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at what temps do you coop up birds??

 
Tim Canton
Posts: 175
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I know its not really an issue of warmth for chickesn/ducks  and more and issue of pasture destruction and manure handling.  I know Salatin says he puts his hens in a hoop house for the coldest 90 days of the year I think.......But what is that general temp range where the birds being out causes problems with the grounds inability to handle it?  We have cold temps here sometimes, by that I mean the 20s is pretty cold here but ocassionally even colder.  But we also can have 50 degree days in jan/feb .........mostly  30's 40's though.
 
Walter Jeffries
Posts: 1085
Location: Mountains of Vermont, USDA Zone 3
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Those are very mild temperatures. I would not worry about them in the slightest. We make coops available to our poultry which they use at night when it gets cold but during the day they're out in the sub-zero temps. I don't close the coop unless it gets below about -25°F.

Cheers

-Walter
Sugar Mountain Farm
Pastured Pigs, Sheep & Kids
in the mountains of Vermont
Read about our on-farm butcher shop project:
http://SugarMtnFarm.com/butchershop
http://SugarMtnFarm.com/csa
 
Tim Canton
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but wont they destroy the grass etc during the winter months and won't the manure be an issue?  or will the ground be able to handle it at thoose temps?
 
Walter Jeffries
Posts: 1085
Location: Mountains of Vermont, USDA Zone 3
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organick wrote:
but wont they destroy the grass etc during the winter months and won't the manure be an issue?   or will the ground be able to handle it at thoose temps?


There is no grass in the winter months. We are in Vermont. Snow pack is 4' deep. Fence posts disappear. Chicken house looks like an igloo or snow drift. The chickens live in their coop and greenhouse on a deep bedding pack which turns into a compost pile. When the chickens go out, they're up on top of a virtual glacier of snow. In other climates you might want to spread lots of hay to make a deep pack to simulate this and then in the spring push it together to make your compost pile.

See:

http://www.google.com/search?q=site%3Aflashweb.com%20chicken%20coop%20sun%20room

http://SugarMtnFarm.com/blog/2006/01/chicken-sunroom-how-to.html

http://SugarMtnFarm.com/blog/2009/02/winter-chicken-coop.html

http://SugarMtnFarm.com/blog/2005/12/winter-hen-coop.html

http://SugarMtnFarm.com/blog/2009/03/chicken-hoop-house.html

The area where livestock winter over, winter paddocks, is very nicely fertilized and the weeds are killed off. We then plant pumpkins, sunflowers, sunchokes, kale, turnips, beets and other things to grow for the livestock for the following fall and winter.
 
I agree. Here's the link: https://richsoil.com/wood-heat.jsp
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