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Cold nights

post #1 of 9
Thread Starter 
Hi all! We have 9 hens and one rooster (4 red sex link, 2 barred rock, 1 speckled sussex, 1 favorelle,2 black chickens) in a 10 X 10 house. We have one shavings about an inch to two deep. How cold do you let it get before turning on heat lamps?
post #2 of 9

Welcome to BYC!!  :welcome

 

My 11 are in a 8x17 coop, shavings on the floor about 2" deep, and no heat.  Our temps have been as low as 19 degrees.  As long as you have good ventilation you don't need heaters for the chickens.  AND, it's super dangerous.  Here's the two main arguments for NOT using heat in the coop.

 

#1 Fire danger.  There have been so many coop fires because curious chickens have managed to knock over or knock down heat lamps.

 

#2 Power Outage.  If your chickens aren't acclimated to the low temperatures and are suddenly without heat they will not fare well, possibly die.

 

They are built to take extreme low temps.  Many people on here do just fine with their chickens in sub zero weather.  What you need to do is make sure their water doesn't freeze.  There are many threads on here discussing heated watering systems.

"When raising chickens you must think like a chicken...NOT like a human!"

http://www.backyardchickens.com/a/how-to-prepare-for-emergencies-diseases-injuries-before-they-happen 

 

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"When raising chickens you must think like a chicken...NOT like a human!"

http://www.backyardchickens.com/a/how-to-prepare-for-emergencies-diseases-injuries-before-they-happen 

 

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post #3 of 9

don't think warm, think dry! The drier they are, the warmer they are. A lot of people think they should close up the coop because we have been told since childhood to seal it up tight to keep the heat in. What you keep in is the moisture and a damp chicken is a cold chicken.

 

It seems so counter intuitive, but the colder it is, the less moisture the air will hold, and it settles down on top of the chickens. You need ventilation above their heads, and they need enough room so that they do not roost close to the wall or ceiling, they need about a 12 -18 inch clearance. Being close to the wall or ceiling, agains causes moisture to build up on them.

 

So open up the ventilation on the south or east side. No need to add heat for most chickens. If you do add heat, make it a permanent electrical source that has been installed by an electrician. Many a hung up heat lamp falls down when you have animals moving all around. Extension cords easily can start fires especially dropped on bedding.

 

Mrs K

Western South Dakota Rancher
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Western South Dakota Rancher
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post #4 of 9
Last night was -12 with -25 wind chills, no heat here, beware of closing up your coop too tight, fresh air is more important than heat, I have an open doorway facing southeast. Roosters may suffer some frostbite but they will be okay.
Chickens, muscovy ducks, turkeys, donkeys , goats, dogs, fish, parakeets, a parrot, and a cat.

Chickens and dogs are healing to the soul.

I brake for squirrels.

Some of my birds.
http://www.backyardchickens.com/a/my-wisconsin-flock
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Chickens, muscovy ducks, turkeys, donkeys , goats, dogs, fish, parakeets, a parrot, and a cat.

Chickens and dogs are healing to the soul.

I brake for squirrels.

Some of my birds.
http://www.backyardchickens.com/a/my-wisconsin-flock
Reply
post #5 of 9

Never.

Only heat is inside closed water jug with horizontal nipples.

 

Proper ventilation is much more important than trying to heat the air in a coop.

Great article on VENTILATION, one of THE MOST IMPORTANT aspects of coop design.

Fantastic treatise to help decide how much SPACE your chickens need.

 

Chicken math is not just 'addition'...but also should include Division, Multiplication and especially Subtraction!!!

 

Quoting centrarchid:

"Make every effort to understand your chicken's biology and the environment that supports it."

Reply

Great article on VENTILATION, one of THE MOST IMPORTANT aspects of coop design.

Fantastic treatise to help decide how much SPACE your chickens need.

 

Chicken math is not just 'addition'...but also should include Division, Multiplication and especially Subtraction!!!

 

Quoting centrarchid:

"Make every effort to understand your chicken's biology and the environment that supports it."

Reply
post #6 of 9
We are such ninnies here in CA... I worry about my girls when it gets down to (the unusual) 36! 😉
Good luck!
post #7 of 9

Take the waterer out at roost time, and keep the droppings cleaned up.  Keep an eye on the roosters' combs and wattles.  Healthy roosters and hens shouldn't get frost bite if their housing has enough ventilation, kept draft free, and moisture is not allowed to build up.  

...what you know for sure that just ain't so...--Mark Twain;  is what harms future generations.--me
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...what you know for sure that just ain't so...--Mark Twain;  is what harms future generations.--me
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post #8 of 9
Quote:
Originally Posted by JanetMarie View Post

Take the waterer out at roost time, and keep the droppings cleaned up.  Keep an eye on the roosters' combs and wattles.  Healthy roosters and hens shouldn't get frost bite if their housing has enough ventilation, kept draft free, and moisture is not allowed to build up.  
I have plenty of ventilation, an open doorway facing southeast, at colder temperatures frostbite will happen anyways, especially on roosters because they don't tuck their heads at night and their combs and wattles don't shrink down in winter like hens do, nothing will stop it, but the following winter you rooster will have less tissue to worry about.
Chickens, muscovy ducks, turkeys, donkeys , goats, dogs, fish, parakeets, a parrot, and a cat.

Chickens and dogs are healing to the soul.

I brake for squirrels.

Some of my birds.
http://www.backyardchickens.com/a/my-wisconsin-flock
Reply
Chickens, muscovy ducks, turkeys, donkeys , goats, dogs, fish, parakeets, a parrot, and a cat.

Chickens and dogs are healing to the soul.

I brake for squirrels.

Some of my birds.
http://www.backyardchickens.com/a/my-wisconsin-flock
Reply
post #9 of 9
Quote:
Originally Posted by oldhenlikesdogs View Post
 
Quote:
Originally Posted by JanetMarie View Post

Take the waterer out at roost time, and keep the droppings cleaned up.  Keep an eye on the roosters' combs and wattles.  Healthy roosters and hens shouldn't get frost bite if their housing has enough ventilation, kept draft free, and moisture is not allowed to build up.  
I have plenty of ventilation, an open doorway facing southeast, at colder temperatures frostbite will happen anyways, especially on roosters because they don't tuck their heads at night and their combs and wattles don't shrink down in winter like hens do, nothing will stop it, but the following winter you rooster will have less tissue to worry about.

Yep......humidity in coop can't be lower than what it is outside...and SW Michigan is plenty humid most the time.

Great article on VENTILATION, one of THE MOST IMPORTANT aspects of coop design.

Fantastic treatise to help decide how much SPACE your chickens need.

 

Chicken math is not just 'addition'...but also should include Division, Multiplication and especially Subtraction!!!

 

Quoting centrarchid:

"Make every effort to understand your chicken's biology and the environment that supports it."

Reply

Great article on VENTILATION, one of THE MOST IMPORTANT aspects of coop design.

Fantastic treatise to help decide how much SPACE your chickens need.

 

Chicken math is not just 'addition'...but also should include Division, Multiplication and especially Subtraction!!!

 

Quoting centrarchid:

"Make every effort to understand your chicken's biology and the environment that supports it."

Reply
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