Cold Weather Chickens

Happy hen lover

Songster
Jan 14, 2021
256
814
156
SW Nebraska
Well...it got down to -18 last night here in South Dakota. Chickens were ready to get out in the run right away this morning...they seemed perfectly fine after a cold night with no supplemental heat!
About the same here in SW NE. I have a 60w bulb but I don't think it does anything except maybe help waterer . We have heated water in coop and that helps . Question do you vaseline combs to prevent frostbite? They're coop is 13 right now and their allowed out but prefer coop most of the day.
 

Happy hen lover

Songster
Jan 14, 2021
256
814
156
SW Nebraska
I’m in CT and baby it’s cold here w 3’ of snow. I have a space/run under the house that I wrap w clear tarps to block the wind and to keep the snow from drifting in. It’s been -temps on and off most of Jan as highs. Even when I open to fill the feeder and heated watered they only look outside...they don’t venture out. I keep a 20’ length of Christmas lights in a tube inside their coop and it keeps the temp much warmer in there. I wrap the perch with the lights and they are warm to the touch...keep those feet warm. They would be out-in the elements as wild birds..sometimes I have to remind myself of that.
I was just wondering about Christmas lights this am!
 

chuckmama

Chirping
May 25, 2016
10
3
55
They might need more ventilation as long as they aren’t in a draft. Moisture in the coop is a problem for chickens. There is much info on venting a coop.
 

walleye19

In the Brooder
May 29, 2020
9
21
29
South Dakota
About the same here in SW NE. I have a 60w bulb but I don't think it does anything except maybe help waterer . We have heated water in coop and that helps . Question do you vaseline combs to prevent frostbite? They're coop is 13 right now and their allowed out but prefer coop most of the day.
I don’t use Vaseline...seem and heard too many bad stories about it.
 

MissE

Songster
Oct 17, 2020
402
1,112
201
Northern MN
It's AMAZING how much they can dig in frozen ground.
I know! I'm glad they aren't using those nails on me. On the bright side, they keep them filed down and I don't need to do any trimming.

Yesterday there were 4 of them in the bath. They lie there until their body heat thaws the very top layer of dirt. Then the digging begins. Pretty soon everyone is trying to join in.
 

Egghead_Jr

Crowing
10 Years
Oct 16, 2010
7,449
3,473
436
NEK, VT
Two sides of a run should be set up with wind block of some sort. I do three sides as my winter "run" area is small. In general you are blocking the direction of prevailing winds. Once that is done there is no wind chill factor it's just the temperature. A covered area is nice if you get much snow. My set up for winter is a lean to roof that slightly overhangs the front of coop and slants to ground. The coop is on slits. Plastic goes one side of that lean to and around two sides bottom of coop. I throw hay down and they have a wash basin with wood ash in it.

With the above set up my birds come out of coop every morning. It takes -20 to -30F mornings for them to want to stay in coop. The door is opened every morning, food and water are left in run. The one or two mornings they stay in coop I toss black oil seed in the coop knowing they'll go into the run late morning when temps warm up a little. Our coldest morning this winter was -12F and they all came out of coop when door was opened.

We keep Plymouth Rock and Wyandotte. Both are considered cold weather hearty breeds. The coop is vented well enough. The single comb Rock hens don't get frostbite. The Rock cockerels will lose a comb tine tip or two. Either breed cock or cockerel will lose a bit of wattle end due to their water being in a bowl.
 

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