If they are situated directly in the way of a breeze or a draft, that warm air is blown away, and they can get too cold because that insulating layer is not working in those blowy conditions. So be sure your coop is well ventilated and kept dry, but that your chickens are protected from direct drafts. What is considered a drafty coop or not drafty coop? My coop has a widow I can remove when the hot weather hits us in New England. The ideal coop should be warm, secure and draft proof; however it should also provide ventilation for your girls. Both of these impair a chickens’ ability to maintain that dry, warm cocoon of air.
Here is my checklist for getting the chicken coop ready for the cold days that are settling upon us: ‘Draft proof’ the coop. This is excellent for keeping chickens cool and ventilated in the hot summer days, but too drafty for cold winter ones. There were chickens long before there were chicken coops. In some cases it could cause a draft on the birds if the ventilation is aligned just right (or wrong) but usually this isn’t an issue. Free movement of air inside the coop is very important, but you do not want to freeze your chickens with a draft. Chickens, are like humans, they can only perform at their optimum levels if all of their basic needs are met first, in this case protection and oxygen.
Because most backyard chickens live outside, exposed to the elements’ cool chill, you need to provide a clean, cozy and draft-free coop for them. Sealing a leak, erecting a barrier wall, and paying attention to the cause of a draft can correct drafts. Proactive steps to protect your chickens in winter weather. If your coop is drafty or has lots of open spaces, consider covering them up for the winter.
The Simple Life Ain’t Easy: What Do Chickens Need In The Winter?
Lining the coop with extra straw helps, especially if your coop has any cracks or potentially drafty openings near the floor. Chickens release carbon dioxide when they breathe just like we do, therefore, providing adequate ventilation is key. We are new to chickens and I will be building a coop in the next few weeks. It can get pretty chilly here in the winter (had ten below last winter), and in New Hampshire, where I lived for a number of years (can get down to thirty below there), and then there is the Interior of Alaska, where I kept chickens in a drafty shed, which also housed a couple of milk goats and some caged meat rabbits. Because chickens spend a lot more time inside their coop in the winter, there is more moisture from their breath and from their droppings. Good ventilation allows dissipation of moisture, but a cold draft near roosting hens could be fatal. You need good ventilation but not drafty. Drafts in direct line with chicken roosts are dangerous. If we kept our chicken coop heated, we might lose some chickens. All heating sources are dangerous. Build the right chicken houses for your flock this winter. Birds require fresh air in the coop, without it being too drafty and cold. This is a delicate balance to achieve and may require some trial and error. You don’t want the coop air tight, but you don’t want it drafty either. Chicken poop contains a lot of moisture. If you live in a cold climate, such as I do, the moisture released in the droppings and from their breath can put too much humidity in the air and can cause frost bite on the bird’s comb and wattles.
6 Coop-winterizing Chores
Alan’s Answers: How do you keep your chicken coop warm? (Note that while wind chill can increase the rate of heat loss from your coop, it can never make your indoor air colder than the non-windchill outdoor temperature, although if your coop is drafty, there could be indoor windchill affecting the chickens. Your coop should be ventilated, even in the wintertime, but it shouldn’t be drafty. If a coop is airtight, the chicken’s body heat and poo will cause moisture in the coop which can lead to respiratory issues. Our three and a half favorite coop ideas for the urban chicken farming gang. Unnecessary heaters in chicken coops caused a series of fires recently.