The easy part was placing a water heater under their metal water fount. It is automatically set to go on when the temperature drops below 35 degrees & will keep the water from freezing in temps as low as 10 degrees. So far, the water has only froze once and that was just a layer on top. Of course when there is a stretch of days below 10 degrees (ugh, hate to think of that), we will have to check the water for icing.
Next, after much research, we bought a thermostatically-controlled outlet (comes on at 35 degrees & goes off at 45 degrees) to which we plugged in a ceramic infrared heat emitter placed in a metal lamp with the protective shield around it & hung it from the coop ceiling. This set-up will keep the chickens from freezing, but will not allow it to get too warm in the coop. We will have to see if the heat lamp will keep the water from freezing.
The coop is so well insulated, that we may have just needed the water fount heater. The chickens give off quite a bit of body heat too. But, since this is our first year of raising chickens, we want to be sure they are all right. I once read a blog that talked about letting her chickens combs freeze like it was no big deal to have to trim off the dead black tips of the comb. I'm sorry, but I won't purposely let an animal suffer if I can help it.
|Vinnie supervising Steve with Bubbles looking on.|
The rest of the weekend was spent cooking (me) and mudding & sanding the foyer drywall (Steve). We had our Thanksgiving dinner at the farm on Saturday in the midst of the drywall dust floating around. :-) . A decision was made on Sunday....call someone else to finish the small amount of drywall mudding & sanding we have left. It's not that much, but it will get rid of a whole lot of frustration for one fantastic custom woodworker who shouldn't have to do drywall too.
This week, I am visiting family. Love seeing the two granddaughters! I was supposed to leave tomorrow, but couldn't wait any longer, so I hopped in the car this afternoon.
Should post some new pics here this week...