1. If this is your first time on BYC, we suggest you start with one of these three options:
    Raising Chickens Chicken Coops Join BYC
    If you're already a member of our community, click here to login & click here to learn what's new!

-20 below, what do I do for my flock??

Discussion in 'Managing Your Flock' started by hawtchick, Jan 14, 2009.

  1. hawtchick

    hawtchick Chillin' With My Peeps

    226
    0
    119
    Jun 11, 2008
    New Hampshire
    I have 6 hens (NHR, RSL, and WR) and a WR rooster in an uninsulated coop. I have a ton of hay and shavings in there, a red bulb heat lamp and a heated waterer.......
    Should I add another lamp or will they be ok??
    I have been feeding extra cracked corn and they get layer pellets and grit daily.
    Also treats every 2 days or so.
    Will they be ok??? I thought I saw some frostbite on their combs, and I am not letting them outside until this cold spell is over.

    Just wanted them to be safe while I am inside toasty warm.

    Thank you!!
     
  2. herechickchick

    herechickchick Chillin' With My Peeps

    Mar 28, 2007
    Memphis TN
    If you can add 1 more light I would, just make sure it will not burn them. 12 degrees is about as low as it goes here and I have 2 250 watt heat bulbs, but my coop is not insulated and only three sides are covered the 4th wall is open the the run so you might be warm enough. Could you put a thermometer in and see what the temp is? That will help you decide.

    Good Luck
     
  3. LynneP

    LynneP Chillin' With My Peeps

    I agree about thermometers, it might seem obsessive but I have one outdoors, one in the core of the barn, one in coop and one in food room. By comparing the temperatures to the behavior of your birds and noting humidity (esp. condensation) and air pressure, you begin to see how the most important variables affect them. Watch for fluffing, huddling, piling...use of next boxes when not laying.

    In the Northeast you're getting what we're expecting tonight and for at least 5 consecutive days. Hens will be *indoors*. Brutal scary stuff. I've put some thoughts in this page after our last encounter. Not only that but all of us have been through multiple storms, we've just had 15 and another expected Sunday.
    Power outages, shortages of supplies in stores, school and business cancellations, everyone has been struggling.

    https://www.backyardchickens.com/web/viewblog.php?id=7693-seasonal-concerns

    Coop is part of our red barn, is insulated fully and ceiling is planked, sheathed in plywood and also covered in a layer of hay bales. A 100W light comes on at 5 am, offset from the roosts. It's for layers not particularly for heat because I want my birds fully feathered if there is an outage. Floor of coop is wood planks over concrete, deep bedded and with food-grade DE and Stable Boy powder on planks. This morning after my regular spot-cleaning I added another bale of shavings to one half of the coop. It's 6.4 cu ft unexpanded, so it will lessen the amount of air to heat by more than that amount. The coop has many places where a bird can rest comfortably though I suspect they will continue to use platforms and roosts. If it got impossibly cold the nest boxes are extra-full of bedding and the spaces under them are dense with clean shavings. There's also a place under another platform and a solid ramp that is cosy.

    I'm going down shortly to do the evening chores- will spot-clean again and add another bale, will clean out my electric heated dog bowl and add warm water to it; will pour out contents of cat waterer in barn aisleway and give them warm water plus put the fount on a heated base. Horse gets a bucket of scalding water- which he adores, likes it to soak his hay. Hatch to loft is sealed, horse stall is deep-bedded and I'm locking everything early. If there is (another) power failure we'll run a cord to the barn in the morning from the generator. At least we can keep our well/furnace running if we have an outage. All the animals get extra food, the chickens have a hopper that lasts several days in an emergency.

    Minimum of 5 days coming with temps like Alaska, Michigan and Wisconsin are getting; frankly it's a very different kind of winter for us. We're trying to prevent stress among the birds and losses, of course. I hope we get it right!

    [​IMG]

    [​IMG]

    [​IMG]

    [​IMG]

    [​IMG]
     
    Last edited: Jan 14, 2009
  4. Akane

    Akane Overrun With Chickens

    4,654
    27
    251
    Jun 15, 2008
    I'm running a space heater on a timer to prevent overheating since the lowest the automatic shut off goes is 32F. At least I will be as soon as I fix a wiring issue. 2 of my japanese bantam roos have frostbite and the 3rd one is inside. If I can't get the coop to at least stay at 0 I'm bringing all the japs inside. I have a 3x6' guinea pig cage I can cram them into. It depends somewhat on the breeds you have. My EE and standard mutts have been fine with just a single heat lamp but the japs aren't very cold hardy.
     
  5. morelcabin

    morelcabin Chillin' With My Peeps

    Feb 8, 2007
    Ontario Canada
    They'll be fine as long as there are no drafts. My coop is not insulated and I don't provide heat and they aren't at all stress -32C (-25F) here for the next few days. I'm not worried. One of the roos has had frostbite on his comb for a month now but the farmers here assure me that it will be fine in the spring. The rest of them are healthy and very well feathered...not showing stress at all...and the top of my coop has about 12 square feet of air vents going through it...so even heating wouldn't make sense, I'd lose it all anyway:>)
     
  6. Akane

    Akane Overrun With Chickens

    4,654
    27
    251
    Jun 15, 2008
    If their comb is badly frostbit it will not recover. They will live but they will permanently lose part of their comb and it's quite painful. I take frostbite as a sign that they are at risk of getting too cold. Like I said it's breed dependent. My mutt roo is fine and both his hens and my EE hens are fine. They wander about normally and contentedly roost through the night. My japs are cramming together shivering at night and I have one with brain damage or a neck injury along with 2 frostbit roos.
     
  7. hawtchick

    hawtchick Chillin' With My Peeps

    226
    0
    119
    Jun 11, 2008
    New Hampshire
    so maybe I will be ok. I am going to pick up some black oil sunflower seed and throw some extra hay in for them. I may put another light in to if I can firgure out a safe place to put it.

    Anyone else?

    Thanks so far!!
     
  8. hawtchick

    hawtchick Chillin' With My Peeps

    226
    0
    119
    Jun 11, 2008
    New Hampshire
    headed out to do a check. They were all down and running around earlier, WANTING to go out, but I didn't let them, although the worst of our cold is about to hit tonight,
    Thank you.
    jess
     
  9. ams3651

    ams3651 Chillin' With My Peeps

    Jan 23, 2008
    NE PA
    we are expecting in the negative 10 range. Its 20 right now, was about 28 in the coop when i went out a little bit ago. I just had a heat lamp over the waterer till now. I got a heated dog bowl, I couldnt get the 1 gal waterer to stay in without tipping so I left the water in the bowl and I moved the heat lamp to outside the middle of the roost, is like a t so I attached it to the center post pointing up but not where they can get burnt or poop on it. They ate their warm scrambled eggs and oatmeal, got a drink and cozied back up on the roost. I would get another heat lamp just to be safe if it was getting as low as you have. Do you have a thermometer in there? I have a little $1 one just so I can check it when I go in and see how well Ive done.

    edited for spelling

    by the way, theres no worry here about them going out. When we first got snow they went out, shivered and went back in. Now when I open the door they look out and look at me and say "yeah, right dummy" [​IMG]
     
    Last edited: Jan 14, 2009
  10. hawtchick

    hawtchick Chillin' With My Peeps

    226
    0
    119
    Jun 11, 2008
    New Hampshire
    I brought them out warm scrambled eggs, first time they have had them...... I was almost mauled by them. I have never seen them fly up almost landing on me or in the bowl.
    I guess I need to do that more often.
    I will pick up a thermometer and another lamp, although DH doesn't seem the least bit worried.[​IMG]
     

BackYard Chickens is proudly sponsored by