suitable home for winter chooks?

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suitable home for winter chooks?
« on: November 24, 2011, 21:26 »
Hi all, have been keeping hens a couple of years now and every winter i face the same problem. Frozen water. I understand that everyone has this problem but i leave home for work at half 5 in the morning, and dont get back till half 5 at night.
 This means that if i go up the lotty before work to give fresh water, in the bitter winter, within 3 hours the water will be frozen again and with it still being dark its likely the hens wont get out in time to have a drink. Then if i go up at night, at around six, its so dark that they are cooped up already.
 This year i have decided to bring them home and put them into our two greenhouses!!!
 I know this may sound cruel but i have lined the floors with cardboard and a thick layer of woodshavings, put a nice dark roost area in each with perches too.
I have 2 white stars and one OEG bantam in our 7x7ft, and two orpingtons and two araucanas in our 8x8ft. Is this ok?
I know they will miss having lots of room but they will have a constant supply of unfrozen water, and stay dry and warm, plus if i hurry i can chuck down some wild grass seed in the run and when they go back it may be more like a hen haven than muddy quagmire!!



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Re: suitable home for winter chooks?
« Reply #1 on: November 25, 2011, 09:14 »
One of the problems you will have will be condensation which is really bad for poultry.  Mr Fox might also break through the glass to get at your hens.

I am going to use a table food warmer with either bricks or quarry tiles on top then the drinker which will hopefully keep the water unfrozen.  The bricks should hold the heat without getting too hot and you can get tea light candles that will burn for 10 hours which should be ideal.
Ain't Nobody Here But Us Chickens!
Bagpuss RIP 1992 - June 2012, 1 huge grass carp (RIP "Jaws" July 2001 - December 2011), 4 golden orfe, 1 goldfish and 1 fantail fish (also huge)! plus 4 Italian quail, 1 Japanese quail, 1 Rosetta quail.



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Re: suitable home for winter chooks?
« Reply #2 on: November 25, 2011, 17:32 »
Both of the greenhouses have two roof vents that are open and the glass is toughened safety glass so i reckon mr fox will be kept at bay. Good idea about the table warmer though.


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