Any suggestions on keeping young(5 months+) chickens warm

Discussion in 'Managing Your Flock' started by KarinD, Nov 7, 2013.

  1. KarinD

    KarinD New Egg

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    Oct 17, 2013
    We live outside of Las Cruces, NM. We can get into the teens even had negative a couple of years ago but that happens every 60 years. Normally mid to low 20's. Our chickens insist on roosting on top of the coop which is still protected since the coop is under a car port structure. Will they have enough sense to go inside if it gets too cold? They lay their eggs in the coop and are in and out all day, they have roosting bars in the coop but prefer on top of the flat roof.
     
    Last edited: Nov 7, 2013
  2. ChickenCanoe

    ChickenCanoe True BYC Addict

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    5 month old chickens acclimated to the weather won't have any problems in a Las Cruces winter. If it's not freezing rain they won't go inside till it's time to roost or lay eggs.
    Encourage them to be inside at night to keep them from being a midnight snack.
    I don't know your breeds but I'll lay odds they evolved in much colder climates than where you live - without winter heat.
     
  3. granny hatchet

    granny hatchet Tastes like chicken Premium Member

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    you can make sure their roosts are wide by using a 2 by 4 with the 4 turned sideways so that when they hunker down their feathers cover their feet. they want to sleep where its the highest so as long as their out of the wind they should be ok but if you dont want them there add some straw to their coop and lock them in for a few days then only give their food at roosting time and only in the coop so when they go to eat you can lock them. they will have to get used to it
     
  4. PrairieChickens

    PrairieChickens Chillin' With My Peeps

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    I had a couple of banties that insisted on roosting on the top of their mini-coop (it was enclosed on all sides and above by the run, so I wasn't worried about predators.) The moment temperatures dipped below a comfortable level, though, they abandoned that idea. They didn't even try to roost on their coop--they just went straight inside. They've been sleeping indoors ever since. It was the same way last year with my Polish. They insisted on sleeping outdoors until one day, they decided they'd go in, and that's where they've been ever since.
     
  5. KarinD

    KarinD New Egg

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    Oct 17, 2013
    Thank you for the info. We have a totally enclosed run which was re-inforced after a raid by what we think was a coyote. He killed all 8 ten week old chicks and ate 4.5. This group we locked inside the coop at night even in the run. When they got old enough, they started roosting on top of the coop. We have 5(1 rooster, 4 hens) Barred Rocks, 3 Giant Buffs and 2 Americana(Easter Eggers). They sit there all fluffed up, so I wanted to be sure they'd be okay.
    [​IMG]
     
  6. PrairieChickens

    PrairieChickens Chillin' With My Peeps

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    Chickens are pretty tough critters. They can handle bitter cold much better than scorching heat, and if it does get to be too much for them, they tend to have enough sense to go indoors. As long as they're safe from predators, they should be just fine.
     

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