Chickens and cold weather.... really cold!!!

Jewlz90

In the Brooder
Oct 1, 2020
11
47
36
Hi everyone i am still all new to my new beautiful hens. We had 5 red sex links however are down to 4 now as i found my beautiful buttercup dead on the ground a few days ago. :( WE have only had them for about 6 months now and we live in Canada, Northern ontario to be exact. My husband and i have built our chicken coop over the summer with our old shed. We have insulated it and made sure there was adequate ventilation for our girls.

Now i was told that sexlink are one of the most winter tolerated breeds... However with that being said this week our temperatures have gone to -34 degrees C. WE purchased the cozy chicken coop heater of 200watts but found that doesn't do much for those temperatures.

I purchased a ceramic heat lap but it was only 150 watts.. WE now have the 250 ceramic lamp in there which has held the temperatures in the coop around -5 to -7 degree celcius. This is with the temps being approx -30 degrees C outside.

Now my main question... ( sorry this took so long )lol.. is we have had some nights in January go to -40 degrees C and EVEN had down to -50 degrees C a few years back. I am wondering what the idea temperature should be in a coop with it being that cold.???

We also have a chicken run attached with a door that i usually open when it's above 0 so they can go in their run a bit. I normally don't open this up when it's below -5 degrees. What's the coldest temp to keep them in the coop... Any info you can send my back would be greatly appreciated. Thanks :)
 

hayley3

Crowing
14 Years
Aug 16, 2007
2,072
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Southern Indiana
If sunny always allow them out, because they can get warmed from the sun.
Put plenty of covering on their floor, depending on what you use...shavings or hay.
Keep them draft free.
And wow that is really cold...using a heater really depends on your situation. I have a garage with a concrete floor and warm up their space before bedtime but they cannot get to it to knock it over and I only leave it on a few hours when I am awake..
 

Alaskan

The Frosted Flake
Premium Feather Member
13 Years
Jul 26, 2008
34,436
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Kenai Peninsula, Alaska
My Coop
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I am wondering what the idea temperature should be in a coop with it being that cold.???
-29C would be the coldest I would want the coop at.

-17C to -12C would be what I would aim at.

That is cold enough that there wouldn't be shock if the heat goes out.

As soon as you provide heat, you want to make sure you have a "what happens if everything busts or we lose power" plan or plans.

Also... if the coop is that much warmer than the outside, there needs to be some worry about ventilation.

What's the coldest temp to keep them in the coop...

Depends on how sheltered the run is. If the run is both roofed and has wind breaks, AND is predator proof, no reason to not let them out every day.
 

Acre4Me

Crossing the Road
Nov 12, 2017
6,649
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Western Ohio
FWIW, Chantecler breed of chicken was developed in Canada to be a very winter hardy chicken.


sometimes chickens just die, so same chicken may have died irregardless of temps.
 

Jewlz90

In the Brooder
Oct 1, 2020
11
47
36
If sunny always allow them out, because they can get warmed from the sun.
Put plenty of covering on their floor, depending on what you use...shavings or hay.
Keep them draft free.
And wow that is really cold...using a heater really depends on your situation. I have a garage with a concrete floor and warm up their space before bedtime but they cannot get to it to knock it over and I only leave it on a few hours when I am awake..

Yes the chicken run was built in the summer as an add on to the shed with a roof and chicken wire... so for the winter we winterized it with vapor barrier plastic and have added both hay and shavings to the ground. Same thing with their coop we have 1" to 2" of shaving on the ground.

The question i really wonder is how cold is too cold for the chickens to be out in the run??? or even how cold is too cold for chickens in the coop??? For example today we have -27 degrees and in the coop it was -5 degrees if i open that little door for the run i'm not sure if they will be cold in the run. And by opening the little door it will cool off my coop lol...
 

LadyCraig

Songster
Sep 3, 2017
63
131
121
Virginia
Hi everyone i am still all new to my new beautiful hens. We had 5 red sex links however are down to 4 now as i found my beautiful buttercup dead on the ground a few days ago. :( WE have only had them for about 6 months now and we live in Canada, Northern ontario to be exact. My husband and i have built our chicken coop over the summer with our old shed. We have insulated it and made sure there was adequate ventilation for our girls.

Now i was told that sexlink are one of the most winter tolerated breeds... However with that being said this week our temperatures have gone to -34 degrees C. WE purchased the cozy chicken coop heater of 200watts but found that doesn't do much for those temperatures.

I purchased a ceramic heat lap but it was only 150 watts.. WE now have the 250 ceramic lamp in there which has held the temperatures in the coop around -5 to -7 degree celcius. This is with the temps being approx -30 degrees C outside.

Now my main question... ( sorry this took so long )lol.. is we have had some nights in January go to -40 degrees C and EVEN had down to -50 degrees C a few years back. I am wondering what the idea temperature should be in a coop with it being that cold.???

We also have a chicken run attached with a door that i usually open when it's above 0 so they can go in their run a bit. I normally don't open this up when it's below -5 degrees. What's the coldest temp to keep them in the coop... Any info you can send my back would be greatly appreciated. Thanks :)
Here I am worrying about 18* weather down here in Virginia! That is seriously cold! Best of luck with your chilly chicks!
 

Jewlz90

In the Brooder
Oct 1, 2020
11
47
36
-29C would be the coldest I would want the coop at.

-17C to -12C would be what I would aim at.

That is cold enough that there wouldn't be shock if the heat goes out.

As soon as you provide heat, you want to make sure you have a "what happens if everything busts or we lose power" plan or plans.

Also... if the coop is that much warmer than the outside, there needs to be some worry about ventilation.



Depends on how sheltered the run is. If the run is both roofed and has wind breaks, AND is predator proof, no reason to not let them out every day.
yes the chicken run has a roof and we winterizes it with vapor barrier plastic so there is no wind going through.. Today it was -27 degrees outside.. i feel as though that is cold to be out in the run???
 

Alaskan

The Frosted Flake
Premium Feather Member
13 Years
Jul 26, 2008
34,436
71,035
1,462
Kenai Peninsula, Alaska
My Coop
My Coop
yes the chicken run has a roof and we winterizes it with vapor barrier plastic so there is no wind going through.. Today it was -27 degrees outside.. i feel as though that is cold to be out in the run???
They will decide.

Fresh air is good for them.

They might only dash out for 5 minutes... but that is still a good thing.

I do worry about enough ventilation in your coop if the open pop door drops the temperature.

Ventilation is critical.
 

Jewlz90

In the Brooder
Oct 1, 2020
11
47
36
They will decide.

Fresh air is good for them.

They might only dash out for 5 minutes... but that is still a good thing.

I do worry about enough ventilation in your coop if the open pop door drops the temperature.

Ventilation is critical.

yes i agree with have an insulated ceiling however my husband ended up putting good ventilation up there along with a vent to let the air flow. I hope that makes sense. I think tomorrow with is being a bit milder outside i will for sure let them out as i don't want them to get bored inside the coop..
 

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