6 week olds and dipping down into the teens (temperature)

Discussion in 'Coop & Run - Design, Construction, & Maintenance' started by whiskeybanjo, Nov 20, 2015.

  1. whiskeybanjo

    whiskeybanjo Out Of The Brooder

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    Oct 28, 2015
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    Chicks have been acclimating well to outdoor temps for a week (highs around 50s, lows into the 30s). We have a bit of a snap coming--it's supposed to get into the mid teens Saturday night and Sunday night. The rest of the week is back into the 30s/40s at night.

    I'm thinking of bringing them in those two nights (in their old Tupperware box)... They'd be in a garage that's around 55, so not a really heated place.

    Good idea, or is it better to get them used to these cold temps, even if it's just for a few nights? Daytime temps will be mid 30s-40s, so I planned on putting them back out.

    Because they've been out in the cold the past few weeks, they are almost fully feathered (at least, 3 of 4 of them appear to be without fuzz).

    Thanks!
     
  2. aart

    aart Chicken Juggler! Premium Member

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    As long as they're out of the wind and dry they should be fine.
    Where are they sleeping...in a pile?
     
  3. whiskeybanjo

    whiskeybanjo Out Of The Brooder

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    Oct 28, 2015
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    Yep, they're in a pile in the coop. It's a small coop (tractor), which I think may help them stay a little warmer. not insulated.
     
  4. The Lazy L

    The Lazy L Chillin' With My Peeps

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    Since they are not fully feather then I understand your concern. Garage would be better for them (IMHO).
     
    Last edited: Nov 20, 2015
  5. aart

    aart Chicken Juggler! Premium Member

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    Might think about making them a 'huddle box', put it in the brooder after turning off the heat(you might have to 'persuade' them to use it) then move it out to the coop with them.
    Cardboard box with a bottom a little bigger than what they need to cuddle next to each other without piling and tall enough for them to stand in.
    Cut an opening on one side a couple inches from bottom and big enough for 2-3 of them to go thru at once.
    Fill the bottom with some pine shavings an inch or so deep.
    This will give them a cozy place to sleep/rest, block any drafts and help hold their body heat in.
     
    1 person likes this.
  6. whiskeybanjo

    whiskeybanjo Out Of The Brooder

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    Oct 28, 2015
    Indiana
    Temps got into single digits and we ended up with 3 inches of very wet snow-took them in. We will have normal temps tomorrow and they'll go back out. I did set up the huddle box in their coop for the cold nights next week (not single digit cold though) and I think they'll be just fine in the 20s! Thanks!
     
  7. Hokum Coco

    Hokum Coco Overrun With Chickens

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    [​IMG]






    I am subject to -40º weather l live in Canada think North Pole and Santa Clause. I have been keeping chickens and birds for decades.

    Your best practice I find is to not be too concerned about winterizing or heating your coop to help your birds combat the cold.

    Predator proofing "ABSOLUTELY".

    Your efforts should be spent in winterizing your birds and letting them acclimatize to their surroundings.
    This is done by feeding them whole corn if available or cracked corn as an added supplement in a separate feeder.

    The extra nourishment is more then adequate to bring them through the
    "COLDEST" winter.

    Do keep an eye open for birds that maybe not be adapting well to the new menu and may be at the lower end of the pecking order they can sometimes run into problems and may need extra TLC.

    That being said in a perfect world the flock will flourish and do just fine .

    I do not add any extra heat or lighting.
    Egg production does slack off but I have more than enough eggs for the table all winter long (24 hens).

    Some people may disagree with my method but it has worked well for me and I am not about to change.

    I look at it in the same light as winterizing your car.

    You really do

    "NOT"


    have to winterize your car if you can keep it in a controlled environment at all times otherwise you are in for

    "MAJOR" problems.

    When it comes to lighting if you find you are short on eggs it does apparently help. I personally do not bother in my operation eggs are sold only to neighbours when they are available (if the sign is out I have eggs). Eggs in my operation have a tendency to crack and freeze during the winter months (we do not discard them and are fine but use them in house not for sale) the more eggs you produce during these months the more eggs will fall into this category.

    I have roughly 24 Golden Comet hens the longest I ever been out of eggs can be measured in hours >12<24. You will find that the egg supply in any hen is a finite resource the quicker you milk the eggs out of a hen the faster it will be spent and end up in your stew pot.

    On average one hen produces somewhere between 600 to 700 eggs in its life time. Lighting only effect the speed of delivery of the eggs which at the end of the day would amount to less than a year in the hens life is my guess

    If you do decide extra lighting is necessary have your light on a timer to lengthen the day "MAKE SURE IT IS SECURED BY 2 MEANS OF SUPPORT" one being a "SAFETY CHAIN" in case one fails especially if it is an incandescent bulb or heat lamp.

    I personally raise hens as a hobby; and for their manure to enrich my vegetable garden any thing else the hens provide is merely a bonus.

    Here is one BONUS NOW not many people can enjoy seeing in their back yard on a regular basis.

    [​IMG]

    Nest boxes
    In my nest boxes I fold a feed bag to fit (nest boxes are 1 ft³). When a bag gets soiled; fold a new one; pop out the soiled; pop in the new. Feed bags are a nylon mesh bag.
    Frozen poop just peels off in below freezing temperatures and just flakes off in summer when left out in the sun to bake and dry.

    I have 65 trips around the sun it is the best method I have stumbled upon.

    Make sure the twine is removed from the open end of the bag it can get tangled around your birds.

    [​IMG]


    [​IMG]
     
    Last edited: Nov 22, 2015

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