Are my chickens cold?

Discussion in 'Raising Baby Chicks' started by operator16, Sep 7, 2010.

  1. operator16

    operator16 Chillin' With My Peeps

    May 15, 2010
    I know they aren't babies anymore. But, my gals are all 18-25 wks old. My coop was 46 degrees last night. At what point would I put the heat lamp back on for them? When I lifted my silly Polish gal off the roost (she won't get up or down by herself anymore) her feathers felt very cool to me.
  2. gryeyes

    gryeyes Covered in Pet Hair & Feathers

    Your chickens - at that age - would not need supplemental heat unless it dropped below freezing. They have feathers for insulation. Chickens are quite hardy - some folks don't provide supplemental heat unless it gets to 0 (that's ZERO) degrees outside.
  3. Schultz

    Schultz CluckN'Crow Farm

    Aug 5, 2008
    I would think they are fine at those ages. I don't start putting any heat in our coop until it get down to around 32 degrees and stays around there.
  4. carrlr

    carrlr Chillin' With My Peeps

    Mar 31, 2010
    Southern Illinois
    We live in Illinois. I don't worry about providing a heat source until it gets below 32 degrees at night Which might not be too soon. We had 49 the other night. Lest I digress. The outside of their feathers will be cold, just like the outside of our clothes would be. That doesn't mean they are cold. Now if they are all huddling together, then they might be cold. Depending on the breed, chickens can be quite cold hardy. Are all of your chickens Polish?
  5. Uzuri

    Uzuri Chillin' With My Peeps

    Mar 25, 2009
    Mine don't get supplemental heat until we're well below freeing, and even then it's a 40 watt bulb, not those god-awful meter-spinners. I only did it twice last winter, and that's because I was dealing with moisture problems (from a bad roof; unknown at the time, but fixed now. My chicken bedding has gone so far in the other direction now that it's dusty) and a frost-bit, large-combed roo.

    Keep moisture out (and make sure that breathing-moisture has somewhere to exit), keep wind out, and you'll go a long way before cold's a problem.
  6. Gypsy07

    Gypsy07 Chillin' With My Peeps

    Feb 4, 2010
    Glasgow, Scotland
    Imagine touching the outside sleeve of a person's winter coat and thinking they feel cold. That's what the outside of a chicken's feathers is the equivalent of. If you want to check how warm they really are, tickle your fingers down through their feathers till you're touching the skin underneath. You'll probably be surprised how toasty warm it really is under there! We got down to -12C last winter (not sure what that is in Fahrenheit) and my girls were all fine with no heating in the coop. When I put 8 week old chicks out in the coop a couple of months later, I did give them some heat at night for the first couple of weeks, but only with a basic 60W red bulb.
  7. pgpoultry

    pgpoultry Chillin' With My Peeps

    Oct 16, 2009
    Heavens.....last winter my 20 week old chickens were outside in their coop at -15 degrees Celsius with an old blanket thrown over for extra warmth.

    I agree with what has been said by Gypsy07......and this is exemplified by my Naked Necks who feel to have cold backs, but their bald necks and bellies feel really warm,

  8. Patoot

    Patoot Chillin' With My Peeps

    Aug 20, 2010
    Not to hijack the thread, but thanks for the info.

    I live in NM and we have mild winters, but the nights can drop into the teens and 20's sometimes. Sounds like I don't need to worry about that then, huh? They are RIR too which I read are cold tolerant. Do they have issues when the temps drop fast? Like if we have a sudden cold spell? Do they have to acclimate or are they good to go? I have been worried they would be cold at night here since it's been dropping into the upper 50's and the days are upper 80's. So I was closing their screen window. Should I just leave it open? I love my babies already!

    Thanks for letting me hop on your post!

  9. Uzuri

    Uzuri Chillin' With My Peeps

    Mar 25, 2009
    Our temps here bounce insanely about and do it all the time, and mine are just fine. They aren't as bad as rabbits with the quick temperature changes. I'd leave your screens open, especially with the nice hot day temps, since that'll keep the inside temperatures cooler through the day.

    The big thing you have to watch for with chickens is *too hot*. THAT they have some trouble with. Mine get very unhappy when we start getting into the 90s with humidity; I can't imagine places where it gets nastier than that.
  10. CorporateGranola

    CorporateGranola Chillin' With My Peeps

    Aug 4, 2010
    South GA Swamp
    Quote:What do you typically do for your chickens when the temps/humidity get that high?

    Box fan?
    Bag of ice?

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