That’s one thing you never have to worry about when you live in southwest Louisiana. But, truth is . . I don’t live in southwest Louisiana . . ‘cuz all the wishing in the world doesn’t make it happen. In southwest Missouri, we definitely have to think about winter. This weekend we removed the water hoses from the faucets (learned that lesson in Kentucky!), brought in the plants I want to try to save . . that’s about all I did. Vince did more but I wasn’t watching. There was a 5 gallon bucket sitting outside and it had probably 6 inches of water in it and it was frozen completely across the top this morning. I sure didn’t know it was going to freeze last night.
One thing we’ve never had to do before is . . winterize the chicken coop!
This “window” that’s open is actually a vent with wire over it. The problem is that when it’s open like this, the rain water runs off the roof, hits the flap thing and drains into the coop so Vince had taken the flap off but today he put it back on. We’ll put it down and almost close it . . leave it open a couple of inches to vent the coop during the winter.
Windows are closed.
Inside’s all nice and clean. Well, as clean as it gets. The old straw and droppings get cleaned out every weekend. Fresh straw gets put in. The chickens love it. They’re feast on innocent little bugs/spiders that have taken up residence in the straw bales.
It will be a little trial and error to see how we’re going to keep their water from freezing. We can run power inside the coop and use a heated pad to keep the water from freezing inside but I’m not quite sure what we’re going to do in the run . . probably take out lots of fresh water and pray real hard that we don’t have a lot of ice this winter.
Maybe I should have been happy to let the chickens live inside the basement! 🙂 No!! Never! I’ll deal with the ice and snow . . somehow.
Pam in KC says
First let me say that I know nothing about chickens that live out side. Morse Code was an inside rooster.
But for the water in the run — if the chickens will actually go into the run if it’s cold — I wouldn’t — how about putting one of those handwarmers hunters use under the water bowl. No electricity and I bet you could bum some off of Chad to try it.
Susan Fields says
You can get heated birdbaths. Would something like that work?
Karen Langseth says
Judy….They have heated waterers…..we had them 40+ years ago and we live where it really gets cold. It so nice to have everything winterized….my DH is doing that today.
My “Cat-a-Day” calendar showed a heated water bowl the other day (1 1/2 gallon capacity). They specifically recommended it for outdoor cats. (The one in the picture was empty, except for the resting cat). It does need to be plugged in.
Judy, I have read that a small amount of glycerine added to a birdbath will prevent freezing. It might work in your outdoor waterers. It’s usually available in drug stores.
Lori in SD says
if the chickens are thirsty they will go inside for a drink. Don’t bother trying to heat the outside–LOL! worry more about how often to gather the eggs as they WILL freeze. Maybe not as quick there as here, but that’s why no one in SD has their own chickens–costs too much to keep from getting frozen eggs. We live close to major egg farms, and the eggs are very fresh. I do miss watching the silly hens though.
You may want to rethink cleaning the coop once a week and do some research on the Deep Litter Method (DLM). By leaving the old bedding and adding some diatomaceous earth (DE) and fresh bedding every week, the bedding will stay clean, smell clean and will start composting inside the coop. It’s the way I maintain my coop and, once every six months or so, do a deep cleaning and remove everything to the compost pile. There’s no odor and the coop stays plenty dry.
Also, make sure you have plenty of ventilation during the winter months to prevent frostbitten combs, wattles and feet. Without ventilation, the chickens’ breath causes steam, which then turns to ice and causes frostbite. Who knew chickens could be so darn complicated?!? *LoL*