*Are They Too Cold?? Help please!!*


8 Years
May 26, 2011
North Carolina
Hi BYCers,

It has been REALLY cold here the low last night was 17 degrees.....
It is supposed to be that cold again if not colder! Im worried I have 5 LF hens and 3 bantams in a seperate hutch. I have tarps up but it is still freezing.

I have no way of running lamps out to them so what should I do? I feel really bad for them. Any help is appreciated.
Well if you are worried you might put an old blanket under the tarp leaving of course an air hole - to provide a little more insulation. Another option for emergency heat if you are worried is those hand warmers that last 8 hours, or very warm water in milk jugs (won't last long though).

If the hutch doesn't have sides to it, with the tarps and/or blankets they should be out of the wind ok.

I have also propped up plywood against hutches to give a better windbreak. Finally I screwed some plywood around the sides of my hutches.
As long as your birds can get out of the wind, have some ventilation but no draft, they are fine. I have Silkies and standards and in 5 plus years have never had one freeze. I've had a couple of roos get frostbite on combs, but that was because they insisted on sleeping in the run. Remember that chickens are livestock and are pretty hardy. They're better off being able to acclimate to the temps than have the power go out when it's 10 below and windy and be used to 40 degrees. Humans have a tendency to spoil their animals......not really a bad thing, but it can get out of hand. Do what you feel is best for your birds, but if they were mine I'd leave them alone as long as I knew they were draft free and had food and water that wouldn't freeze. Don't forget if they're laying you need to collect eggs more often so they don't freeze too!
Hmmm... I have been wondering about that myself, but it is not as nearly as cold here. I would say a light, but since you can't have one maybe look at the deep litter coop method for future freezes. https://www.backyardchickens.com/forum/viewtopic.php?id=525
guess it is supposed to help keep the coop warmer. I don't know how big or what kind of coop you have, but if it is big and drafty I would put an animal carrier or something of the like out there so they can huddle in it together to conserve heat. I don’t know if they would go in it on their own, especially if they are accustomed to a roost. I have done this before when they were pecking at the new comer at night, so I locked her in it for a few nights until they got used to her being there.
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I've been leaving mine out in the hutch with a large tarp. There's still plenty of air for them but no wind. I started doing this when they were about four weeks old and feathered (mostly but without any bald spots). They've been fine. I give them hot mash or oatmeal in the morning when I let them out.

I was advised that they need to be aclimated to the cold and that they're better off without added heat. Afterall, they have a down coat and feathers. With adequate protection they'll be just fine.
They are fine....-29* here in Colorado, mine all go in at night, no added heat (it causes more harm than good)...they even come out in the snow and bitter sub zero wind: see pics below.




they will do fine, they are covered with down feathers remember...
If you don't mind what breed rooster is the one you have.He is an awesome looking roo.I love the color that he has got.Thank You

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