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Author Topic: Winter Tips for Chooks....  (Read 58869 times)

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hillfooter

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Re: Winter Tips for Chooks....
« Reply #30 on: December 02, 2009, 00:36 »
Putting some glycerine in the water should stop it freezing unless it gets really, really cold ...

I don't know about gycerine and I've not heard anyone recommend this in the past, but don't use antifreeze as it's highly toxic.

HF
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hillfooter

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Re: Winter Tips for Chooks....
« Reply #31 on: December 02, 2009, 04:16 »
A few Winter tips.

You've probably noticed it gets dark in an evening and it's a good idea to install some lighting so you can see.  This is best and most economically done by installing it on your head. You can use a head torch such as the LED Lenser head torch.  These are great, allowing hands free use, high powered, lightweight and cheap to run if you invest in some AAA rechargable (GP 1000mah ) batteries.  They last upto 50 hours use supposedly, and although I've never checked this, they certainly last a long time on one charge.   They are so useful for lots of jobs, for example should you in an emergency need to deliver a baby on a dark night.  I use mine every night though not of course always for delivering babies but mostly for locking up my chx.  see http://www.tooled-up.com/ManProduct.asp?PID=132241 .  The LED LASER three LED model is the one to go for.   A great stocking filler.

Have you ever settled down on a dark cold rainy night to watch your favourite TV programme and then thought "did I close the pophole"?  If you can see the house from the back door and the pophole has a drop down door you can fit a rigid wire to the door and take it up through a vine eye on the roof.  Fix something visible to the top of the wire to act as a flag such as a high visibility strip or bicycle reflector and with a torch you can check if the flags up or down without putting on the waterproofs and wellies.  Another reflector fixed to the roof might be required to act as a reference point if the house is a long way off.  If you have a porch over the pophole entrance, the wire can be used to raise and lower the door too.

To combat mud, use a duck board mat in front of the pophole and provide a covered "porch" tunnel in front of the door, if it's an ark type.  Helps to keep the entrance dry and mud out of the house

Use duck boards made from pallets sawn in half (lengthways) and painted with a preservative as a walk way for chx and you.  Composted tree shreddings are useful to cover the muddy areas. Cheaply available from tree surgeons.  Don't neglect those autumn leaves for this purpose either.

Empty or take inside drinkers at night to prevent freezing.  Make dark (black) polythene covers for then using dampproof course sheeting or similar heavy duty polythene taped up with duct tape or similar cloth reinforced sticky tape.  Use these to absorb the heat from the sun during the day and it also helps to insulate them and hold the heat in to some extent.

Don't use open flame heaters in the house as these are fire hazards with chx and they don't need heat in any but the most sever weather.  An old waterproof horse rug thrown over the roof keeps the rain and condensation off, making the house warmer, and helps with insulation and protecting the house.

Corrugated bitumen roof panels set on a wood frame on short posts (don't forget to set them at an angle to shed rain) make good rain shelters.  Adding a wall on the windy side and a curtain of weed fabric cut into ribbons along the other sides makes a good wind and rain break.  Hang your feeders under them to keep dry, so make them high enough to do this.

Best wishes
HF
« Last Edit: December 02, 2009, 17:56 by hillfooter »

gcb

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Re: Winter Tips for Chooks....
« Reply #32 on: December 02, 2009, 16:11 »
I see you have wood bark for the chickens foxy. I was thinking of using some in my run this winter. How do you keep it clean?
Thanks for all the tips everyone - i will be making some porridge tomorrow.
geoff

joyfull

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Re: Winter Tips for Chooks....
« Reply #33 on: December 02, 2009, 16:12 »
Don't forget to make it with water and not too much  :)
I only give mine it when it's frosty or snowy  :)
Staffies are softer than you think.

hillfooter

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Re: Winter Tips for Chooks....
« Reply #34 on: December 02, 2009, 17:50 »
Don't forget to make it with water and not too much  :)
I only give mine it when it's frosty or snowy  :)

Why do you say with water Joy, is it because you don't think chx should have dairy products? I'm dubious of giving milk too though I note many people advocate giving them yogurt, a practise I'm not sure about.

Regards
HF

joyfull

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Re: Winter Tips for Chooks....
« Reply #35 on: December 02, 2009, 17:54 »
Ideally no dairy but at a push a probiotic yoghurt if they are very ill just to get the good bacteria into their guts - but ideally you would be better using Avipro.  :)

Foxy

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Re: Winter Tips for Chooks....
« Reply #36 on: December 02, 2009, 18:14 »
I see you have wood bark for the chickens foxy. I was thinking of using some in my run this winter. How do you keep it clean?
Thanks for all the tips everyone - i will be making some porridge tomorrow.
geoff

It depends on the size of your run and how many chooks you have within any given area. I used type 1 (builders aggregate) on the base tamped down with a wacker plate. Roughly 3 inches of wood chip topped off with wood bark/mulch covering to make it soft. This drains really well. I only change twice a year, by scraping the top layer of(makes a fab compost!) and renewing in the spring and autumn.

gcb

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Re: Winter Tips for Chooks....
« Reply #37 on: December 03, 2009, 21:25 »
Can you tell me where you get wood chip/bark/mulch/ My garden is so boggy at the  moment, with all the rain, that moving my 10ft run to the ark every couple of weeks is out of the question. I have put the coup and the run on a concrete path through the garden in the hope I can leave it there until my grass may hopefully grow again. I thought putting bark type stuff on the path would be an idea to put in this semi permanent run rather than the laysoft that is in the hutch - both of which may be better than the plain concrete in there at the moment.
geoff

Bonniebean

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Re: Winter Tips for Chooks....
« Reply #38 on: December 03, 2009, 22:27 »
I found a local tree surgeon who  supplies it free, just comes over and tips it on the driveway. It's worth a couple of phone calls -saves quite a bit and it's brilliant stuff. It will have greenery in it though!

hillfooter

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Re: Winter Tips for Chooks....
« Reply #39 on: December 03, 2009, 23:17 »
I found a local tree surgeon who  supplies it free, just comes over and tips it on the driveway. It's worth a couple of phone calls -saves quite a bit and it's brilliant stuff. It will have greenery in it though!

It's safer if it has composted a while rather than green.  It could contain yew for example which is highly toxic or other toxic material and you don't want the chx eating it.  Worth asking your supplier if he knows what it contains and compost it until it's not palitable to your chx. before you use it.

Regards
HF

Bonniebean

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Re: Winter Tips for Chooks....
« Reply #40 on: December 04, 2009, 08:06 »
Thanks Hillfooter, did give that consideration! Fortunately he keeps chickens himself and will only provide what is suitable for the girls. Sue

leddenton

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Re: Winter Tips for Chooks....
« Reply #41 on: January 09, 2010, 10:27 »
Having read on her re adding hot water to pelletts I tried it out this morning. They tucked in really well, ate much more breakfast than normal.

mattb

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Re: Winter Tips for Chooks....
« Reply #42 on: January 11, 2010, 09:49 »
Just signed up to the forum and wanted to say thanks for all the advice I have just read.  Where can i get glycerine to stop water freezing?

cheers
mattb

Foxy

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Re: Winter Tips for Chooks....
« Reply #43 on: January 11, 2010, 11:02 »
The amount you would need -( I have heard 5ml per litre) I think you to buy from a chemist. Not used it myself though but a few people I know have tried out of desperation!

hillfooter

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Re: Winter Tips for Chooks....
« Reply #44 on: January 11, 2010, 22:40 »
I'd be wary about adding glycerine as it is a laxative and might upset your chx digestion and in any case the reports I've seen don't indicate it's a very effective antifreeze.

If you have problems with water freezing during the day when you can't change it try heating some bricks around the fire and standing your drinker on them.  The better you insulate the bricks from the ground the more effective they will be.  Use polystyrine or a bed of straw covered with a sheet of black polythene to insulate from the ground.

Cover the drinker in BLACK polythene and stand in a position where it will get the sun.  Take in the drinkers at night. and fill with warm/tepid water in the morning.

HF



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