Cold temps

Discussion in 'Managing Your Flock' started by Hayden, Nov 7, 2007.

  1. Hayden

    Hayden Hatching

    Nov 7, 2007
    My first day in the forum! I have recently acquired two pet "back yard chickens", we live in the "city-fied" country so we have a little acreage but have a fenced immediate - backyard; chickens have free range to the whole area including on and under our back deck. I have read in several places that if you live in a cold climate not to provide heat as they adapt to their climate. BUT! and here is my question - I live in the southeast (Alabama) where days in the Fall are around 60 degrees but can fall to freezing or below for a while at night. With these ranging temperatures, what should I provide for them at night, if anything???

  2. Heidi

    Heidi Songster

    Mar 18, 2007
    Northwest Michigan
    Welcome to byc! Everyone is very helpful. I live in Michigan and I just made sure that my coop is draft free and has a lot of bedding. Also if you want your hens to keep laying thru the winter you will need to provide a light in the coop that is on a timer or something as your hens will need 14 hours of light.
  3. McGoo

    McGoo Songster

    A small, draught free, coop with good bedding for them to snuggle up and stay warm.

    I've been told to not give them artificial heating because if the electricity goes off, they are not prepared for the immediate colder condition. Also, they typically survive in the north without why not in Alabama?

    I live in the northeast and after researching, I am not planning to provide anything but a well insulated coop, with some natural lighting and really good deep litter to keep them warm. I will be sure to supply them with unfrozen water too.

    ps. Last night it was about 30 degrees here and they were totally fine. So much so that my hen laid her first egg. If the coop is the right size, they put out a good amount of heat. Also, don't forget, they have down. All the best with your new gals.
  4. Wildsky

    Wildsky Wild Egg!

    Oct 13, 2007
    I think you need more chickens, they keep each other warm!!

    I have 12, and a large coop - our temps have been down to around 18 two nights ago, generally in the low 20's at this time of year, with highs averaging in the 50's.

    my coop isn't perfectly insulated, only on the back side, two sides share the wall with two other barns, and the front has the people door, the chicken door and two huge windows - I need to make sure the windows don't "leak" cold air.

    We're in for snow pretty soon I think.
  5. moonlitfarms

    moonlitfarms Songster

    Aug 17, 2007
    So do the chickens really need a timed light in the winter?
  6. Wildsky

    Wildsky Wild Egg!

    Oct 13, 2007
    I don't use a light, folks use it to provide more light so the chickens will continue to lay.
    There are some threads on that subject, when to put it on, morning or night etc...
  7. McGoo

    McGoo Songster

    Nope. Not if you want them to keep warm and stay less stressed. Of course, if you use a light then they'll lay more eggs. More eggs is good for you, but not necessarily good for them.
    My idea is to let nature take it's course and I hope they'll stay healthier.
  8. WELCOME TO BYC I live in middle Tennessee, and it was a hard freeze last night, but i have a 8x8xx foot coop and shut them in at night as we have wild dogs, coyotes and other wild critters around, i let them out when i get up in the morning and feed them. This morning i had to break the ice on their water dish but they were flying around and enjoying them self's, but i do have about 6 inches of hay in the coop ( which has to be cleaned out for the garden regularly) but someone made a comment today that they looked like they had satin feathers, I do feed them some corn in the afternoon to help fatten them up for winter, I have learned a lot here, the people are GREAt++++++++++++.Also no light, afraid of fire

    Mother to 24 RIR's, 1 pit bull,1 poodle mix,1 yorkie,l cat and a DH [​IMG]

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