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Chickens4ever!

Of Drafts and Drifts and WIntery Weather

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Hello! New to Eglu, but loving it! Got a cube and created a  LOOOONG run - 16 feet or so attached for my 7 little princesses. They are LOVING it and so am I! I call it the Shangri La...

We live in Virginia - can get down in the 20s maybe teens in Fahrenheit in winter....I bought the cube blanket bundle so no matter WHERE we go we are set for cozy chicken nights...

So Drafts..... the portent of drafts brings ice to my bones! SOOOO... I purchase all sorts of Omlet draft dodging items.... combis and panels and you name it... I bought it.  But my apprehensions were not improved upon the reception of said items.....

Quality - excellent! Size - allows for DRAFTS! How much wind is too much wind?

Im told the girls can stand in a gale, but a slight breeze on their britches and WOAH ! Their demise is inevitable....

Im not concerned about them in the Cube. But UNDER the Cube - the small panels that I purchased for windbreaks and to PREVENT drafts are not adequate if I dont want spaces around the edges where little whisps of wind can fluff their downy bloomers! 

So is this really a problem? Would it be better to return them and just skin it with  6 mil greenhouse plastic? 

When does a draft become a draft? Am I just being too much of a literalist? I just spent a fortune on the Shangri La. It would break my heart to have it turn into a SIck Ward!

Please Advise! 

 

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They are hardier than you think. And they do need ventilation.  Respiratory diseases thrive in unventilated places.   But I would try to put the cube in a place where there is some shelter from prevailing winds.   If you are worried about the wind whistling under the cube, you could put some tarpaulin, or even wood panels around.  Get some perches in the run, and or logs they can hop on, and maybe some branches, they can shelter against.  Try to arrange it so they can get some shelter from cold winds if they choose to.  I have my cube run covered by clear tarps on the top and part way down the sides.  My bantams perch outside until it gets to around -6 or there is a gale blowing.   

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On 10/16/2019 at 7:56 PM, Patricia W said:

They are hardier than you think. And they do need ventilation.  Respiratory diseases thrive in unventilated places.   But I would try to put the cube in a place where there is some shelter from prevailing winds.   If you are worried about the wind whistling under the cube, you could put some tarpaulin, or even wood panels around.  Get some perches in the run, and or logs they can hop on, and maybe some branches, they can shelter against.  Try to arrange it so they can get some shelter from cold winds if they choose to.  I have my cube run covered by clear tarps on the top and part way down the sides.  My bantams perch outside until it gets to around -6 or there is a gale blowing.   

Ditto; I wouldn't worry too much, as P has said, ventilation is paramount and it is also essential to avoid damp, so shelter against sideways rain or snow penetrating the run. Mine also have clear tarps (daylight is important for their health) along the cube (mark 1) runs and down the sides. I sprinkle Ground Sanitising Powder on the run litter - I use Aubiose hemp bedding - weekly and muck out when it starts to look a bit mingy.

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No, look online for the clear ones with the webbing through them - like these

waterproof-clear-tarpaulin-with-nylon-me

I get mine from the local Tool Station; 3m x 4m fits perfectly over the runs and down the sides.

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I am happy to say I took your advice DM and now they are very happily protected from the wind, and I still have the ability to adjust their coverage accordingly. I bought a 10 by 14 foot tarp such as you suggested, and then I spent a couple of hours fitting it under and around the edges of the Cube. The run area I left open and placed two bungee hooks at the very end. I can move the tarp as far up and down the run as I wish. We already had an artic blast, with temps down to the low 30s and they did fine.

When do I need to put on their Cube blanket? Is there a temperature it is good at?

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I can't answer about the cube blanket cover - sorry - it is never cold enough here to need it. Do make sure though that you have adequate ventilation in the cube to prevent a build-up of condensation, and to draw off the ammonia from their droppings.

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Yes to the need for ventilation.  I learned the hard way during my first winter.  I covered them up so much that two of them got a respiratory infection.  Had to resort to antibiotics.   So, although you may well need the extreme weather jacket, make sure it doesn’t cover all ventilation holes.  

Let us know how you get on.  It’s always interesting to hear from chicken keepers from afar as to their experiences. 

My grandchildren in Australia have the opposite problem to you, they are trying to keep the chickens cool! 

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Its supposed to drop to the 20s. Some sort of an artic blast! From what I can see the cover can cover quite a bit, but it can also be put on in sections so to speak - ie, over just the "roof" but not the sides, etc. I clean out their tray every morning - I use wood chips to catch everything. Kind of like a catbox but well with chickens! I also clean everything daily - ie vinegar spray/wipe off - nice and tidy..... They are likewise moved to fresh ground every day also - and they have a 13 foot run, so for 7 chickens they have room to stretch their legs.  The last 3 feet of the run is uncovered, as is also the door end, so I dont worry about ventilation in that - plus the back area has slits in the tarp for the wheels. 

So that leaves the Cube - it seems as if there are 4 ventilation slits on the "roof" at the side of the cube, and then the 3 big vents - I in front and 2 in back. Are the big vents being uncovered enough? They are very cozy in there and I close them in at night so Im not too worried about freezing - just not sure what is considered cold enough to put it on!

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I’ve no direct experience of the cover.  Few of us have them.  I’m guessing you have the Mk 2 cube?  This is slightly smaller and not the same quality plastic as the Mk 1 that I have.  I also think the ventilation is different,   There are people with both on the Omlet chicken keeping FB page so might be worth joining that as well. 

As for the run, I have mine covered over the top all the way down the length plus three quarters down on each side.  The front is uncovered.   I also have log roll ( sold here for lawn edging) round the sides to stop them kicking the hemp based bedding I use.   Mine is static though.   You might like to think about keeping yours in one place in the winter.  I have the bedding in thickly so they can dust bath in it and dig around,  

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