of the coop, then repeat!
Thank you for that. I was wondering what a seeding may was. Lol. That is a marvelous idea. Where did you get it and how much did it cost? I have a heating mat used for cats but I'm not sure if that would work. I can imagine they would love the sand though. Yes, my animals are my everything. I love my garden too but I really am excited about chickens again. They are just the best really.
I bought the seedling mat on Amazon... It might have been around $40-50?? It cleans off well and i'm able to roll it up to use again this winter. It makes me feel better knowing the girls are at least not out in the full brunt of the Rochester cold weather. I know they can tolerate it, from what I read... But just because you CAN live through something, doesn't mean you SHOULD have to!!
I love seeing them come out to play and scratch in the run, then go back inside to warm up as they need to, rather than spending their day huddled for warmth. Seems like a better way to live!
Depends how cold it gets where you are at Energyvet. Where I'm at it gets pretty darned cold and sometimes not enough snow to bank against the house for added insulation. We have ours with the roll insulation in the walls and ceiling. Paneling on the walls. Anything to keep the heat bill down which goes up fast with those heat lamp bulbs. I also found that running just one of those black out bulbs at night, really does wonders to take the chill off. I even hung an old flannel sheet over the main big door from inside the coop to snug it up more yet. Led xmas lights are strung around the middle ceiling panel also on a timer. Just a cheap way to keep the girls out of the dark those long winter months. We used a lot of left over materials on ours but with the cost of lumber, it gets expensive fast. Bought the lumber, paneling, everything whenever it was on sale to help cut cost as much as possible.
I know in the books etc they always advise to allow for ventilation but air always seems to make its way in from somewhere anyway. Think that would only really become much of a problem if there were more chickens than space and if their coop wasn't kept clean.
Hope this helps a bit. Gotta love those chickens! They make the world brighter.
Wow. Lots of great ideas and advice. I really love the warm floor though. My dad always told me that feathers were the warmest insulation, but I agree that our job is to care for these creatures and to do the best we can go help them thrive. The flooring, insulation, Christmas lights are all practical ways to make their lives just that much better. You have some lucky ladies!