3 chickens in -20 degree weather and colder?

Discussion in 'Managing Your Flock' started by mmch618, Jan 5, 2014.

  1. mmch618

    mmch618 Out Of The Brooder

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    Dec 12, 2013
    Hi, i have three chickens living in a small coop in my backyard. So far this winter (which is my first winter with chickens) they have done fine. Only once did the weather get to -11 and thats the coldest its has gotten. Tomorrow it is expected to get to -20 and lower and there is no way for me to get a heater to my chicken coop. Would it be ok to move them inside at least at night? I was thinking of keeping them in a extra large cage. It is plenty big enough for the three of them. Also if i move them inisde, with this inturupt thier egg laying scheduel or will they forget how to lay in the nesting boxes when i put them back outside? And will they get shocked if they go from staying in a warm house to back out in the cold? Sorry for all the questions but im worried that with only three of them they will not be able to keep warm.
     
  2. xmonster0

    xmonster0 Out Of The Brooder

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    3 is not alot for body warmth , have you thought about red heat lamps? i never bring my bird in just fire up the heaters and heated waterers and they are fine.

    any stress will interrupt egg laying, especially moving them out of their coop.
     
  3. mmch618

    mmch618 Out Of The Brooder

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    Dec 12, 2013
    the coop is too small for me to safely add heaters. in the end i did bring them inthe basement as it just got dark and they would have been heading into the coop anyway. They dont seem too upset, more curious then anything. If i get less eggs then i guess thats ok. IT is -30 right now outside and the wind is even colder so i was too nervous. I hope i made the right decision
     
  4. craftiekids

    craftiekids Chillin' With My Peeps

    At minus 30 I would say yes! If you can you may want to put them in a large cage down there for the duration. My concern is that they will get ill from going hot cold hot cold.... If it's cool down there, good. I would keep them inside till it's better outside. My husband thinks I'm crazy though. Ours are 8 birds in a small coop but we put a light inside and put tarps up for wind breaks. Wild fowl find cosy spots in low hollows out of the wind where they cuddle together to stay warm with dry leaves. So I try to simulate that with gobs of thick pine shavings. In -30 I would go for the basement too. I always think better safe than sorry!!! [​IMG] Susie Q
     
  5. annagarret

    annagarret Chillin' With My Peeps

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    My Coop
    Tonight it's going to -20 tonight. Iam scared. Does anyone know of the lowest temp they can survive?
     
  6. annagarret

    annagarret Chillin' With My Peeps

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    My Coop
    I'm in northern Michigan.....lol
    ...it's my first winter with chickens
     
  7. haemony

    haemony Chillin' With My Peeps

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    It seems to me that neither you, your chickens, or your coop are prepared for this drop. I see no harm in bringing them inside. To be on the safe side and since there are only three, I think you should. You will sleep better and your chickens won't be scared or miserable. After the freak cold snap passes, you can research how to prep chickens and their coop for winter without heat but for now and for your own peace of mind just bring them in. Do you have a puppy cage or an extra bathroom to put them in? I do not usually provide heat for my chickens even in subzero weather but it very much depends on your circumstances, your coop, and if your chickens have time to acclimate to the cold. Bring them in for now. Worry about later...later.
     
    Last edited: Jan 6, 2014
    1 person likes this.
  8. annagarret

    annagarret Chillin' With My Peeps

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    My Coop
    They haven't acclimated to the cold yet???? How long does that take? It's been pretty cold, below zero this winter already. Does it go by the age of the hen or how many months they are in the severe cold? The coop is wrapped in carpenter plastic and tarps..With the 10 inches of snow I was going to pack the sides like an igloo type of effect..

    I am trying to convince DH to let me put them in the garage.....
     
  9. bobbi-j

    bobbi-j Chicken Obsessed

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    On the MN prairie.
    If they've been outside or in a coop, they're acclimated. It's a gradual process. As they're in the cooler weather, they produce more down or feathers. Just like any other animal that's outside. They will be fine in the coop. Just be sure not to seal your coop up too tightly, or they could get frostbite because the humidity in the coop has so place to escape.
     

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