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At what temps do you worry about drafts?

Discussion in 'Managing Your Flock' started by 3chickchicks, Sep 29, 2013.

  1. 3chickchicks

    3chickchicks Chillin' With My Peeps

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    I haven't worried about drafts on my coop since building it this summer (temps get to 110). All last week the highs have been 91-95. This week we're supposed to get a cold front and we'll have lows into the low 50's. I wondered if that's cold enough that they need some wind protection?

    I injured my hand yesterday and I'm not sure if I'll be able to make the doors in time.
     
  2. 3chickchicks

    3chickchicks Chillin' With My Peeps

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    bump
     
  3. 3chickchicks

    3chickchicks Chillin' With My Peeps

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    Can someone please answer my question?
     
  4. Big Bubba

    Big Bubba Out Of The Brooder

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    I'm new so don't take my word for it.

    From what I've read the temperature has to be a lot lower before you start to worry. They should always have a means to protect temselves from rain, wind, and sunshine. A roost is a good hiding place. But, a draft is pretty harmless until the temperature gets around freezing.
     
    1 person likes this.
  5. Ridgerunner

    Ridgerunner Chicken Obsessed

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    That’s hard to answer. You have two things to consider, frostbite and hypothermia.

    I’ve seen chickens sleep in a tree in below zero degrees Fahrenheit weather. They were in a protected valley in what amounted to a thicket and could move around to get behind a tree trunk if the wind started blowing hard so they weren’t as exposed as you might think. They did not get frostbite and they did not die of hypothermia.

    Frostbite is when body tissue freezes. No matter what the wind chill, body tissue cannot freeze unless the air temperature is below freezing. Wind chill will cool it off faster but it can’t take the temperature below the air temperature. So one absolute limit before you start to worry about frostbite is freezing. In reality, several other things would have to come together for frostbite to be a problem until they get really cold, well below freezing. Moisture or high humidity is sometime involved. Many people have solved frostbite problems by increasing ventilation. With your doors off, I really don’t think you need to worry about frostbite at all.

    Hypothermia is when your core temperature starts to drop. Chickens wear a down coat. They are really good at conserving body heat. In a light draft they will just face into the wind and let their feathers keep the wind off them. My chickens don’t like a cold wind hitting them. They will go out and forage in zero degree Fahrenheit weather as long as it is calm, but if a cold wind is blowing they stay out of it. Whether they forage or hide is going to be a factor of how cold it is and how strong the wind is.

    I don’t know what your coop is like or how it is situated. Are your doors and openings on the upwind side or downwind side? Is your coop situated where wind is going to be funneled in there so it howls through or are the chickens going to be in a fairly calm place even with the wind howling outside?

    Frankly, the draft cautions are overkill for a whole lot of people on this forum. We don’t know how your coop is built or how it is situated. Especially with those tiny elevated coops so many people like in their suburban back yards, you can build it so that the wind is funneled through and the chickens cannot get out of it. It is much simpler and safer to tell people to have the openings over the chickens’ heads when they are sleeping. That way inexperienced people that have no real experience related to anything like this are much more likely to stay out of trouble.

    I don’t know how cold it has to be before your chickens are in danger. It’s going to be a factor of how cold it is and how strong a wind is hitting them. Remember those chickens sleeping in trees at zero degrees F. The danger point is a whole lot colder than you think.
     
  6. 3chickchicks

    3chickchicks Chillin' With My Peeps

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    I built my coop so its good and sturdy with no gaps. The wind would hit the northwest corner on the coop and the coop has large windows on the top sides of the coop.
    I just don't want them to get too cold is all so they can be happy and healthy. I guess i could go with wind chills in the 40's before closing up one side?
     

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