Cold temps and chickens

jenfred75

Chirping
Feb 2, 2019
34
100
79
Albuquerque, NM
How cold of temps can 1 chicken in seclusion handle? I have 1 chicken that just isn’t playing nice in the sandbox - she is keeping my 7, 15 week old pullets, from going into the coop at night. We are supposed to have temps in the low 20s / high teens, and I’m wondering if she will be fine being by herself. She has a mini coop that closes up, so she has shelter. I’ve given it 4 weeks to try to work itself out, but it isn’t.
 

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azygous

Crossing the Road
10 Years
Dec 11, 2009
18,227
21,857
912
Colorado Rockies
There are things you can do to help the pullets integrate that wouldn't involve exiling the hen. Refereeing at roosting time is one. It would involve getting outside and picking up the hen and putting her on the perch in her favorite spot, then standing there to make sure she remains while the youngsters make their way in to the coop. This takes advantage of the natural order of the flock for the adults to roost first.

When I had this problem eleven years ago with a hen standing just inside the coop pop hole preventing the pullets from going in, I got out my saw and hammer and installed a second entrance at the opposite end. It solved the problem immediately. It just took me a few hours to make the new entrance.

As a rule, new pullets prefer to wait until adults in the flock have gone inside, chosen a spot on the perch and settled in before they go inside. In all the years of keeping chickens, my youngest have always chosen to hang around out in the run sometimes long after the adults have roosted. If you can capitalize on this little quirk in the pecking order, you will have won half the battle right off the bat.

This doesn't answer your question about temperatures, I know, but segregating the adult hen isn't going to integrate your flock.
 

Mrs. K

Free Ranging
10 Years
Nov 12, 2009
7,378
7,257
536
western South Dakota
Put her in a small dog crate, and put the crate in the coop. Do NOT put her in a small coop and close it up to keep her warm. That will just collect moisture, make her damp and that will make her cold.

As for integration issues, another month, the "chicks" will start laying, and that will most likely sort this out. Or give her away... always solve for peace in the flock.

Mrs K
 

jenfred75

Chirping
Feb 2, 2019
34
100
79
Albuquerque, NM
Put her in a small dog crate, and put the crate in the coop. Do NOT put her in a small coop and close it up to keep her warm. That will just collect moisture, make her damp and that will make her cold.

As for integration issues, another month, the "chicks" will start laying, and that will most likely sort this out. Or give her away... always solve for peace in the flock.

Mrs K
The small coop has vents - we used it for transition of integrating our chicks. Our coop isn't a walk-in coop, so I can't put a dog crate in it. We have the most sunshine per year, so my chickens only go in our coop to lay eggs or to sleep. They never hang out in there. I am going to try to give her away if it doesn't get better. She is pretty mean - she attacks me if I pet the other 2 original hens. She is a laying hen, but she had a hard molt in December and is just now starting to lay again.
 

Mrs. K

Free Ranging
10 Years
Nov 12, 2009
7,378
7,257
536
western South Dakota
Removing her might be best. She might be telling you that your set up is not big enough for the number of birds you have. Is everything working without her in there? If so, let her go. ALWAYS solve for peace in the flock. A miserable fighting flock is no fun. Sooner is better, once you do it, you will wonder just why you waited.
 

jenfred75

Chirping
Feb 2, 2019
34
100
79
Albuquerque, NM
All the other chickens are fine once I remove her. Everybody just does their thing. I had removed Meanie for a week and the chicks were going into the coop to roost, but as soon as I put her back, there were all huddled together in the outside enclosure. I’m not worried about humidity since I live in Albuquerque and our humidity is usually in the single digits, but almost never above 50%, unless it’s raining or snowing, which isn’t often (it’s horrible for my skin 😬). Right now our humidity in the coop is 23%. I do want to rehome her if I have no other choice - I just need to find a home for her.
 
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