Cold Chickens

Discussion in 'Chicken Behaviors and Egglaying' started by zaraif, Jan 1, 2013.

  1. zaraif

    zaraif Out Of The Brooder

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    Jun 18, 2012
    So I live in an area where summers are hot and winters can get below 0 at night....I want to make sure my chickens are warm enough! I went out this afternoon and the thermostat read 14 F...My 3 hens i think are getting very cold feet! I have some pine shavings on the floor of their coop, but should I do anything else? They are also shivering some...I want to make them as comfortable as possible help! Thanks!
     
  2. sourland

    sourland Broody Magician Premium Member

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    Keep their coop dry and free from drafts, supply plenty of feed, and they should be fine.
     
  3. Puddin Fluff

    Puddin Fluff Overrun With Chickens

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    It is my understanding from other posts I have read, that chickens do okay down to 0 degrees. I too was wondering if shivering was normal or a cause for concern. I picked one of mine up after she had been wandering in the snow and felt her shivering. I look forward to more experienced responses.
     
  4. PaulScott

    PaulScott Out Of The Brooder

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    your prob going to get a lot of answers , but here is mine

    I have a 200 watt lasko Heater i keep in my coop , plugged into a thermo cube
    I know they dont " need" heat . but i give them a little anyhow
    PS: feeding Corn will help keep them warmer also
     
  5. zaraif

    zaraif Out Of The Brooder

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    Jun 18, 2012
    Okay thanks! I was also wondering about the Vaseline and putting it on larger combs. My chickens are Dekalb's and if anyone has any knowledge on whether I should or shouldn't but it on... That'll be great thanks!
     
  6. zaraif

    zaraif Out Of The Brooder

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    Jun 18, 2012
    Yes mine shiver not uncontrollably, but i do worry!
     
  7. aliprowl

    aliprowl Out Of The Brooder

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    I know everyone says "they're fine", but two winters ago I just couldn't stand watching them shiver any more. I now have a wall heater (flat panel) that is on all the time and frankly puts out very little heat, but they can stand in front of it and it warms them up a bit, or they can avoid it if they are warm enough. I also have a sealed, kerosene unit (electric - the kerosene is sealed inside) that has a whole bunch of settings and I think is very safe in a coop environment. I have a small storage area inside the coop that is walled off with chicken wire and has a kick board around it, and a chicken wire door - it's where I keep all my supplies, extra shavings, extra feed, poop bucket, etc. I have the kerosene heater in there, and run the cord up high through the chicken wire and to a hanging plug. I keep it off during the day when they are in and out and free ranging - unless it's snowing/raining/freezing cold. I turn it on at night, on a low setting that is just enough to take the edge off and keep the water from freezing. I'd say it's maybe 45 in the coop - certainly no warmer. I don't keep it so warm that they don't develop their warm, fluffy feathers, but I feel much better giving them a bit of heat, and it's much easier to keep the water clean and fresh when it isn't frozen every morning. And yes, I do put Vaseline on everyone's combs - guards against frostbite and who wants a dry comb in winter (I think of it as hand cream). I also occasionally put bag balm or Vaseline on their legs in the winter, if they are looking dry.
    Will they die without supplemental heat? Highly doubt it. Do I sleep better at night, knowing they aren't freezing out there in an uninsulated coop? You bet. Had I put insulation in, I might feel differently about the heat.
     
  8. kidcody

    kidcody Overrun With Chickens

    shivering is the only way a chicken can rewarm themselves but not maintain themselves.....they will lose a lot of energy to try to stay warm. Feeding extra feed (scratch) will help them maintain warmth but will also need a draft free dry environment! [​IMG]
     

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