at what point do I worry about temps

Discussion in 'Managing Your Flock' started by TLWR, Jan 6, 2014.

  1. TLWR

    TLWR Chillin' With My Peeps

    Jul 10, 2010
    southern AL
    I don't remember much of duck ownership in NY as a kid. I do recall a friend with a pond taking them for the winter though.
    I grew up in NY and prior to moving here to Alabama, I lived in Alaska.

    One of the chickens (polish) refuses to sleep in the coop. She uses the rail around the garden to fly herself up into a tree in the yard. Getting her out of the tree is not an option - she's up there.
    What point temp wise do I need to worry about her sleeping in the tree instead of in the coop?
  2. Pyxis

    Pyxis Hatchi Wan Kenobi Premium Member

    Mar 27, 2012
    My Coop
    I wouldn't worry about it. My chickens survived -17 in an unheated coop two nights ago. They really are very cold hardy animals. However, you might want to try to encourage her to sleep in the coop anyway because of predators. Locking everyone in for a couple days would probably reset her and get her to sleep in the coop.
  3. Buzz.Cluck

    Buzz.Cluck Out Of The Brooder

    Nov 27, 2009
    Southern New Jersey
    I would also like to be talked down - my girls are in an unheated coop and I generally don't worry because the general chant is "as long as they're out of the wind".....

    But today was in the 40s and it's already dropped to 26 and supposed to go to 8 (with -10 windchill) which seems like a pretty quick/dramatic drop to adjust to.

    And then all the blogs/chicken folks I trust started talking about heating their coops which they recommend AGAINST doing -

    and now I'm panicking.

    If I had one sleeping outside the coop - well, I don't even want to think about it.
  4. bobbi-j

    bobbi-j Flock Master Premium Member

    Mar 15, 2010
    On the MN prairie.
    I can't imagine it getting cold enough in Alabama to freeze a chicken to death. Hot enough to cook one, yes. There was a post on another thread I just read tonight about someone who accidentally left a hen outside overnight in -10* temps. She was fine in the morning. I'd worry more about her getting picked off by an owl.

    [​IMG] Here's your pep talk. Your chickens will be fine. They have been outside or in their coop for months, right? When it started cooling down in the fall, they started growing more feathers and down. Those feathers and down are great insulation. They will fluff up and trap their body heat and stay warm. Do not panic. Take a deep breath, go make sure your chickens are all in the coop, make sure it's well ventilated so they don't get frostbite. (Yep, that's right - they need good airflow to get rid of excess moisture in the coop) After you've taken care of the chickens, come back in, get a cup of hot chocolate, relax and sleep well knowing that because your chickens are safely out of the wind, snow and rain they will be just fine.

    PS - mine have just survived a week or more in their unheated, uninsulated coop with NO problems. Last night it was almost -30. Tomorrow the high will be a balmy 9 above, and they will be let out to roam around and do their chicken thing.
    Last edited: Jan 6, 2014
  5. Buzz.Cluck

    Buzz.Cluck Out Of The Brooder

    Nov 27, 2009
    Southern New Jersey
    Thanks Bobbi-J - and you were right - they seem okay today (well, mad, but alive) but we have one more day of extremely cold temps - and I have 2 molters. I'm serving up a scratch bonanza plus some warm oatmeal. I fall somewhere in between the extremes of "growers" and "pet chicken owners" but I still take this responsibility pretty strongly and I know I wouldn't want to be out there in the cold without SOMETHING warm now and again! Thanks for the pep talk - it was a good one!

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