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This will be my first winter with my chickens. I only have 2. A golden buff and a Rhode Island Red. Both a little over 5 months old. There coup is 4x4x6ft high with a 8 ft run. It has a heat lamp in the coup. My question is how much should I close up for winter.
 

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Probably not much. Heat lamp is more than mine get. If there is a lot of snow coming I will stack a couple hay bales around the outside of my coop. I have a ******* friend who staples plastic feed bags to his coop which more or less makes it watertight and windtight and it works for him. I am in Northern Illinois so our winters are probably relatively as bad.
 

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A Round American Woman
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With only two birds an added heat lamp is probably a good idea. I usually tell people to not bother, but with 10 or more birds they will warm their own space, provided they are out of the wind. Years ago 40 birds kept my greenhouse above freezing even with outside temps at 15-degrees.

You probably don't need a high watt set up, just a 60 watt regular bulb will easily keep the temps even in a 4x4 space. A 250 watt heat lamp will kill your electric bill, but the 60 watt should do just fine. I would only run it on the coldest of nights, below 20-degrees. You don't want them too dependent on that heat if you should have an electric outage.
 

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What would work better than a heat lamp is to take a portion of your coop up near the roof and block it off as a roosting area. If you watch flocks of chickens given a free choice to roost anywhere they want, they will usually choose to be as high as possible and as close to some sort of overhang or enclosed space as possible. For instance, in your 4 x 4 x 8 coop, I would mount a 2 x 4 or even a 2 x 2 with rounded off corners (or if you can get access to a castoff stair railing, that would be ideal, or maybe even buy one at Home Depot), so that it is about 1 foot from the ceiling and 1 foot from a draft-free wall. They will regulate their own temperature by crowding the corner to keep warm or spreading out a little more when they need it a little cooler. Don't forget, they're wearing down insulation 24 x 7, so as long as they're out of the wind, they'll keep themselves toasty warm. Just feel under their feathers on a cold day to find out. :)

I'm posting a couple pictures of my A-frame tractor. It has a 7' long roosting area, 2' of which is nesting area and the rest is perches. I have a Golden comet, 3 Barred rocks, and 4 Buckeyes who sleep in it now and the NEVER sleep in the nest area. In fact, they crowd the perches on the open end. The tarp over it keeps the wind down and the open end keeps condensation from forming - a big problem as the nights get cooler because that contributes to respiratory problems.
 

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This is my first winter with chicks too here in New York. It can get pretty cold! Sometimes we get alot of snow sometimes not. I really don't know what to expect? I have a light for added daylight (100 watt),which gives heat too in early morning. 14 chicks should keep each other warm...I'm hoping!! Jen :)
 
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