6 ways to prep your chicken coop for fall | Living the Country Life
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6 ways to prep your chicken coop for fall

As temperatures begin to drop, making a few modifications to your chicken coop can help keep your birds warm and cozy during the fall and throughout the winter.
  • Keep out drafts

    Keep out chilly drafts by covering the north-facing windows of the coop. Feed sacks stapled to the building both inside and out offer an inexpensive barrier.

    Date Published: September 11, 2015
    Date Updated: November 6, 2015
  • Let there be light!

    As the days get shorter and cooler, many hens stop or slow down egg production. It takes about 12 hours of daylight to stimulate the birds to lay eggs. Setting a timer on a light bulb might convince them to keep laying. The type of lighting used doesn't really matter, and it doesn't take much. One incandescent light bulb will keep 15 to 20 chickens happy so they can see, walk around and eat, and be stimulated by the light.

    Date Published: September 11, 2015
    Date Updated: November 6, 2015
  • Fresh, not frozen

    Once nighttime temperatures dip below freezing, hang a heat lamp about a foot above the waterer to keep water from freezing. Just make sure there is a guard covering the bulb, and the cord disconnects if it falls.

    Date Published: September 11, 2015
    Date Updated: November 6, 2015
  • Everyone loves fresh bedding!

    It's a challenge for birds to stay warm if there's a lot of moisture around them. When the litter on the floor gets wet, clean it out and replace it with several inches of dry, fresh bedding.

    Date Published: September 11, 2015
    Date Updated: November 6, 2015
  • Keep pests away

    Even if you haven't had mice or rats in your chicken coop all summer, once the temperatures start to drop, they'll find a way in. Discourage them from staying by keeping all feed stored securely in metal containers with lids, and clean up any spills. Seal obvious gaps in the coop to help eliminate entrances for pests. If they continue to be a problem, try removing the chickens' water at night while they are roosting, doing away with a water source for the pests. Chances are, your chickens keep them away during the day, so think about your coop at night and what would attract pests.

    Date Published: September 11, 2015
    Date Updated: November 6, 2015
  • Consider an automatic door

    Install a door on the chicken coop that automatically opens in the morning and shuts in the evening. It adds protection from predators, keeps the weather out, and gives you peace of mind. Do your research online before buying one because there are many options to consider. You'll need a power source and a timer. There are doors that work on 6-volt or 12-volt direct current, 120-volt AC that you plug into the wall, or even solar power. It's a good idea to have two power sources as a backup in case of a power failure. Also be sure the door is sized right for your birds.  A good basic size that would cover about everything is about a 30"x10" door.

    Date Published: September 11, 2015
    Date Updated: November 6, 2015

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