Any idea on minimum temps for winter conditions?

Discussion in 'Managing Your Flock' started by chickenbike, Dec 14, 2008.

  1. chickenbike

    chickenbike Songster

    I have a light in the coop which usually keeps the temp 6-9 degrees warmer than the outside temp. The coop is insulated. My concern is a severe cold snap we are now entering which is exptected to last a week.

    Lows of -27 C (-17 F) and a daytime high of around -12 C (10 F). I'm tempted to leave the light on throughout the night as if I turn it off, the inside coop temp will most likely be very chilly.

    I don't like the idea of leaving a light on throughout the night (I like that they get proper dark....egg production is not a concern....the bird's comfort is foremost), however it seems the lesser of two evils so to speak.

    Any thoughts? Thanks.

  2. silkiechicken

    silkiechicken Staff PhD Premium Member

    They'll probably be fine, probably just a few hours south of where you are and my birds are outside toughing it out, with the standards choosing to sleep on the outdoor roost of all places rather than go in. As long as they are protected from wind, they should be fine.
  3. chickenbike

    chickenbike Songster

    Yes, they are fully enclosed with the ladder pulled up and shut (with good ventilation though). I know birds are pretty resilient, but with such a cold snap coming in, I want to make sure they're all okay. Thanks for your input silkiechicken.
  4. Momo

    Momo Songster

    Mar 16, 2008
    Nelson BC
    Hey, chickenbike, looks like you're in my neck of the woods (east Koots?). I've been fussing over the cold too as I have little ones in the coop. I hate to think what my power consumption is going to be with two heat lamps in there! But my adult chickens don't seem too concerned about the cold.
  5. Last edited: Jan 4, 2009

  6. chickenbike

    chickenbike Songster, I'm well used to long, snowy winters here in the Kootenays. That is why I searched out the Chantecler breed so diligently. I wanted a winter-hardy breed (as I knew I'd be dealing with snow)......and fell in love with the breed of course!

    I have an electric, heated water drinker so the water issue is covered. The birds are doing just fine in -14 C (6.8 F) conditions outside. We have turned out the heater light for 6-8 hours in the night and the gang did not exhibit any signs of discomfort at all.

    We did fully wind proof the run area as well, which I think makes a huge difference. They go in and out of the coop at will throughout the day and are tucked and locked in at night.

    LynneP....the winter page that you're working on will be great. Like Pat's ventilation page, I'm sure it will provide valuable information for everone.
    Last edited: Dec 14, 2008
  7. pbjmaker

    pbjmaker Crowing

    May 9, 2008
    Central Iowa
    Thanks for posting - I was just wondering the same thing. Negative 22 wind chill here tonight and I was concerned how low is too low. The actual temp is 1 degree. Their are some fierce winds out there tonight and we are under a windchill advisory. I do have my serama inside for the night - she is NOT thrilled.
  8. Klorinth

    Klorinth Songster

    Mar 3, 2008
    Winnipeg, Manitoba
    Chickenbike, Momo... Nice to see a couple of people from the Kootenays. I'm originally from the Nelson area as well. The Slocan actually.

    I just got back from Sparwood. From the temps I was feeling there. I would say your birds sound like they are doing fine. I've been in Quebec during the winter, and it gets really cold where those birds are from. I think you can trust in the breeding done to create them. Not to say that I don't feel a littel nervous when I look at how cold it is here in Manitoba. But then that is exactly why I want to be able to get Chanteclers.

    May I ask where yours came from?

    Our dogs and cats seem to do quite well with a 10 degree difference in temp from outside to inside. I would think the same thing would be true for the birds. I watch the Prairie chickens in our yard almost every day. They are out there digging in the snow, finding seeds and such, even when it's -44 in the wind. Yesterday they were out in the middle of an open field with the wind howling over them. No protection at all for about a 1/4 mile in any direction.

    Birds are though sometimes.
  9. Hangin Wit My Peeps

    Hangin Wit My Peeps

    Apr 20, 2008
    Birnamwood, Wisconsin
    We got to -25 here for a week and we left our light on 24/7 I felt it's better to be safe than sorry and it's worth the extra little amount added onto our our electric bill to me. They seemed pretty chilly WITH the heat lamp on...I was almost ready to get another one and put it out there too! [​IMG]

  10. How are you managing? There's a thread 'How cold is too cold for a chicken?' and I've bumped it to the top above this one. Lots of comments from cold-weather experts! (not me, this is my first flock). Very useful. I know you're experiencing unusual cold and that what you might normally do might need supplementation...[​IMG]

    Working on the winter page
    Last edited: Jan 4, 2009

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