Thursday, December 10, 2009

Cold Comfort Coop

Well, it's really winter in Minnesota now.

After an incredibly warm and wonderful November, reality came blowing in on Tuesday evening. High winds, snow, freezing temperatures - blizzard warnings for areas just south of the metro area where we live.

I've spent lots of time reading online about appropriate accomodations for chickens in the wintertime. We prepared our coop by the book: insulated the henhouse, we wrapped the open bottom open level of the henhouse in plastic, leaving the small pop door open for ventilation, installed a mason-jar light fixture in the lower level of the henhouse, bought a base heater for our galvanized waterer, and stuffed the henhouse with extra straw. According to all of the information I could find, if you do these things your chickens should be just fine in very cold temps.

Still, on Tuesday night when the wind was whistling and the temps were plummeting, I worried about the ladies. DearHusband went down to the henhouse just before bed to check on them. He reported that all was calm and quiet in the henhouse. The girls were all settled in and it was just sort of peaceful in there - warm in comparison to the gusty windchills outside. Today he swapped the 60 watt bulb in the fixture for a 100 watt (because he thought Lucy looked cold).

I just went down and snapped this picture of the ladies in their winter digs. (Miss Betty, giving me the old stink-eye, appears to have gotten the hang of balancing that big old booty on a small roost.) The temp outside is -5 according to the thermometer outside - but +14 according to the thermometer inside the henhouse. With those nice coats of down and feathers, I think they will be just fine.


DebD said...

they look pretty cozy to me.

s-p said...

Good job. I winterized the Taj Moohal, it basically is a drop light with a bathroom "heat lamp bulb" in it. He sleeps under it. Yesterday it didn't get much above 50 and he stayed indoors all day.