Cold chickens

Bobfein2005

In the Brooder
Mar 26, 2021
8
11
24
It's around 0' Fahrenheit with -10 wind chills and my poor chickens are definitely cold. Moved them into heated garage but they're very unhappy in their box. Plenty of bedding, food, water and a bit of scratch but they are used to being in the run or yard with lots of room

I put a sweeter heater in the outside coop but they won't go in during the day. Just stand on the outside perch shivering.

Unless I can figure out a better approach, looks like they'll spend a lot of time in the garage this winter.

Should I just setup a temporary run in the garage?

Any suggestions are appreciated.

Thank you
Bob
 

Bobfein2005

In the Brooder
Mar 26, 2021
8
11
24
The run is wrapped with plastic sheeting and is roofed. The coop has caulked joints with weatherstripping at the access doors. I've been closing the pop door at night so it's pretty tight also.

I don't think wind is the problem.

I think they're OK at night but during the day they come out and stand shivering. They definitely don't like the snow.

One leg horn and one Rhode Island red. Leghorn seems more sensitive to the cold.

Maybe I'm babying them but first winter with chickens.

I appreciate the feedback
 

Bobfein2005

In the Brooder
Mar 26, 2021
8
11
24
A couple of pictures attached. Vents are just under roof. Open on one side, covered on the other two sides
 

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Egghead_Jr

Crowing
11 Years
Oct 16, 2010
7,573
3,752
476
NEK, VT
You need to vent your coop. If your roof is a single slant then open up vents just below roof line bottom and top of slant. If it's a gable then open venting each bottom of roof slant and vent top of gable each side. You could do it with a hole saw or 1 inch drill bit. Make a row of holes for inlet of fresh air and then holes for outlet of foul, moisture ridden air. This will provide fresh non ammonia air for birds and keep the coop dry. Moisture and ammonia build up is the last thing livestock need. Vent your coop!

The run should have an opening somewhere for fresh air too. Whether it be a walk through opening or an entire side or gaps along the roof or something. All any livestock needs is protection from direct wind and dry area.

0F is not that cold for chickens. They have down jackets and will even walk through snow but they do need area of dry bedding with wind shield. If you have the wind blocked then there is no wind chill factor and their body heat is not escaping from feathers being blown back.

What is common for people new to livestock care is to provide little or no ventilation in coops resulting in birds with severe frost bite due to the elevated moisture content. Very severe frostbite can occur in those conditions at 32F. That moisture needs to be vented out of coop. My hens don't get frostbite at all with temperatures -20F at night. No heat, no problem.
 
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Mrs. K

Free Ranging
12 Years
Nov 12, 2009
9,744
14,075
656
western South Dakota
I thought the pictures showed great ventilation.

You need to trust chickens, if they were too cold, they would walk into the coop. Give them a choice. My pop up door is open unless we are in a howling blizzard. I do have shelters out in my runs. Even a large tote turned on the side, with a little bedding on the floor can give birds a bit of a warm up.

As for the snow, today I went down with a pitchfork, and made a mini haystack of the bedding. Friday morning, we are suppose to wake to snow, and I will pitch fork the haystack on top of the snow, and my birds will come right out.

If you can a covered run, with a wind block, they are fine. Chickens really do like more space. Sometimes people cause more trouble trying to be kind. I vote back to your set up.

Mrs K
 

Bobfein2005

In the Brooder
Mar 26, 2021
8
11
24
Thank you very much.

They're back in the coop. I like the idea of additional small shelters and will add. I'll also spread hay on the snow to help entice them out.

I definitely appreciate the feedback.
 

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