Cold Weather and a young flock

Discussion in 'Managing Your Flock' started by NellaBean, Jan 11, 2010.

  1. NellaBean

    NellaBean Graceland Farms

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    Mar 4, 2009
    Broodyland, TN
    My Coop
    We have been having unseasonably COLD weather down here in Tennessee. My flock ranges from 10 month olds to 16 week olds (pullets). I know everyone has been posting about the ridiculous weather down here in the south.......we have been pretty much below freezing for a couple weeks. It was 12 degrees this morning when I opened up the coop, and has been highs in the 20's for the last week or so. Not the coldest weather around, by far, but colder than it is supposed to be here.

    I don't use a heat lamp, but have a relatively solid (uninsulated) secure coop. Temp in the coop is close to, if not the same, as outdoor temps. I have a few chickens molting that are halfway covered in pinfeathers (poor things, lol).

    I have noticed no huge difference in the behavior of my flock. Even the young ones. At 12 degrees, they come running out of the coop, flapping and flying around the yard and scratching around like normal. They have about a half acre to range on during the day and I throw out scratch in the morning for them, plus keep two feeders full of layer (1 with pellets, 1 with crumble) feed available at all times. They are out and about and then do their usual "hanging out" in front of the garage area, like they do during warm and hot weather.

    I just wanted to point out that my chickens aren't upset about the weather at all......I haven't even considered leaving them locked up and they are thrilled to get out of the coop every morning, even with snow on the ground. I know a lot of people are freaking out about heat lamps and having to keep the chickens in since it is so cold. My chickens, even my young ones who were only 14 weeks old when this all started.......are fine with this weather. They do have the coop and a 12x12 3 sided area in the garage to get out of the wind, but are acting totally normally. I just put out fresh water in the morning and just before lockup, and they do just fine. I am even getting a couple eggs (the 2 leghorns and 1 rir) here and there. I don't have a heat lamp anywhere (although I do have one available just in case).
     
  2. gkeesling

    gkeesling Chillin' With My Peeps

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    Nov 24, 2008
    Hagerstown, IN
    Once the chickens become feathered, have a draft free coop, and good access to food and clean water, I don't think a heat lamp is needed unless it gets down below zero for more than a few days. chickens are birds and birds live out in the wild during very deep cold all the time. It's been in single digits here in Indiana and my chickens seem to be doing just fine.
     
  3. LynneP

    LynneP Chillin' With My Peeps

    You're doing well. It's probably harder on you then on them

    Sometimes it can get vary bad, though.

    We're at -13C with wind and expecting a week of severe temps, so my hens are in- lots of room in the coop, but I want to keep it and the barn from seizing up, especially the water lines.
     

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