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#64180 - 10/10/02 02:06 PM Winter is coming & I have ?

Ok..hello all..the coop is done, chicks are in, everything is going question is this, for egg laying and heat we have a 100 watt light hanging in the coop, I plan to start increasing their light when they get to laying age, but this will be in November when it is also cold. Obviously the coldest time of the day is at night, but I'm starting the light in the morning hours so that they can go to roost with natural do I keep the coop warm at night with the light? I know many of you use lights to heat the you keep them on all day maintaing warmth in the coop until night (and how does that work with a coop door open to go in and out?) or is the lighting coming on by 3am or so enough to relieve them of any chilling effects of the hours previous?
Also ventilation in the the coop door open throughout the day enough or do they need some kind of vent put in for the night hours as well? We have a window in the summer, but it's closed up now. I only have 4 silkies just fyi. Again ..thank you..I feel a new stage of frequent questions coming on...hope you can all bear with me!

#64181 - 10/10/02 03:19 PM Re: Winter is coming & I have ?
Bill Ludwig Offline
Classroom Professor

Registered: 07/17/02
Posts: 2582
Loc: Ohio
My opinion is that a 100 watts just isnt much heat unless its very close to the birds. Is your coop insulated?
I use a small electric heater. 500 watt setting or 1000 watts if it realy cold. I mounted it up high and behind wire fence. I got a low temp. thermostat set at 35 degs.F

My coop is divided in two sections, one for the chickens and one for me with chicken wire dividing the two sides. I allow the fresh air in on my side so there isnt a draft on the chickens. Just a small amount at night and in the day the door to the run is open unless its very cold. This winter I'm going to try something different since we are going on vacation for 2 weeks. The coop is going on auto pilot. Dont worry some one will be checking on them wink Because I have an automatic door that stays closed if its too cold I'm worried there wont be enough ventalation if its closed for a few days in a row. So I'm going to conect the exhaust fan to a timer to run for 1 minute intervals a few times a day.


#64182 - 10/10/02 08:26 PM Re: Winter is coming & I have ?
Bruce Smith Offline
Coop Keeper

Registered: 07/17/02
Posts: 560
Loc: Michigan
You can hold heat around the birds at night with an insulated roost hood, and your building can be insulated if you wish. I place my light (150 watt red outdoor flood bulb in a hanging brooder shield) against the side of the fountain so at least part of the heat that rises from it goes up under the roost hood where the birds are at night. I find it important to install a 10X10 screened aluminum vent square on the highest part of the south-facing wall. This is left uncovered at all times, except during severe winter storms, when I may cover it partially during the night. Because the coop heats up during the day, I always uncover it in the morning. This vent helps eliminate some of the moisture without giving away all the heat. The building is pretty tight, and insulated on all four walls and ceiling. The door are weatherstripped. I almost always leave the window open an inch or so unless it is brutally cold at night, and more when it is warmer. I think any building must be adjusted to the weather, but there needs to be fresh air and as little moisture as possible.

#64183 - 10/11/02 06:18 AM Re: Winter is coming & I have ?

Well, my coop is 4x8' and 4' high and about 4' off the ground. It's fully insulated ceiling and all plus the doors have weatherstripping. The door for the birds to go into the run is in a corner and my intention was to keep it open on nice days (unless stormy) but nothing blocks it's draft. We could build the nesting boxes next to it to block some draft (would they be ok there). The window is 12"x24" but is screen or glass only, so now the window is in. The light hangs just about in the middle a few inches from the ceiling. I guess I could put a different bulb in. We did buy a 10x10 bathroom fan/vent, but we haven't installed it yet. Would that help enough with fresh air/ventilation when the coop is closed up? It could be put up high on a side wall. What about those circle vents that are seen in "my coop" pictures in this topic field...are they enough ventilation? Now...are you saying (Dr. Smith) that you keep the light on throughout the days so that the heat collects in the hood for the night when the light is off?
Bill, the automatic door sounds interesting..high tech coop!


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