Chickens in winter?!? Help

Discussion in 'Raising Baby Chicks' started by Mattsiewrt94, Nov 15, 2013.

  1. Mattsiewrt94

    Mattsiewrt94 Chillin' With My Peeps

    Nov 5, 2013
    I live in virginia it got cold all of a sudden or quick anyway and my chickens live in a three side barn/coop I put a tarp over the open side and I have a 60 watt lamp out there but produces little heat and I just want to know any pointers to help keep them warm
  2. ChickenCanoe

    ChickenCanoe True BYC Addict

    Nov 23, 2010
    St. Louis, MO
    They keep themselves warm and no electric lamp is needed.

    Chickens have been living in quite cold climates for thousands of years. They didn't give them heat then.

    An open sided shed is perfect if predator proof. Fresh air is way more important than warmth.
  3. americana-lover

    americana-lover Chillin' With My Peeps

    Apr 13, 2012
    Straw is a great insulator in the winter. Since it has so many open spots, it hold heat in very well. You could also get a heating mat. I have never tied one, since my coop is not big enough, but I have heard great things about them. Another thing is to make sure any heat cant escape, or any cold air can get it. If you have a tarp. just make sure it's secure enough to hold up against the snow and wind.

    Good Luck!
  4. handyman42

    handyman42 Chillin' With My Peeps

    Oct 17, 2013
    Sardis, AR
    I just put out hot water in the morning and they drink it to warm up. They look like a bunch of kids sitting around sipping hot coco after playing in the snow. other than that I typically don't worry about lights or artificial heat sources. I have Buff Orpingtons mainly though so they have plenty of fluff to keep em warm.
  5. MontanaDolphin

    MontanaDolphin Chillin' With My Peeps

    Feb 16, 2013
    Columbia, Virginia
    I'm in central VA and have 9 chickens (1 rooster) and I don't have my coop heated. They are fine. We dropped down to 19 the other night, and they were bright eyed and bushy tailed the next morning. The one big thing I would advise, though, is that since your shelter for them is open on one end, you should definitely cover that up (tarp or whatever)...because although the cold won't hurt them, drafts will.
  6. ChickenCanoe

    ChickenCanoe True BYC Addict

    Nov 23, 2010
    St. Louis, MO
    The avoidance of drafts is touted by almost all poultry keepers.

    I think I'm in the minority on the topic.
    Every time I build a new coop, the openings get bigger. My last two coops have the top third of the wall open on both the East and West walls. There is just a small piece of wall at the ends of the roosts. Either the chickens heads or tails stick out into the breeze that blows through the building. That breeze has been blowing on those chickens' for over two years. I've never had a respiratory disease in those buildings, I've never had a sick bird of any kind in those buildings. That time includes a lot of hellacious storms with snow blowing in.

    Another chicken keeper here in St. Louis has a nice coop and covered predator proof run. Her chickens have never slept in the coop, opting instead for the roost in the run with no draft protection but the hardware cloth. I attribute her bird's health to the fresh air, among other things.

    Other people have chickens that sleep in trees. I just don't know how they keep drafts out of the trees.
  7. Chickens R Us

    Chickens R Us Chillin' With My Peeps

    It depends where you live. What works for one person doesn't always work for everyone. Take in consideration your lows, wind and humidity 20 degrees isn't cold for a chicken. I would try to make your coop draft free but with plenty of ventilation.

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