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How cold is TOO cold for a chicken? - Page 11

post #101 of 391
Quote:
Originally Posted by chick2good4u 

Mrs. AK-Bird-Brain :

Update:
Currently 0°F/-17.7°C outside, and 5 girls are still sleeping outside.  The 40w bulb couldn't handle the sudden drop in temps (that's 25-30° lower than yesterday), so I'll have to up the wattage to keep the waterer from freezing, but that's all they have so far.
wink


By the way, what happened to the bulb? Did it go out or what? Sorry for the ignorance, I live in middle TN where we usually don't see negative number temperatures.


Oh no... it just wasn't strong enough to keep the ice away... smile

post #102 of 391

Mrs. AK-Bird-Brain :

Lunachick, I'm beginning to wonder at my choice of residence myself.  This is WAY early for temps this low (-1.7°F and still dropping) Last year this time we were still in the mid-30s. sad  I'm having a devil of a time keeping water from freezing, but so far none of the chickens are having issues. 

The issues I have with trying to keep the chickens warm is that I've had the heat lamps burn out, or power go out, in the middle of the night.  If they're not used to the colder temps, they're not going to do well in that situation.  I'm a big softie, too, but I had to draw the line after the $400 electric bill.  I can't afford that. hmm


I was worried about a big bill also.  I figured I would only run it on a very very cold night.

Mommy to a 8 yr. old girl, 4 yr. old boy, one fat cat,  one dinky dog, polish, buttercups, hamburgs, waydonettes, and cochins, 10 silkies, a sizzle, Barred Rock and 2 d'uccles.
Need a chicken,duck, goose, parrot diaper or chicken saddle?  I also make harnesses for leashes.  Check in the Everything else for sale. Lovemychix.
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Mommy to a 8 yr. old girl, 4 yr. old boy, one fat cat,  one dinky dog, polish, buttercups, hamburgs, waydonettes, and cochins, 10 silkies, a sizzle, Barred Rock and 2 d'uccles.
Need a chicken,duck, goose, parrot diaper or chicken saddle?  I also make harnesses for leashes.  Check in the Everything else for sale. Lovemychix.
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post #103 of 391

Lets think about this. 100, 200, 500 years ago, nobody heated their coop. All those generations later we all are still keeping chickens. Somehow they managed to get through even the coldest winters to provide us with what we all enjoy - Fresh, delicious eggs. Keep the rain, snow, and wind out and they will get by just like they have for 1,000's of years.

post #104 of 391
Quote:
Originally Posted by unclejoe 

Lets think about this. 100, 200, 500 years ago, nobody heated their coop. All those generations later we all are still keeping chickens. Somehow they managed to get through even the coldest winters to provide us with what we all enjoy - Fresh, delicious eggs. Keep the rain, snow, and wind out and they will get by just like they have for 1,000's of years.


I always wonder about this.  I think a lot of people are raising chickens that don't have a farm and live in more urban areas and are enjoying them and think more of the pet thing and take extra precautions for their care.   Not that farmers don't, but this chicken thing is getting big and all kinds of people are getting them.  And then their are the different breeds.....smile  But I do agree with your statement.   We can get a bit carried away...I think they know how to survive, we just have to provide the best care and let them be chickens.

And then God said to the chicken, "Go forth and poop on everything"
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And then God said to the chicken, "Go forth and poop on everything"
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post #105 of 391

Ok...  Does anyone know first hand of someone who had perfectly heathy, mature chickens with good but unheated shelter that froze to death?

I'm just curious.  And if so, I'd like to know what breed they were.

post #106 of 391
Quote:
Originally Posted by BeardedChick 

Ok...  Does anyone know first hand of someone who had perfectly heathy, mature chickens with good but unheated shelter that froze to death?

I'm just curious.  And if so, I'd like to know what breed they were.


Never heard of that happening.

Everything I say is fully substantiated by my own opinion!
BYC member #4418
http://cherylmercer.blogspot.com/
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Everything I say is fully substantiated by my own opinion!
BYC member #4418
http://cherylmercer.blogspot.com/
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post #107 of 391

My chicks are 6 weeks old. Frosting outside so mine are all in my sunroom. I guess I ought to turn off the heat lamp for a week or two before shooing them to their coop.

Go underground!
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Go underground!
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post #108 of 391

Yep... below 0°F again this morning, and the girls I put inside yesterday are snoozing outside again.  wink  Water's frozen solid, but it's OH SO NICE to go out there and warm my hands under the wings of a hen that's cranking the BTU's. big_smile

post #109 of 391

The answer is that there's no one answer.

Depends on the constitution of each bird, how many birds (for keeping each other warm) and how large or cozy the coop, how draft free, etc.......

Also depends how quickly temps plummet (or escalate) and whether there's time to acclimate. (Today temps where I am in NJ are 30 degrees less than a couple days ago - a significant shift, difficult to adjust to. In June we went from 70's one week to 110+ with heat index the next - it was really tough on the birds.)

While people had chickens years ago largely without creature comforts we cannot assume there were no cold/weather related die-offs. It's like saying wildlife is still here in the spring so the winter doesn't bother them. Truth is that only the most hardy are still here - there are plenty of die-offs over winter.

Do most chickens tolerate pretty cold weather - probably. Do all - nope. So it's a matter of observing closely our feathered friends and judging as best we can how they're feeling and providing accordingly.

JJ

Right now where I am in NJ we're having snow/hail/ice/fierce winds. Wind chill is 27, balmy for Alaska I know (brrrrrrr...can't imagine those temps!!!)! My roo and hen want NOTHING to do with any of it, and are inside bummed out! Their coop resides within a larger building - during the day they can choose to hang out outdoors or in the unheated large building or in their coop which has a heat lamp and is keeping temps above freezing......the temp differential is not so much as to be startling, but enough to give them relief if they need/want it. My roo is an older fellow and has been getting less cold tolerant. And since there's only 2 of them altogether, they don't produce much body heat. If there were a power outage I could bring them in the house if need be, clearly much more difficult a prospect for folks with umpteen chickens!


Edited by jjthink - 10/28/08 at 6:33am
"You must be the change you wish to see in the world" ~Ghandhi

"Procrastinate now. Don't put it off." ~Ellen Degeneres
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"You must be the change you wish to see in the world" ~Ghandhi

"Procrastinate now. Don't put it off." ~Ellen Degeneres
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post #110 of 391

We are just worried about keeping the water from freezing I think the chickens can keep theirselves warm , I hope . We are in GA dosen't get too cold here.:|

two people , 4 dogs, and 29 chickens, on 10 acres in Perry, GA.
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two people , 4 dogs, and 29 chickens, on 10 acres in Perry, GA.
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