-6 F Tomorrow... Chickens in the garage?

Discussion in 'Managing Your Flock' started by LucyJulie, Jan 6, 2015.

  1. LucyJulie

    LucyJulie New Egg

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    Hello,

    It is supposed to drop to -6 F tomorrow in MA, and the rest of the week is forecasted to hover just above zero. I have been contemplating on taking my 5 ladies inside the heated garage for the night.

    After doing some research on this, it seems like I shouldn't but I just feel so bad.

    The girls live in a large barn with fresh shavings and a heat lamp on one side of their coop.

    My question is - is it a mistake to bring them in the heated garage for a night and would I be causing them more harm then good?
     
  2. david stelter

    david stelter Out Of The Brooder

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    if out of the direct wind and warming from a heat lamp their fine, not my idea to bring them in from a cool/cold area to a warm/hot area and then back out again is asking for a bad ending! with high humidity and subfreezing temps it is an effecting killer of frozen lungs or frost bite!
     
  3. LucyJulie

    LucyJulie New Egg

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    They are completely enclosed. We converted an old horse stall in to a chicken coop. I don't want to hurt my chickens! It's just so cold! Mother Nature can be cruel sometimes!
     
  4. pdirt

    pdirt Chillin' With My Peeps

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    They will be fine. Not only could it mess up their internal thermostats by moving them to a much warmer place, but also the move will stress them out. Chickens don't need any heat source until it starts to hit -20F, but I understand that some folks can't bear thinking of not heating. Just make sure they have plenty of ventilation at the upper walls of their coop. Ventilation is far more important than heat.
     
  5. pdirt

    pdirt Chillin' With My Peeps

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    If they are completely enclosed...they NEED ventilation. Look up user member "aart". Find one of his posts and he has a link on his signature line about ventilation. Without ventilation, humidity will rise. From both their exhalations and droppings. Plus ammonia evaporating from their droppings is toxic to them and needs to be ventilated out.

    How many chickens do you have in the converted horse stall? And how big is the horse stall? No windows or vents of any kind?
     
  6. Mrs. K

    Mrs. K Overrun With Chickens

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    If you went to the horse stall, and took a -30 degree sleeping bag with you, you would probably get through the night fairly comfortable. That is what your birds have, if they are dry and out the wind, they are warm. Leave your chickens where they are, really those temperatures are not that cold for a chicken, and chickens HATE change.

    They won't like your garage and will be stressed. Generally when people bring birds inside, they do so in a dog crate or something similar. This is a very tight space for a chicken that has had the whole coop and run to move around in. The change and the tight space will strongly stress your chickens. If you let them loose in your garage, they will poop on everything as they are stressed. And often times stressed chickens are sick chickens.

    The only thing the cold will do is it might reduce their egg production a bit. If you are getting frostbite, you don't have enough ventilation.

    Mrs K
     
    1 person likes this.
  7. Cape Cod Chicks

    Cape Cod Chicks Out Of The Brooder

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    Also here in MA, painfully cold today. 7am went out to let the 8 girls out of their house it was -1, high expected to get to 12. It actually hurt to be outside! I know they are birds, have built in down coats and that I see other wild birds surviving this artic blast but none of them look happy. I also don't heat the coop and keep both food and water outside (coop is inside a 10'x12' chain-link dog kennel with chain-link cover. I know they are safe, no drafts, low humidity, and good ventilation, but when do you have to step in? Never?
    I hate to admit that this am I made the 8 girls an oatmeal and cracked corn omelet, watered it down a lot and waited till it cooled enough but was still warm. They loved it, those silly feathery little cannibals [​IMG]
     
  8. Mrs. K

    Mrs. K Overrun With Chickens

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    My own coop is beyond electricity. So my girls are on their own. In the past, I did have a little trouble with minor frost bite, but I addressed a ventilation problem by lowering their roosts away from the ceiling and wall.

    This has been a cold winter, we seem to have been stuck in the range of 15 below to 15 above..... ugh!

    You asked when do you step in? Well, I never have and I have had mine for 8 years, and we have gotten as cold as -25, not counting the wind. I do try and get down there just before dark to make sure their crops are full before dark. Enough food is important.

    Mrs K
     
    1 person likes this.
  9. LanceTN

    LanceTN Chillin' With My Peeps

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    I think you are doing the chickens a disservice offering them heat where they are at. You have them acclimated to a heat lamp and not to actual outside temperatures.

    So what happens when the inevitable ice storm hits and you lose power for a few hours or maybe even a couple days?

    Your chickens may die before adjusting
     
  10. blucoondawg

    blucoondawg Chillin' With My Peeps

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    They are fine you already have a heat lamp and that isn't really necessary either, chickens can take those temps especially for short periods, they may not lay well and may get stressed a little bit the should survive fine
     
    Last edited: Jan 9, 2015

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